Kroki diagrams (FREE SELF)

  • Introduced in GitLab 13.7.
  • Support for reStructuredText and Textile documents introduced in GitLab 13.12.

When Kroki integration is enabled and configured in GitLab, you can use it to create diagrams in AsciiDoc, Markdown, reStructuredText, and Textile documents.

Kroki Server

When Kroki is enabled, GitLab sends diagrams to an instance of Kroki to display them as images. You can use the free public cloud instance or you can install Kroki on your own infrastructure. After you've installed Kroki, make sure to update the server URL to point to your instance.


With Docker, run a container like this:

docker run -d --name kroki -p 8080:8000 yuzutech/kroki

The Kroki URL is the hostname of the server running the container.

The yuzutech/kroki image contains the following diagrams libraries out-of-the-box:

If you want to use additional diagram libraries, read the Kroki installation to learn how to start Kroki companion containers.

Enable Kroki in GitLab

You need to enable Kroki integration from Settings under Admin Area. To do that, log in with an administrator account and follow these steps:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  2. Go to Settings > General.
  3. Expand the Kroki section.
  4. Select Enable Kroki checkbox.
  5. Enter the Kroki URL.

Create diagrams

With Kroki integration enabled and configured, you can start adding diagrams to your AsciiDoc or Markdown documentation using delimited blocks:

  • Markdown

    Bob -> Alice : hello
    Alice -> Bob : hi
  • AsciiDoc

    Bob->Alice : hello
    Alice -> Bob : hi
  • reStructuredText

    .. code-block:: plantuml
      Bob->Alice : hello
      Alice -> Bob : hi
  • Textile

    bc[plantuml]. Bob->Alice : hello
    Alice -> Bob : hi

The above blocks are converted to an HTML image tag with source pointing to the Kroki instance. If the Kroki server is correctly configured, this should render a nice diagram instead of the block:

PlantUML diagram

Kroki supports more than a dozen diagram libraries. Here's a few examples for AsciiDoc:


digraph finite_state_machine {
  node [shape = doublecircle]; LR_0 LR_3 LR_4 LR_8;
  node [shape = circle];
  LR_0 -> LR_2 [ label = "SS(B)" ];
  LR_0 -> LR_1 [ label = "SS(S)" ];
  LR_1 -> LR_3 [ label = "S($end)" ];
  LR_2 -> LR_6 [ label = "SS(b)" ];
  LR_2 -> LR_5 [ label = "SS(a)" ];
  LR_2 -> LR_4 [ label = "S(A)" ];
  LR_5 -> LR_7 [ label = "S(b)" ];
  LR_5 -> LR_5 [ label = "S(a)" ];
  LR_6 -> LR_6 [ label = "S(b)" ];
  LR_6 -> LR_5 [ label = "S(a)" ];
  LR_7 -> LR_8 [ label = "S(b)" ];
  LR_7 -> LR_5 [ label = "S(a)" ];
  LR_8 -> LR_6 [ label = "S(b)" ];
  LR_8 -> LR_5 [ label = "S(a)" ];

GraphViz diagram

C4 (based on PlantUML)

!include C4_Context.puml

title System Context diagram for Internet Banking System

Person(customer, "Banking Customer", "A customer of the bank, with personal bank accounts.")
System(banking_system, "Internet Banking System", "Allows customers to check their accounts.")

System_Ext(mail_system, "E-mail system", "The internal Microsoft Exchange e-mail system.")
System_Ext(mainframe, "Mainframe Banking System", "Stores all of the core banking information.")

Rel(customer, banking_system, "Uses")
Rel_Back(customer, mail_system, "Sends e-mails to")
Rel_Neighbor(banking_system, mail_system, "Sends e-mails", "SMTP")
Rel(banking_system, mainframe, "Uses")

C4 PlantUML diagram


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  [beard]-:>[foul mouth]

[Pirate]- 0..7[mischief]
[Pirate]-> *[rum|tastiness: Int|swig()]