Pipeline schedules (FREE)

Pipelines are normally run based on certain conditions being met. For example, when a branch is pushed to repository.

Pipeline schedules can be used to also run pipelines at specific intervals. For example:

  • Every month on the 22nd (cron example: 0 0 22 * *) for a certain branch.
  • Every month on the 2nd Monday (cron example: 0 0 * * 1#2).
  • Every other Sunday at 0900 hours (cron example: 0 9 * * sun%2).
  • Once every day (cron example: 0 0 * * *).

Schedule timing is configured with cron notation, parsed by Fugit.

In addition to using the GitLab UI, pipeline schedules can be maintained using the Pipeline schedules API.


In order for a scheduled pipeline to be created successfully:

  • The schedule owner must have permissions to merge into the target branch.
  • The pipeline configuration must be valid.

Otherwise the pipeline is not created.

Configuring pipeline schedules

To schedule a pipeline for project:

  1. Navigate to the project's CI/CD > Schedules page.
  2. Click the New schedule button.
  3. Fill in the Schedule a new pipeline form.
  4. Click the Save pipeline schedule button.

New Schedule Form

NOTE: Pipelines execution timing is dependent on Sidekiq's own schedule.

In the Schedules index page you can see a list of the pipelines that are scheduled to run. The next run is automatically calculated by the server GitLab is installed on.

Schedules list

Using variables

You can pass any number of arbitrary variables. They are available in GitLab CI/CD so that they can be used in your .gitlab-ci.yml file.

Scheduled pipeline variables

Using rules

To configure a job to be executed only when the pipeline has been scheduled, use the rules keyword.

In this example, make world runs in scheduled pipelines, and make build runs in branch and tag pipelines:

    - if: $CI_PIPELINE_SOURCE == "schedule"
    - make world

    - if: $CI_PIPELINE_SOURCE == "push"
    - make build

Advanced configuration (FREE SELF)

The pipelines are not executed exactly on schedule because schedules are handled by Sidekiq, which runs according to its interval.

For example, only two pipelines are created per day if:

  • You set a schedule to create a pipeline every minute (* * * * *).
  • The Sidekiq worker runs on 00:00 and 12:00 every day (0 */12 * * *).

To change the Sidekiq worker's frequency:

  1. Edit the gitlab_rails['pipeline_schedule_worker_cron'] value in your instance's gitlab.rb file.
  2. Reconfigure GitLab for the changes to take effect.

For GitLab.com, refer to the dedicated settings page.

Working with scheduled pipelines

After configuration, GitLab supports many functions for working with scheduled pipelines.

Running manually

Introduced in GitLab 10.4.

To trigger a pipeline schedule manually, click the "Play" button:

Play Pipeline Schedule

This schedules a background job to run the pipeline schedule. A flash message provides a link to the CI/CD Pipeline index page.

NOTE: To help avoid abuse, users are rate limited to triggering a pipeline once per minute.

Taking ownership

Pipelines are executed as a user, who owns a schedule. This influences what projects and other resources the pipeline has access to.

If a user does not own a pipeline, you can take ownership by clicking the Take ownership button. The next time a pipeline is scheduled, your credentials are used.

Schedules list

If the owner of a pipeline schedule cannot create pipelines on the target branch, the schedule stops creating new pipelines.

This can happen if, for example:

  • The owner is blocked or removed from the project.
  • The target branch or tag is protected.

In this case, someone with sufficient privileges must take ownership of the schedule.