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Use GCP Secret Manager secrets in GitLab CI/CD (PREMIUM ALL)

Introduced in GitLab and GitLab Runner 16.8.

You can use secrets stored in the Google Cloud (GCP) Secret Manager in your GitLab CI/CD pipelines.

The flow for using GitLab with GCP Secret Manager is summarized by this diagram:

  1. GitLab issues ID token to CI/CD job.
  2. The runner authenticates to GCP using an ID token.
  3. GCP verifies the ID token with GitLab.
  4. GCP issues a short-lived access token.
  5. The runner accesses the secret data using the access token.
  6. GCP checks IAM permission on the access token's principal.
  7. GCP returns the secret data to Runner.

To use GitLab with GCP Secret Manager, you must:

Configure GCP IAM Workload Identify Federation (WIF)

GCP IAM WIF must be configured to recognize ID tokens issued by GitLab and assign an appropriate principal to them. The principal is used to authorize access to the Secret Manager resources:

  1. In GCP Console, go to IAM & Admin > Workload Identity Federation.
  2. Select CREATE POOL and create a new identity pool with a unique name, for example gitlab-pool.
  3. Select ADD PROVIDER to add a new OIDC Provider to the Identity Pool with a unique name, for example gitlab-provider.
    1. Set Issuer (URL) to the GitLab URL, for example
    2. Select Default audience, or select Allowed audiences for a custom audience, which is used in the aud for the GitLab CI/CD ID token.
  4. Under Attribute Mapping, configure provider attributes, which are mappings between the OIDC claims (referred to as "assertion") and Google attributes. These mappings can be used to set fine grained access control. For example, to grant a GitLab project access to Secret Manager secrets, select ADD MAPPING and create a mapping of attribute.gitlab_project_id to assertion.project_id.

Grant access to GCP IAM principal

After setting up WIF, you must grant the WIF principal access to the secrets in Secret Manager.

  1. In GCP Console, go to IAM & Admin > IAM.
  2. Select GRANT ACCESS to grant access to the principal set created through the WIF provider. For example, to grant IAM access to the principal matching the project with ID 123, add a new principal like: principalSet://[PROJECT_NUMBER]/locations/global/workloadIdentityPools/[POOL_ID]/attribute.gitlab_project_id/[PROJECT_ID].
  3. Assign the role Secret Manager Secret Accessor.
  4. (Optional) Select IAM condition (Optional) to add an IAM condition. Under Condition Builder, you can add conditions. For example, you could add two AND conditions:
    • First condition:
      • Condition type: Type
      • Operator: is
      • Resource type:
    • Second condition:
      • Condition type: Name
      • Operator: Starts with
      • Value: The pattern of secrets that you want to grant access to.

You can add additional IAM conditions for fine-grained access controls, including accessing secrets with names starting with the project name.

Configure GitLab CI/CD to use GCP Secret Manager secrets

You can use secrets stored in GCP Secret Manager in CI/CD jobs by defining them with the gcp_secret_manager keyword:

      # `aud` must match the audience defined in the WIF Identity Pool.
        name: my-project-secret  # This is the name of the secret defined in GCP Secret Manager
        version: 1               # optional: default to `latest`.
      token: $GCP_ID_TOKEN

You must also add these CI/CD variables to provide details about your GCP Secret Manager:

  • GCP_PROJECT_NUMBER: The GCP Project Number