GitLab 14.2 brings macOS ‘build cloud’ closed beta and improved Gitpod support among nearly 50 new features • The Register

GitLab has updated its code repository and DevOps platform to version 14.2, including a private beta of a macOS “cloud build” for building apps for the Apple operating system.

“Today, developers in the Apple ecosystem on GitLab SaaS must install, manage and operate GitLab Runner on their own macOS systems to run CI / CD workflows,” the company said.

The ability to ban users has been improved with an option to hide all issues created by a banned user

GitLab Runner is an application that runs tasks in a pipeline, similar in concept to a GitHub action (actions on GitHub already support macOS executors but are billed 10 times the price for Linux executors). The new feature is in beta and limited to certain open source customers and users.

According to GitLab, the new service is provided in association with MacStadium, a company that provides hosted Mac build machines and servers. Users can select versions of macOS and Xcode, from macOS 10.13 with Xcode 7 to macOS 11 with Xcode 12. Virtual machines used for the build cloud are relatively high specs – 4 vCPU, 10 GB of RAM and 14 GB of storage. General availability of the macOS build cloud is slated for November 2021, when pricing will also be announced.

Another new feature in 14.2 is deeper integration with Gitpod, a third-party service that provides hosted development environments configured in code. The new feature allows developers to launch a Gitpod environment based directly on a merge request, whereas until now it was necessary to launch Gitpod from the main branch, switch to the merge branch and start over.

In response to the launch of Codespaces by GitHub, which offers similar functionality, Gitpod has extended its free offering to public and private repositories for up to 50 hours per month.

The GitLab editor has a new live preview option for Markdown files. Previously there was a preview tab, but now there is a split screen view with the preview automatically updated when the file is edited. GitHub doesn’t have a live preview for Markdown, but that said, the new github.dev, which can open any file in a lightweight code space fully implemented in the browser, provides a live preview through Visual. Studio Code.

Other new features include variables in include statements in pipeline definition files; implicit order of pipeline works via a new “needs” statement; a new vulnerability tracking algorithm for security scanners used for Go, JavaScript / TypeScript, Python and Ruby; and a new user interface for installing Kubernetes agents. Developers can also now branch GitLab from Jira tickets. The ability to ban users has been improved with an option to hide all issues created by a banned user.

Application secrets are no longer displayed in the GitLab user interface for configuring an application. Now there is only one Copy button left to access the secret.

The full list of changes is long – there are almost 50 new features along with a long list of bug fixes and performance improvements.

GitLab is richer in features than its rival GitHub, thanks to its ambitious and energetic development. GitLab is also open source, with an MIT licensed Community Edition, and an Enterprise Edition (built on the same kernel) which is proprietary licensed but available in source, while GitHub is closed source.

These features will help it compete with GitHub, which makes heavy use of its integration with both Azure for Code Spaces and Visual Studio Code. ®

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Brian Steele

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