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GitLab CI Integration


Once configured for a repository, the GitLab CI integration will provide analysis of project dependencies from manifests and lockfiles. This can happen in a branch pipeline as a result of a commit or in a Merge Request (MR) pipeline.

For MR pipelines, analyzed dependencies will include any that are added/modified in the MR.

For branch pipelines, the analyzed dependencies will be determined by comparing dependency files in the branch to the default branch. All dependencies will be analyzed when the branch pipeline is run on the default branch.

The results will be provided in the pipeline logs and provided as a note (comment) on the MR unless the option to skip comments is provided. The CI job will return an error (i.e., fail the build) if any of the analyzed dependencies fail to meet the established policy unless audit mode is specified.

There will be no note if no dependencies were added or modified for a given MR. If one or more dependencies are still processing (no results available), then the note will make that clear and the CI job will only fail if dependencies that have completed analysis results do not meet the active policy.


The GitLab CI environment is primarily supported through the use of a Docker image. GitLab SaaS subscriptions hosted on are supported. Self-managed subscriptions are supported for "on-premises" installs which still have access to the internet. Self-hosted "offline" (e.g., air-gapped networks) installs of GitLab may work but have not been confirmed.

The prerequisites for using this image are:

  • Access to the phylumio/phylum-ci Docker image
  • A GitLab token with API access
    • This is only required when:
      • Using the integration in merge request pipelines
      • Comment generation has not been skipped
    • The token needs the api scope
    • Tokens that specify a role will work with any role other than Guest
  • A Phylum token with API access
  • Access to the Phylum API endpoints
    • That usually means a connection to the internet, optionally via a proxy

Configure .gitlab-ci.yml

Phylum analysis of dependencies can be added to existing CI workflows or on it's own with this minimal configuration:

- QA

stage: QA
- if: $CI_PIPELINE_SOURCE == "merge_request_event"
image: phylumio/phylum-ci:latest
- phylum-ci -vv

This configuration contains a single Quality Assurance stage named QA and will only run in merge request pipelines. It provides debug output but otherwise does not override any of the phylum-ci arguments, which are all either optional or default to secure values. Let's take a deeper dive into each part of the configuration:

Stage and Job names

The stage and job names can be named differently or included in existing stages/jobs.

- QA # Name this what you like

analyze_MR_with_Phylum: # Name this what you like
stage: QA # Change the stage where the job will run here

Job control

Choose when to run the job. The Phylum integration can run in the context of branch pipelines or merge request pipelines but merge request pipelines are given preferential treatment so care should be taken to avoid duplicate pipelines.

There are several ways to accomplish this goal. The first is to create a rule at the job level to specify that the job should only run for merge request pipelines. Branch pipelines are the default type and will run when new commits are pushed to a branch. If the desire is to only run the job for branch pipelines, then no rule limiting the pipeline source should be specified.

  # This optional rule specifies to run the job for merge request pipelines only.
# Remove these lines entirely to run the job for branch pipelines instead.
- if: $CI_PIPELINE_SOURCE == "merge_request_event"

It is also possible to allow for both pipeline types while ensuring only one runs at a time by using workflow rules to automatically switch between branch pipelines and merge request pipelines. To do so, remove any job level rules related to pipeline sources and add the following workflow level rules to the configuration:

- if: $CI_PIPELINE_SOURCE == "merge_request_event"
when: never
# This next rule will trigger for pushes to any branch

It is recommended to allow branch pipelines for pushes to the default branch, to ensure the Phylum analysis results for that branch are current. This modification to the previous example will allow for merge request pipelines and pushes specifically to the default branch:

- if: $CI_PIPELINE_SOURCE == "merge_request_event"
when: never
# This next rule will trigger for pushes only to the default branch

See the GitLab CI/CD Job Control documentation for more detail.

Docker image selection

Choose the Docker image tag to match your comfort level with image dependencies. latest is a "rolling" tag that will point to the image created for the latest released phylum-ci Python package. A particular version tag (e.g., 0.42.4-CLIv6.1.2) is created for each release of the phylum-ci Python package and should not change once published.

However, to be certain that the image does not change...or be warned when it does because it won't be available anymore...use the SHA256 digest of the tag. The digest can be found by looking at the phylumio/phylum-ci tags on Docker Hub or with the command:

# NOTE: The command-line JSON processor `jq` is used here for the sake of a one line example. It is not required.
docker manifest inspect --verbose phylumio/phylum-ci:0.42.4-CLIv6.1.2 | jq .Descriptor.digest

For instance, at the time of this writing, all of these tag references pointed to the same image:

  # NOTE: These are examples. Only one image line for `phylum-ci` is expected.

# Not specifying a tag means a default of `latest`
image: phylumio/phylum-ci

# Be more explicit about wanting the `latest` tag
image: phylumio/phylum-ci:latest

# Use a specific release version of the `phylum-ci` package
image: phylumio/phylum-ci:0.42.4-CLIv6.1.2

# Use a specific image with it's SHA256 digest
image: phylumio/phylum-ci@sha256:77b761ccef10edc28b0f009a40fbeab240bf004522edaaea05572dc3728b6ca6

Only the last tag reference, by SHA256 digest, is guaranteed to not have the underlying image it points to change.

The default phylum-ci Docker image contains git and the installed phylum Python package. It also contains an installed version of the Phylum CLI and all required tools needed for lockfile generation. An advantage of using the default Docker image is that the complete environment is packaged and made available with components that are known to work together.

One disadvantage to the default image is it's size. It can take a while to download and may provide more tools than required for your specific use case. Special slim tags of the phylum-ci image are provided as an alternative. These tags differ from the default image in that they do not contain the required tools needed for lockfile generation (with the exception of the pip tool). The slim tags are significantly smaller and allow for faster action run times. They are useful for those instances where no manifest files are present and/or only lockfiles are used.

Here are examples of using the slim image tags:

  # NOTE: These are examples. Only one image line for `phylum-ci` is expected.

# Use the most current release of *both* `phylum-ci` and the Phylum CLI
image: phylumio/phylum-ci:slim

# Use the `slim` image with a specific release version of `phylum-ci` and Phylum CLI
image: phylumio/phylum-ci:0.42.4-CLIv6.1.2-slim


The job variables are used to ensure the phylum-ci tool is able to perform it's job.

For instance, git is used within the phylum-ci package to do things like determine if there was a dependency file change and, when specified, report on new dependencies only. Therefore, a clone of the repository is required to ensure that the local working copy is always pristine and history is available to pull the requested information. It may also be necessary to specify the depth of cloning if/when there is not enough info.

A GitLab token with API access is required to use the API (e.g., to post notes/comments). This can be a personal, project, or group access token. The account used to create the token will be the one that appears to post the notes/comments on the MR. Therefore, it might be worth looking into using a bot account, which is available for project and group access tokens. See the GitLab Token Overview documentation for more info. The token needs the api scope. Project or Group access tokens should specify a role other than Guest.

Note, the GitLab token is only required when this Phylum integration is used in merge request pipelines where comment generation is not skipped. It is not required when used in branch pipelines.

Note, using $CI_JOB_TOKEN as the value will work in some situations because "API authentication uses the job token, by using the authorization of the user triggering the job." This is not recommended for anything other than temporary personal use in private repositories as there is a chance that depending on it will cause failures when attempting to do the same thing in different scenarios.

A Phylum token with API access is required to perform analysis on project dependencies. Contact Phylum or register to gain access. See also phylum auth register command documentation and consider using a bot or group account for this token.

Values for the GITLAB_TOKEN and PHYLUM_API_KEY variables can come from a CI/CD Variable or an External Secret. Since they are sensitive, care should be taken to protect them appropriately.

# References:
# GIT_DEPTH: "50"

# References for GitLab tokens:
# All tokens -
# Personal -
# Project -
# Group -

# Contact Phylum ( or register ( to gain
# access. See also `phylum auth register` (
# command documentation. Consider using a bot or group account for this token.

Script arguments

The script arguments to the Docker image are the way to exert control over the execution of the Phylum analysis. The phylum-ci script entry point is expected to be called. It has a number of arguments that are all optional and defaulted to secure values. To view the arguments, their description, and default values, run the script with --help output as specified in the Usage section of the top-level or view the script options output for the latest release.

  # NOTE: These are examples. Only one script entry line for `phylum-ci` is expected.
# Use the defaults for all the arguments.
# The default behavior is to only analyze newly added dependencies
# against the active policy set at the Phylum project level.
- phylum-ci

# Provide debug level output. Highly recommended.
- phylum-ci -vv

# Consider all dependencies in analysis results instead of just the newly added ones.
# The default is to only analyze newly added dependencies, which can be useful for
# existing code bases that may not meet established policy rules yet,
# but don't want to make things worse. Specifying `--all-deps` can be useful for
# casting the widest net for strict adherence to Quality Assurance (QA) standards.
- phylum-ci --all-deps

# Some lockfile types (e.g., Python/pip `requirements.txt`) are ambiguous in that
# they can be named differently and may or may not contain strict dependencies.
# In these cases it is best to specify an explicit path, either with the `--depfile`
# option or in a `.phylum_project` file. The easiest way to do that is with the
# Phylum CLI, using the `phylum init` command (
# and committing the generated `.phylum_project` file.
- phylum-ci --depfile requirements-prod.txt

# Specify multiple explicit dependency file paths.
- phylum-ci --depfile requirements-prod.txt Cargo.toml path/to/dependency.file

# Force analysis for all dependencies in a manifest file. This is especially useful
# for *workspace* manifest files where there is no companion lockfile (e.g., libraries).
- phylum-ci --force-analysis --all-deps --depfile Cargo.toml

# Perform analysis as part of a group-owned project.
# A paid account is needed to use groups:
- phylum-ci --group my_group

# Analyze all dependencies in audit mode, to gain insight without failing builds.
- phylum-ci --all-deps --audit

# Ensure the latest Phylum CLI is installed.
- phylum-ci --force-install

# Install a specific version of the Phylum CLI.
- phylum-ci --phylum-release 4.8.0 --force-install

# Mix and match for your specific use case.
# Long commands:
- |
phylum-ci \
-vv \
--depfile requirements-dev.txt \
--depfile requirements-prod.txt path/to/dependency.file \
--depfile Cargo.toml \
--force-analysis \


It is also possible to make direct use of the phylum Python package within CI. This may be necessary if the Docker image is unavailable or undesirable for some reason. To use the phylum package, install it and call the desired entry points from a script under your control. See the Installation and Usage sections of the README file for more detail.