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I have gitlab repo ZERO (project) which serves as a code base for multiple websites (repo ONE, TWO, THREE..), these are also gitlab repositories. I am using gitlab CI/CD options, I want to be able to build docker image consisting of code base repo ZERO + specific code in specific website repo, i.e. ONE. Base repo ZERO and project repositories ONE, TWO, THREE will be pushed to regularily.

To me it seems usage of git submodules might be appropriate, but when doing internet research on this matter, submodules is getting hate for being complicated and slow. Are submodules straight solution for this usecase, or is there alternative solution which might suit me better?

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git submodules couple them tightly but using cicd pipelines you can have option to have different versions based on different branches of each repo. If you have kubernetes cluster ahead you can use argocd to do this for you even graphically.

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