Merge requests

Merge requests (MRs) are the way you check source code changes into a branch.

When you open a merge request, you can visualize and collaborate on the code changes before merge. Merge requests include:

  • A description of the request.
  • Code changes and inline code reviews.
  • Information about CI/CD pipelines.
  • A comment section for discussion threads.
  • The list of commits.

To get started, read the introduction to merge requests.

Merge request workflows

For a software developer working in a team:

  1. You checkout a new branch, and submit your changes through a merge request.
  2. You gather feedback from your team.
  3. You work on the implementation optimizing code with Code Quality reports.
  4. You verify your changes with Unit test reports in GitLab CI/CD.
  5. You avoid using dependencies whose license is not compatible with your project with License Compliance reports.
  6. You request the approval from your manager.
  7. Your manager:
    1. Pushes a commit with their final review.
    2. Approves the merge request.
    3. Sets it to merge when pipeline succeeds.
  8. Your changes get deployed to production with manual actions for GitLab CI/CD.
  9. Your implementations were successfully shipped to your customer.

For a web developer writing a webpage for your company’s website:

  1. You checkout a new branch and submit a new page through a merge request.
  2. You gather feedback from your reviewers.
  3. You preview your changes with Review Apps.
  4. You request your web designers for their implementation.
  5. You request the approval from your manager.
  6. Once approved, your merge request is squashed and merged, and deployed to staging with GitLab Pages.
  7. Your production team cherry picks the merge commit into production.

Merge request navigation tabs at the top

Introduced in GitLab 12.6. This positioning is experimental.

In GitLab 12.5 and earlier, navigation tabs in merge requests (Discussion, Commits, Pipelines, and Changes) were located after the merge request widget.

To facilitate navigation without scrolling, and based on user feedback, the tabs are now located at the top of the merge request tab. A new Overview tab was added, and next to Overview are Commits, Pipelines, and Changes.

Merge request tab positions

This change is behind a feature flag that is enabled by default. For self-managed instances, it can be disabled through the Rails console by a GitLab administrator with the following command: