Snippets

With GitLab Snippets you can store and share bits of code and text with other users.

GitLab Snippet

Snippets can be maintained using snippets API.

There are two types of snippets:

  • Personal snippets.
  • Project snippets.

Personal snippets

Personal snippets are not related to any project and can be created completely independently. There are 3 visibility levels that can be set, public, internal and private. See Public access for more information.

Project snippets

Project snippets are always related to a specific project. See Project features for more information.

Create a snippet

To create a personal snippet, click the plus icon () on the top navigation and select New snippet from the dropdown menu:

New personal snippet from non-project pages

If you’re on a project’s page but you want to create a new personal snippet, click the plus icon () and select New snippet from the lower part of the dropdown (GitLab on GitLab.com; Your Instance on self-managed instances):

New personal snippet from project pages

To create a project snippet, navigate to your project’s page and click the plus icon (), then select New snippet from the upper part of the dropdown (This project).

New personal snippet from project pages

From there, add the Title, Description, and a File name with the appropriate extension (for example, example.rb, index.html).

cautionMake sure to add the filename to get code highlighting and to avoid this copy-pasting bug.

Versioned Snippets

Introduced in GitLab 13.0.

Starting in 13.0, snippets (both personal and project snippets) have version control enabled by default.

This means that all snippets get their own underlying repository initialized with a master branch at the moment the snippet is created. Whenever a change to the snippet is saved, a new commit to the master branch is recorded. Commit messages are automatically generated. The snippet’s repository has only one branch (master) by default, deleting it or creating other branches is not supported.

Existing snippets are automatically migrated in 13.0. Their current content is saved as the initial commit to the snippets’ repository.

Filenames

Snippets support syntax highlighting based on the filename and extension provided for them. While you can submit a snippet without specifying a filename and extension, it needs a valid name so the content can be created as a file in the snippet’s repository.

If you don’t attribute a filename and extension to a snippet, GitLab adds a filename in the format snippetfile<x>.txt where <x> represents a number added to the file, starting with 1. This number increments when more snippets without an attributed filename are added.

When upgrading from an earlier version of GitLab to 13.0, existing snippets without a supported filename are renamed to a compatible format. For example, if the snippet’s filename is http://a-weird-filename.me it is changed to http-a-weird-filename-me to be included in the snippet’s repository. As snippets are stored by ID, changing their filenames breaks direct or embedded links to the snippet.

Multiple files by Snippet

Introduced in GitLab 13.5.

GitLab Snippets support multiple files in one single snippet. This is helpful when your code snippet is composed of multiple parts or when they relate to a certain context. For example:

  • A snippet that includes a script and its output.
  • A snippet that includes HTML, CSS, and JS code.
  • A snippet with a docker-compose.yml file and its associated .env file.
  • A gulpfile.js file coupled with a package.json file, which together can be used to bootstrap a project and manage its dependencies.

Snippets support between 1 and 10 files. They can be managed via Git (because they’re versioned by a Git repository), through the Snippets API, or in the GitLab UI.

Multi-file Snippet

To add a new file to your snippet through the GitLab UI:

  1. Go to your snippet in the GitLab UI.
  2. Click Edit in the top right.
  3. Select Add another file.
  4. Add your content to the file in the form fields provided.
  5. Click Save changes.

To delete a file from your snippet through the GitLab UI:

  1. Go to your snippet in the GitLab UI.
  2. Click Edit in the top right.
  3. Select Delete file alongside the filename of each file you wish to delete.
  4. Click Save changes.

Cloning snippets

Snippets can be cloned as a regular Git repository using SSH or HTTPS. Click the Clone button above the snippet content to copy the URL of your choice.

Clone Snippet

This allows you to have a local copy of the snippet’s repository and make changes as needed. You can commit those changes and push them to the remote master branch.

Reduce snippets repository size

Because versioned Snippets are considered as part of the namespace storage size, it’s recommended to keep snippets’ repositories as compact as possible.

For more information about tools to compact repositories, see the documentation on reducing repository size.

Limitations

  • Binary files are not supported.
  • Creating or deleting branches is not supported. Only a default master branch is used.
  • Git tags are not supported in snippet repositories.
  • Snippets’ repositories are limited to 10 files. Attempting to push more than 10 files results in an error.
  • Revisions are not visible to the user on the GitLab UI, but this feature is planned in future iterations. See the revisions tab issue for updates.
  • The maximum size for a snippet is 50 MB, by default.
  • Git LFS is not supported.

Discover snippets

There are two main ways of how you can discover snippets in GitLab.

For exploring all snippets that are visible to you, you can go to the Snippets dashboard of your GitLab instance via the top navigation. For GitLab.com you can navigate to an overview that shows snippets you created and allows you to explore all snippets.

To discover snippets that belong to a specific project, navigate to the Snippets page via the left side navigation on the project page. Project snippets are enabled and available by default. You can disable them by navigating to your project’s Settings, expanding Visibility, project features, permissions and scrolling down to Snippets. From there, you can toggle to disable them or select a different visibility level from the dropdown menu.

Snippet comments

Introduced in GitLab 9.2.

With GitLab Snippets you engage in a conversation about that piece of code, encouraging user collaboration.

Downloading snippets

You can download the raw content of a snippet.

By default snippets are downloaded with Linux-style line endings (LF). If you want to preserve the original line endings you need to add a parameter line_ending=raw (For example: https://gitlab.com/snippets/SNIPPET_ID/raw?line_ending=raw). In case a snippet was created using the GitLab web interface the original line ending is Windows-like (CRLF).

Embedded snippets

Introduced in GitLab 10.8.

Public snippets can not only be shared, but also embedded on any website. With this, you can reuse a GitLab snippet in multiple places and any change to the source is automatically reflected in the embedded snippet.

To embed a snippet, first make sure that:

  • The project is public (if it’s a project snippet)
  • The snippet is public
  • In Project > Settings > Permissions, the snippets permissions are set to Everyone with access

After the above conditions are met, the Embed section appears in your snippet. Click the Copy button to copy a one-line script that you can add to any website or blog post. For example:

<script src="https://gitlab.com/namespace/project/snippets/SNIPPET_ID.js"></script>

Here’s what an embedded snippet looks like:

Embedded snippets are displayed with a header that shows:

  • The filename, if defined.
  • The snippet size.
  • A link to GitLab.
  • The actual snippet content.

Actions in the header enable users to see the snippet in raw format, and download it.