Repositories API

List repository tree

Get a list of repository files and directories in a project. This endpoint can be accessed without authentication if the repository is publicly accessible.

This command provides essentially the same functionality as the git ls-tree command. For more information, see the section Tree Objects in the Git internals documentation.

GET /projects/:id/repository/tree

Supported attributes:

Attribute Type Required Description
id integer/string yes The ID or URL-encoded path of the project owned by the authenticated user.
path string no The path inside repository. Used to get content of subdirectories.
ref string no The name of a repository branch or tag or if not given the default branch.
recursive boolean no Boolean value used to get a recursive tree (false by default).
per_page integer no Number of results to show per page. If not specified, defaults to 20. Learn more on pagination.
[
  {
    "id": "a1e8f8d745cc87e3a9248358d9352bb7f9a0aeba",
    "name": "html",
    "type": "tree",
    "path": "files/html",
    "mode": "040000"
  },
  {
    "id": "4535904260b1082e14f867f7a24fd8c21495bde3",
    "name": "images",
    "type": "tree",
    "path": "files/images",
    "mode": "040000"
  },
  {
    "id": "31405c5ddef582c5a9b7a85230413ff90e2fe720",
    "name": "js",
    "type": "tree",
    "path": "files/js",
    "mode": "040000"
  },
  {
    "id": "cc71111cfad871212dc99572599a568bfe1e7e00",
    "name": "lfs",
    "type": "tree",
    "path": "files/lfs",
    "mode": "040000"
  },
  {
    "id": "fd581c619bf59cfdfa9c8282377bb09c2f897520",
    "name": "markdown",
    "type": "tree",
    "path": "files/markdown",
    "mode": "040000"
  },
  {
    "id": "23ea4d11a4bdd960ee5320c5cb65b5b3fdbc60db",
    "name": "ruby",
    "type": "tree",
    "path": "files/ruby",
    "mode": "040000"
  },
  {
    "id": "7d70e02340bac451f281cecf0a980907974bd8be",
    "name": "whitespace",
    "type": "blob",
    "path": "files/whitespace",
    "mode": "100644"
  }
]

Get a blob from repository

Allows you to receive information about blob in repository like size and content. Blob content is Base64 encoded. This endpoint can be accessed without authentication if the repository is publicly accessible.

GET /projects/:id/repository/blobs/:sha

Supported attributes:

Attribute Type Required Description
id integer/string yes The ID or URL-encoded path of the project owned by the authenticated user.
sha string yes The blob SHA.

Raw blob content

Get the raw file contents for a blob by blob SHA. This endpoint can be accessed without authentication if the repository is publicly accessible.

GET /projects/:id/repository/blobs/:sha/raw

Supported attributes:

Attribute Type Required Description
id integer or string yes The ID or URL-encoded path of the project owned by the authenticated user.
sha string yes The blob SHA.

Get file archive

Support for including Git LFS blobs was introduced in GitLab 13.5.

Get an archive of the repository. This endpoint can be accessed without authentication if the repository is publicly accessible.

This endpoint has a rate limit threshold of 5 requests per minute for GitLab.com users.

GET /projects/:id/repository/archive[.format]

format is an optional suffix for the archive format. Default is tar.gz. Options are tar.gz, tar.bz2, tbz, tbz2, tb2, bz2, tar, and zip. For example, specifying archive.zip would send an archive in ZIP format.

Supported attributes:

Attribute Type Required Description
id integer/string yes The ID or URL-encoded path of the project owned by the authenticated user.
sha string no The commit SHA to download. A tag, branch reference, or SHA can be used. This defaults to the tip of the default branch if not specified.

Example request:

curl --header "PRIVATE-TOKEN: <your_access_token>" "https://gitlab.com/api/v4/projects/<project_id>/repository/archive?sha=<commit_sha>"

Compare branches, tags or commits

This endpoint can be accessed without authentication if the repository is publicly accessible. Diffs can have an empty diff string if diff limits are reached.

GET /projects/:id/repository/compare

Supported attributes:

Attribute Type Required Description
id integer/string yes The ID or URL-encoded path of the project owned by the authenticated user.
from string yes The commit SHA or branch name.
to string yes The commit SHA or branch name.
from_project_id integer no The ID to compare from
straight boolean no Comparison method, true for direct comparison between from and to (from..to), false to compare using merge base (fromto)’. Default is false.
GET /projects/:id/repository/compare?from=master&to=feature

Example response:

{
  "commit": {
    "id": "12d65c8dd2b2676fa3ac47d955accc085a37a9c1",
    "short_id": "12d65c8dd2b",
    "title": "JS fix",
    "author_name": "Example User",
    "author_email": "user@example.com",
    "created_at": "2014-02-27T10:27:00+02:00"
  },
  "commits": [{
    "id": "12d65c8dd2b2676fa3ac47d955accc085a37a9c1",
    "short_id": "12d65c8dd2b",
    "title": "JS fix",
    "author_name": "Example User",
    "author_email": "user@example.com",
    "created_at": "2014-02-27T10:27:00+02:00"
  }],
  "diffs": [{
    "old_path": "files/js/application.js",
    "new_path": "files/js/application.js",
    "a_mode": null,
    "b_mode": "100644",
    "diff": "--- a/files/js/application.js\n+++ b/files/js/application.js\n@@ -24,8 +24,10 @@\n //= require g.raphael-min\n //= require g.bar-min\n //= require branch-graph\n-//= require highlightjs.min\n-//= require ace/ace\n //= require_tree .\n //= require d3\n //= require underscore\n+\n+function fix() { \n+  alert(\"Fixed\")\n+}",
    "new_file": false,
    "renamed_file": false,
    "deleted_file": false
  }],
  "compare_timeout": false,
  "compare_same_ref": false
}

Contributors

Get repository contributors list. This endpoint can be accessed without authentication if the repository is publicly accessible.

GET /projects/:id/repository/contributors
cautionThe additions and deletions attributes are deprecated as of GitLab 13.4, because they always return 0.

Supported attributes:

Attribute Type Required Description
id integer/string yes The ID or URL-encoded path of the project owned by the authenticated user.
order_by string no Return contributors ordered by name, email, or commits (orders by commit date) fields. Default is commits.
sort string no Return contributors sorted in asc or desc order. Default is asc.

Example response:

[{
  "name": "Example User",
  "email": "example@example.com",
  "commits": 117,
  "additions": 0,
  "deletions": 0
}, {
  "name": "Sample User",
  "email": "sample@example.com",
  "commits": 33,
  "additions": 0,
  "deletions": 0
}]

Merge Base

Get the common ancestor for 2 or more refs (commit SHAs, branch names or tags).

GET /projects/:id/repository/merge_base
Attribute Type Required Description
id integer/string yes The ID or URL-encoded path of the project
refs array yes The refs to find the common ancestor of, multiple refs can be passed

Example request:

curl --header "PRIVATE-TOKEN: <your_access_token>" "https://gitlab.example.com/api/v4/projects/5/repository/merge_base?refs[]=304d257dcb821665ab5110318fc58a007bd104ed&refs[]=0031876facac3f2b2702a0e53a26e89939a42209"

Example response:

{
  "id": "1a0b36b3cdad1d2ee32457c102a8c0b7056fa863",
  "short_id": "1a0b36b3",
  "title": "Initial commit",
  "created_at": "2014-02-27T08:03:18.000Z",
  "parent_ids": [],
  "message": "Initial commit\n",
  "author_name": "Example User",
  "author_email": "user@example.com",
  "authored_date": "2014-02-27T08:03:18.000Z",
  "committer_name": "Example User",
  "committer_email": "user@example.com",
  "committed_date": "2014-02-27T08:03:18.000Z"
}

Generate changelog data

Introduced in GitLab 13.9.

Generate changelog data based on commits in a repository.

Given a version (using semantic versioning) and a range of commits, GitLab generates a changelog for all commits that use a particular Git trailer.

The output of this process is a new section in a changelog file in the Git repository of the given project. The output format is in Markdown, and can be customized.

POST /projects/:id/repository/changelog

Supported attributes:

Attribute Type Required Description
version string yes The version to generate the changelog for. The format must follow semantic versioning.
from string no The start of the range of commits (as a SHA) to use for generating the changelog. This commit itself isn’t included in the list.
to string no The end of the range of commits (as a SHA) to use for the changelog. This commit is included in the list. Defaults to the branch specified in the branch attribute.
date datetime no The date and time of the release, defaults to the current time.
branch string no The branch to commit the changelog changes to, defaults to the project’s default branch.
trailer string no The Git trailer to use for including commits, defaults to Changelog.
file string no The file to commit the changes to, defaults to CHANGELOG.md.
message string no The commit message to produce when committing the changes, defaults to Add changelog for version X where X is the value of the version argument.
cautionGitLab treats trailers case-sensitively. If you set the trailer field to Example, GitLab won’t include commits that use the trailer example, eXaMpLE, or anything else that isn’t exactly Example.

If the from attribute is unspecified, GitLab uses the Git tag of the last stable version that came before the version specified in the version attribute. This requires that Git tag names follow a specific format, allowing GitLab to extract a version from the tag names. By default, GitLab considers tags using these formats:

  • vX.Y.Z
  • X.Y.Z

Where X.Y.Z is a version that follows semantic versioning. For example, consider a project with the following tags:

  • v1.0.0-pre1
  • v1.0.0
  • v1.1.0
  • v2.0.0

If the version attribute is 2.1.0, GitLab uses tag v2.0.0. And when the version is 1.1.1, or 1.2.0, GitLab uses tag v1.1.0. The tag v1.0.0-pre1 is never used, because pre-release tags are ignored.

If from is unspecified and no tag to use is found, the API produces an error. To solve such an error, you must explicitly specify a value for the from attribute.

Examples

These examples use cURL to perform HTTP requests. The example commands use these values:

  • Project ID: 42
  • Location: hosted on GitLab.com
  • Example API token: token

This command generates a changelog for version 1.0.0.

The commit range:

  • Starts with the tag of the last release.
  • Ends with the last commit on the target branch. The default target branch is the project’s default branch.

If the last tag is v0.9.0 and the default branch is main, the range of commits included in this example is v0.9.0..main:

curl --header "PRIVATE-TOKEN: token" --data "version=1.0.0" "https://gitlab.com/api/v4/projects/42/repository/changelog"

To generate the data on a different branch, specify the branch parameter. This command generates data from the foo branch:

curl --header "PRIVATE-TOKEN: token" --data "version=1.0.0&branch=foo" "https://gitlab.com/api/v4/projects/42/repository/changelog"

To use a different trailer, use the trailer parameter:

curl --header "PRIVATE-TOKEN: token" --data "version=1.0.0&trailer=Type" "https://gitlab.com/api/v4/projects/42/repository/changelog"

To store the results in a different file, use the file parameter:

curl --header "PRIVATE-TOKEN: token" --data "version=1.0.0&file=NEWS" "https://gitlab.com/api/v4/projects/42/repository/changelog"

How it works

Changelogs are generated based on commit titles. Commits are only included if they contain a specific Git trailer. GitLab uses the value of this trailer to categorize the changes.

GitLab uses Git trailers, because Git trailers are supported by Git out of the box. We use commits as input, as this is the only source of data every project uses. In addition, commits can be retrieved when operating on a mirror. This is important for GitLab itself, because during a security release we might need to include changes from both public projects and private security mirrors.

Changelogs are generated by taking the title of the commits to include and using these as the changelog entries. You can enrich entries with additional data, such as a link to the merge request or details about the commit author. You can customize the format of a changelog section with a template.

Trailers can be manually added while editing a commit message. To include a commit using the default trailer of Changelog and categorize it as a feature, the trailer could be added to a commit message like so:

<Commit message subject>

<Commit message description>

Changelog: feature

Reverted commits

Introduced in GitLab 13.10.

When generating a changelog for a range, GitLab ignores commits both added and reverted in that range. Revert commits themselves are included if they use the Git trailer used for generating changelogs.

Imagine the following scenario: you have three commits: A, B, and C. To generate changelogs, you use the default trailer Changelog. Both A and B use this trailer. Commit C is a commit that reverts commit B. When generating a changelog for this range, GitLab only includes commit A.

Revert commits are detected by looking for commits where the message contains the pattern This reverts commit SHA, where SHA is the SHA of the commit that is reverted.

If a revert commit includes the trailer used for generating changelogs (Changelog in the above example), the revert commit itself is included.

Customize the changelog output

The output is customized using a YAML configuration file stored in your project’s Git repository. This file must reside in .gitlab/changelog_config.yml.

You can set the following variables in this file:

  • date_format: the date format to use in the title of the newly added changelog data. This uses regular strftime formatting.
  • template: a custom template to use for generating the changelog data.
  • categories: a hash that maps raw category names to the names to use in the changelog.

Using the default settings, generating a changelog results in a section along the lines of the following:

## 1.0.0 (2021-01-05)

### Features (4 changes)

- [Feature 1](gitlab-org/gitlab@123abc) by @alice ([merge request](gitlab-org/gitlab!123))
- [Feature 2](gitlab-org/gitlab@456abc) ([merge request](gitlab-org/gitlab!456))
- [Feature 3](gitlab-org/gitlab@234abc) by @steve
- [Feature 4](gitlab-org/gitlab@456)

Each section starts with a title that contains the version and release date. While the format of the date can be customized, the rest of the title can’t be changed. When adding a new section, GitLab parses these titles to determine where in the file the new section should be placed. GitLab sorts sections according to their versions, not their dates.

Each section can have categories, each with their corresponding changes. In the above example, “Features” is one such category. You can customize the format of these sections.

The section names are derived from the values of the Git trailer used to include or exclude commits.

For example, if the trailer to use is called Changelog, and its value is feature, then the commit is grouped in the feature category. The names of these raw values might differ from what you want to show in a changelog, you can remap them. Let’s say we use the Changelog trailer and developers use the following values: feature, bug, and performance.

You can remap these using the following YAML configuration file:

---
categories:
  feature: Features
  bug: Bug fixes
  performance: Performance improvements

When generating the changelog data, the category titles are then ### Features, ### Bug fixes, and ### Performance improvements.

Custom templates

The category sections are generated using a template. The default template is as follows:

{% if categories %}
{% each categories %}
### {{ title }} ({% if single_change %}1 change{% else %}{{ count }} changes{% end %})

{% each entries %}
- [{{ title }}]({{ commit.reference }})\
{% if author.contributor %} by {{ author.reference }}{% end %}\
{% if merge_request %} ([merge request]({{ merge_request.reference }})){% end %}

{% end %}

{% end %}
{% else %}
No changes.
{% end %}

The {% ... %} tags are for statements, and {{ ... }} is used for printing data. Statements must be terminated using a {% end %} tag. Both the if and each statements require a single argument.

For example, if we have a variable valid, and we want to display “yes” when this value is true, and display “nope” otherwise. We can do so as follows:

{% if valid %}
yes
{% else %}
nope
{% end %}

The use of else is optional. A value is considered true when it’s a non-empty value or boolean true. Empty arrays and hashes are considered false.

Looping is done using each, and variables inside a loop are scoped to it. Referring to the current value in a loop is done using the variable tag {{ it }}. Other variables read their value from the current loop value. Take this template for example:

{% each users %}
{{name}}
{% end %}

Assuming users is an array of objects, each with a name field, this would then print the name of every user.

Using variable tags, you can access nested objects. For example, {{ users.0.name }} prints the name of the first user in the users variable.

If a line ends in a backslash, the next newline is ignored. This allows you to wrap code across multiple lines, without introducing unnecessary newlines in the Markdown output.

Tags that use {% and %} (known as expression tags) consume the newline that directly follows them, if any. This means that this:

---
{% if foo %}
bar
{% end %}
---

Compiles into this:

---
bar
---

Instead of this:

---

bar

---

You can specify a custom template in your configuration like so:

---
template: |
  {% if categories %}
  {% each categories %}
  ### {{ title }}

  {% each entries %}
  - [{{ title }}]({{ commit.reference }})\
  {% if author.contributor %} by {{ author.reference }}{% end %}

  {% end %}

  {% end %}
  {% else %}
  No changes.
  {% end %}

When specifying the template you should use template: | and not template: >, as the latter doesn’t preserve newlines in the template.

Template data

At the top level, the following variable is available:

  • categories: an array of objects, one for every changelog category.

In a category, the following variables are available:

  • title: the title of the category (after it has been remapped).
  • count: the number of entries in this category.
  • single_change: a boolean that indicates if there is only one change (true), or multiple changes (false).
  • entries: the entries that belong to this category.

In an entry, the following variables are available (here foo.bar means that bar is a sub-field of foo):

  • title: the title of the changelog entry (this is the commit title).
  • commit.reference: a reference to the commit, for example, gitlab-org/gitlab@0a4cdd86ab31748ba6dac0f69a8653f206e5cfc7.
  • commit.trailers: an object containing all the Git trailers that were present in the commit body.
  • author.reference: a reference to the commit author (for example, @alice).
  • author.contributor: a boolean set to true when the author is an external contributor, otherwise this is set to false.
  • merge_request.reference: a reference to the merge request that first introduced the change (for example, gitlab-org/gitlab!50063).

The author and merge_request objects might not be present if the data couldn’t be determined. For example, when a commit is created without a corresponding merge request, no merge request is displayed.

Customize the tag format when extracting versions

Introduced in GitLab 13.11.

GitLab uses a regular expression (using the re2 engine and syntax) to extract a semantic version from tag names. The default regular expression is:

^v?(?P<major>0|[1-9]\d*)\.(?P<minor>0|[1-9]\d*)\.(?P<patch>0|[1-9]\d*)(?:-(?P<pre>(?:0|[1-9]\d*|\d*[a-zA-Z-][0-9a-zA-Z-]*)(?:\.(?:0|[1-9]\d*|\d*[a-zA-Z-][0-9a-zA-Z-]*))*))?(?:\+(?P<meta>[0-9a-zA-Z-]+(?:\.[0-9a-zA-Z-]+)*))?$

This regular expression is based on the official semantic versioning regular expression, and also includes support for tag names that start with the letter v.

If your project uses a different format for tags, you can specify a different regular expression. The regular expression used must produce the following capture groups. If any of these capture groups are missing, the tag is ignored:

  • major
  • minor
  • patch

The following capture groups are optional:

  • pre: If set, the tag is ignored. Ignoring pre tags ensures release candidate tags and other pre-release tags are not considered when determining the range of commits to generate a changelog for.
  • meta: (Optional) Specifies build metadata.

Using this information, GitLab builds a map of Git tags and their release versions. It then determines what the latest tag is, based on the version extracted from each tag.

To specify a custom regular expression, use the tag_regex setting in your changelog configuration YAML file. For example, this pattern matches tag names such as version-1.2.3 but not version-1.2.

---
tag_regex: '^version-(?P<major>\d+)\.(?P<minor>\d+)\.(?P<patch>\d+)$'

To test if your regular expression is working, you can use websites such as regex101. If the regular expression syntax is invalid, an error is produced when generating a changelog.