Control access and visibility

GitLab enables users with the Administrator role to enforce specific controls on branches, projects, snippets, groups, and more.

To access the visibility and access control options:

  1. Sign in to GitLab as a user with Administrator role.
  2. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  3. On the left sidebar, select Settings > General.
  4. Expand the Visibility and access controls section.

Protect default branches

With this option, you can define branch protections to apply to every repository’s default branch. These protections specify the user roles with permission to push to default branches.

This setting applies only to each repository’s default branch. To protect other branches, you must configure branch protection in the repository, or configure branch protection for groups.

To change the default branch protection for the entire instance:

  1. Sign in to GitLab as a user with Administrator role.
  2. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  3. On the left sidebar, select Settings > General.
  4. Expand the Visibility and access controls section.
  5. Select a Default branch protection:
    • Not protected - Both developers and maintainers can push new commits and force push.
    • Protected against pushes - Developers cannot push new commits, but are allowed to accept merge requests to the branch. Maintainers can push to the branch.
    • Partially protected - Both developers and maintainers can push new commits, but cannot force push.
    • Fully protected - Developers cannot push new commits, but maintainers can. No one can force push.
  6. To allow group owners to override the instance’s default branch protection, select Allow owners to manage default branch protection per group.
  7. Select Save changes.

Prevent overrides of default branch protection

Introduced in GitLab 13.0.

Instance-level protections for default branch can be overridden on a per-group basis by the group’s owner. In GitLab Premium or higher, GitLab administrators can disable this privilege for group owners, enforcing the instance-level protection rule:

  1. Sign in to GitLab as a user with Administrator role.
  2. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  3. On the left sidebar, select Settings > General.
  4. Expand the Visibility and access controls section.
  5. Deselect the Allow owners to manage default branch protection per group checkbox.
  6. Select Save changes.
note
GitLab administrators can still update the default branch protection of a group.

Define which roles can create projects

Instance-level protections for project creation define which roles can add projects to a group] on the instance. To alter which roles have permission to create projects:

  1. Sign in to GitLab as a user with Administrator role.
  2. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  3. On the left sidebar, select Settings > General.
  4. Expand the Visibility and access controls section.
  5. For Default project creation protection, select the desired roles:
    • No one.
    • Maintainers.
    • Developers and Maintainers.
  6. Select Save changes.

Restrict project deletion to Administrators

Anyone with the Owner role, either at the project or group level, can delete a project. To allow only users with the Administrator role to delete projects:

  1. Sign in to GitLab as a user with Administrator role.
  2. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  3. On the left sidebar, select Settings > General.
  4. Expand the Visibility and access controls section.
  5. Scroll to Default project deletion protection, and select Only admins can delete project.
  6. Select Save changes.

Default delayed project deletion

Introduced in GitLab 14.2 for groups created after August 12, 2021.

Projects in a group (but not a personal namespace) can be deleted after a delayed period. You can configure it in group settings.

To enable delayed project deletion by default in new groups:

  1. Check the Default delayed project deletion checkbox.
  2. Select Save changes.

Default deletion delay

Introduced in GitLab 12.6.

By default, a project marked for deletion is permanently removed with immediate effect. By default, a group marked for deletion is permanently removed after seven days.

caution
The default behavior of Delayed Project deletion in GitLab 12.6 was changed to Immediate deletion in GitLab 13.2.

Projects in a group (but not a personal namespace) can be deleted after a delayed period, by configuring in Group Settings. The default period is seven days, and can be changed. Setting this period to 0 enables immediate removal of projects or groups.

To change this period:

  1. Select the desired option.
  2. Click Save changes.

Override defaults and delete immediately

Alternatively, projects that are marked for removal can be deleted immediately. To do so:

  1. Restore the project.
  2. Delete the project as described in the Administering Projects page.

Configure project visibility defaults

To set the default visibility levels for new projects:

  1. Sign in to GitLab as a user with Administrator role.
  2. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  3. On the left sidebar, select Settings > General.
  4. Expand the Visibility and access controls section.
  5. Select the desired default project visibility:
    • Private - Project access must be granted explicitly to each user. If this project is part of a group, access will be granted to members of the group.
    • Internal - The project can be accessed by any logged in user except external users.
    • Public - The project can be accessed without any authentication.
  6. Select Save changes.

Configure snippet visibility defaults

To set the default visibility levels for new snippets:

  1. Sign in to GitLab as a user with Administrator role.
  2. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  3. On the left sidebar, select Settings > General.
  4. Expand the Visibility and access controls section.
  5. Select the desired default snippet visibility.
  6. Select Save changes.

For more details on snippet visibility, read Project visibility.

Configure group visibility defaults

To set the default visibility levels for new groups:

  1. Sign in to GitLab as a user with Administrator role.
  2. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  3. On the left sidebar, select Settings > General.
  4. Expand the Visibility and access controls section.
  5. Select the desired default group visibility:
    • Private - The group and its projects can only be viewed by members.
    • Internal - The group and any internal projects can be viewed by any logged in user except external users.
    • Public - The group and any public projects can be viewed without any authentication.
  6. Select Save changes.

For more details on group visibility, see Group visibility.

Restrict visibility levels

To restrict visibility levels for projects, snippets, and selected pages:

  1. Sign in to GitLab as a user with Administrator role.
  2. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  3. On the left sidebar, select Settings > General.
  4. Expand the Visibility and access controls section.
  5. In the Restricted visibility levels section, select the desired visibility levels to restrict.
  6. Select Save changes.

For more details on project visibility, see Project visibility.

Configure allowed import sources

You can specify from which hosting sites users can import their projects:

  1. Sign in to GitLab as a user with Administrator role.
  2. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  3. On the left sidebar, select Settings > General.
  4. Expand the Visibility and access controls section.
  5. Select each of Import sources to allow.
  6. Select Save changes.

Enable project export

To enable the export of projects and their data:

  1. Sign in to GitLab as a user with Administrator role.
  2. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  3. On the left sidebar, select Settings > General.
  4. Expand the Visibility and access controls section.
  5. Select Project export enabled.
  6. Select Save changes.

Configure enabled Git access protocols

With GitLab access restrictions, you can select the protocols users can use to communicate with GitLab. Disabling an access protocol does not block port access to the server itself. The ports used for the protocol, SSH or HTTP(S), are still accessible. The GitLab restrictions apply at the application level.

To specify the enabled Git access protocols:

  1. Sign in to GitLab as a user with Administrator role.
  2. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  3. On the left sidebar, select Settings > General.
  4. Expand the Visibility and access controls section.
  5. Select the desired Git access protocols:
    • Both SSH and HTTP(S)
    • Only SSH
    • Only HTTP(S)
  6. Select Save changes.

When both SSH and HTTP(S) are enabled, users can choose either protocol. If only one protocol is enabled:

  • The project page shows only the allowed protocol’s URL, with no option to change it.
  • GitLab shows a tooltip when you hover over the URL’s protocol, if user action (such as adding a SSH key or setting a password) is required:

    Project URL with SSH only access

GitLab only allows Git actions for the protocols you select.

caution
GitLab versions 10.7 and later, allow the HTTP(S) protocol for Git clone or fetch requests done by GitLab Runner from CI/CD jobs, even if you select Only SSH.

Customize Git clone URL for HTTP(S)

Introduced in GitLab 12.4.

You can customize project Git clone URLs for HTTP(S), which affects the clone panel:

For example, if:

  • Your GitLab instance is at https://example.com, then project clone URLs are like https://example.com/foo/bar.git.
  • You want clone URLs that look like https://git.example.com/gitlab/foo/bar.git instead, you can set this setting to https://git.example.com/gitlab/.

Custom Git clone URL for HTTP

To specify a custom Git clone URL for HTTP(S):

  1. Enter a root URL for Custom Git clone URL for HTTP(S).
  2. Click on Save changes.
note
SSH clone URLs can be customized in gitlab.rb by setting gitlab_rails['gitlab_ssh_host'] and other related settings.

Configure defaults for RSA, DSA, ECDSA, ED25519 SSH keys

These options specify the permitted types and lengths for SSH keys.

To specify a restriction for each key type:

  1. Select the desired option from the dropdown.
  2. Click Save changes.

For more details, see SSH key restrictions.

Enable project mirroring

This option is enabled by default. By disabling it, both pull mirroring and push mirroring no longer work in every repository. They can only be re-enabled by an administrator user on a per-project basis.

Mirror settings