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Contribute to GitLab

For a first-time step-by-step guide to the contribution process, see "Contributing to GitLab".

Thank you for your interest in contributing to GitLab. This guide details how to contribute to GitLab in a way that is efficient for everyone.

Looking for something to work on? Look for issues with the label Accepting Merge Requests.

GitLab comes into two flavors, GitLab Community Edition (CE) our free and open source edition, and GitLab Enterprise Edition (EE) which is our commercial edition. Throughout this guide you will see references to CE and EE for abbreviation.

If you have read this guide and want to know how the GitLab [core team] operates please see the GitLab contributing process.

Security vulnerability disclosure

Please report suspected security vulnerabilities in private to, also see the disclosure section on the website. Please do NOT create publicly viewable issues for suspected security vulnerabilities.

Code of conduct

As contributors and maintainers of this project, we pledge to respect all people who contribute through reporting issues, posting feature requests, updating documentation, submitting pull requests or patches, and other activities.

We are committed to making participation in this project a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of level of experience, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, personal appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age, or religion.

Examples of unacceptable behavior by participants include the use of sexual language or imagery, derogatory comments or personal attacks, trolling, public or private harassment, insults, or other unprofessional conduct.

Project maintainers have the right and responsibility to remove, edit, or reject comments, commits, code, wiki edits, issues, and other contributions that are not aligned to this Code of Conduct. Project maintainers who do not follow the Code of Conduct may be removed from the project team.

This code of conduct applies both within project spaces and in public spaces when an individual is representing the project or its community.

Instances of abusive, harassing, or otherwise unacceptable behavior can be reported by emailing

This Code of Conduct is adapted from the [Contributor Covenant][contributor-covenant], version 1.1.0, available at

Closing policy for issues and merge requests

GitLab is a popular open source project and the capacity to deal with issues and merge requests is limited. Out of respect for our volunteers, issues and merge requests not in line with the guidelines listed in this document may be closed without notice.

Please treat our volunteers with courtesy and respect, it will go a long way towards getting your issue resolved.

Issues and merge requests should be in English and contain appropriate language for audiences of all ages.

If a contributor is no longer actively working on a submitted merge request we can decide that the merge request will be finished by one of our [Merge request coaches][team] or close the merge request. We make this decision based on how important the change is for our product vision. If a Merge request coach is going to finish the merge request we assign the ~"coach will finish" label.

Helping others

Please help other GitLab users when you can. The methods people will use to seek help can be found on the [getting help page][getting-help].

Sign up for the mailing list, answer GitLab questions on StackOverflow or respond in the IRC channel. You can also sign up on [CodeTriage][codetriage] to help with the remaining issues on the GitHub issue tracker.

I want to contribute!

If you want to contribute to GitLab [issues with the label Accepting Merge Requests and small weight][accepting-mrs-weight] is a great place to start. Issues with a lower weight (1 or 2) are deemed suitable for beginners. These issues will be of reasonable size and challenge, for anyone to start contributing to GitLab. If you have any questions or need help visit Getting Help to learn how to communicate with GitLab. If you're looking for a Gitter or Slack channel please consider we favor asynchronous communication over real time communication. Thanks for your contribution!

Contribution Flow

When contributing to GitLab, your merge request is subject to review by merge request maintainers of a particular specialty.

When you submit code to GitLab, we really want it to get merged, but there will be times when it will not be merged.

When maintainers are reading through a merge request they may request guidance from other maintainers. If merge request maintainers conclude that the code should not be merged, our reasons will be fully disclosed. If it has been decided that the code quality is not up to GitLab’s standards, the merge request maintainer will refer the author to our docs and code style guides, and provide some guidance.

Sometimes style guides will be followed but the code will lack structural integrity, or the maintainer will have reservations about the code’s overall quality. When there is a reservation the maintainer will inform the author and provide some guidance. The author may then choose to update the merge request. Once the merge request has been updated and reassigned to the maintainer, they will review the code again. Once the code has been resubmitted any number of times, the maintainer may choose to close the merge request with a summary of why it will not be merged, as well as some guidance. If the merge request is closed the maintainer will be open to discussion as to how to improve the code so it can be approved in the future.

GitLab will do its best to review community contributions as quickly as possible. Specially appointed developers review community contributions daily. You may take a look at the team page for the merge request coach who specializes in the type of code you have written and mention them in the merge request. For example, if you have written some JavaScript in your code then you should mention the frontend merge request coach. If your code has multiple disciplines you may mention multiple merge request coaches.

GitLab receives a lot of community contributions, so if your code has not been reviewed within 4 days of its initial submission feel free to re-mention the appropriate merge request coach.

When submitting code to GitLab, you may feel that your contribution requires the aid of an external library. If your code includes an external library please provide a link to the library, as well as reasons for including it.

When your code contains more than 500 changes, any major breaking changes, or an external library, @mention a maintainer in the merge request. If you are not sure who to mention, the reviewer will add one early in the merge request process.

Workflow labels

This documentation outlines the current workflow labels.

Type labels

This documentation outlines the current type labels.

Subject labels

This documentation outlines the current subject labels.

Team labels

This documentation outlines the current team labels.

Milestone labels

This documentation outlines the current milestone labels.

Bug Priority labels

This documentation outlines the current bug priority labels.

Bug Severity labels

This documentation outlines the current severity labels.

Severity impact guidance

This documentation outlines the current severity impact guidance.

Label for community contributors

This documentation outlines the current policy regarding community contributor issues.

Implement design & UI elements

This documentation outlines the current design and UI guidelines.

Issue tracker

This documentation outlines the issue tracker process.

Issue triaging

This documentation outlines the current issue triaging process.

Feature proposals

This documentation outlines the feature proposal process.

Issue tracker guidelines

This documentation outlines the issue tracker guidelines.

Issue weight

This documentation outlines the issue weight guidelines.

Regression issues

This documentation outlines the regression issue process.

Technical and UX debt

This documentation about technical and UX debt has been moved.


This documentation outlines the stewardship process.

Merge requests

This documentation outlines the current merge request process.

Merge request guidelines

This documentation outlines the current merge request guidelines.

Contribution acceptance criteria

This documentation outlines the current acceptance criteria for contributions.

Definition of done

This documentation outlines the definition of done.

Style guides

This documentation outlines the current style guidelines.

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