The GitLab backend is written primarily with Rails so it uses Rails routing. Beside Rails best practices, there are few rules unique to the GitLab application. To support subgroups, GitLab project and group routes use the wildcard character to match project and group routes. For example, we might have a path such as:


However, paths can be ambiguous. Consider the following example:


It’s ambiguous whether there is a subgroup named edit or whether this is a special endpoint to edit the gitlab-com group.

To eliminate the ambiguity and to make the backend easier to maintain, we introduced the /-/ scope. The purpose of it is to separate group or project paths from the rest of the routes. Also it helps to reduce the number of reserved names.

Global routes

We have a number of global routes. For example:


Group routes

Every group route must be under the /-/ scope.



To achieve that, use the scope '-' method.

Project routes

Every project route must be under the /-/ scope, except cases where a Git client or other software requires something different.



Migrating unscoped routes

Currently, the majority of routes are placed under the /-/ scope. However, you can help us migrate the rest of them! To migrate routes:

  1. Modify existing routes by adding - scope.
  2. Add redirects for legacy routes by using Gitlab::Routing.redirect_legacy_paths.
  3. Create a technical debt issue to remove deprecated routes in later releases.

To get started, see an example merge request.