Configure GitLab as an OAuth 2.0 authentication identity provider

OAuth 2.0 provides secure delegated server resource access to client applications on behalf of a resource owner. OAuth 2 allows authorization servers to issue access tokens to third-party clients with the approval of the resource owner or the end-user.

You can use GitLab as an OAuth 2 authentication identity provider by adding the following types of OAuth 2 application to an instance:

These methods only differ by permission level. The default callback URL is the SSL URL https://your-gitlab.example.com/users/auth/gitlab/callback. You can use a non-SSL URL instead, but you should use an SSL URL.

After adding an OAuth 2 application to an instance, you can use OAuth 2 to:

  • Enable users to sign in to your application with their GitLab.com account.
  • Set up GitLab.com for authentication to your GitLab instance. For more information, see integrating your server with GitLab.com.

  • After an application is created, external services can manage access tokens using the OAuth 2 API.

Create a user-owned application

To create a new application for your user:

  1. On the top bar, in the top right corner, select your avatar.
  2. Select Edit profile.
  3. On the left sidebar, select Applications.
  4. Enter a Name and Redirect URI.
  5. Select OAuth 2 Scopes as defined in Authorized Applications.
  6. In the Redirect URI, enter the URL where users are sent after they authorize with GitLab.
  7. Select Save application. GitLab provides:

    • The OAuth 2 Client ID in the Application ID field.
    • The OAuth 2 Client Secret, accessible:

Create a group-owned application

Introduced in GitLab 13.11.

To create a new application for a group:

  1. Go to the desired group.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Settings > Applications.
  3. Enter a Name and Redirect URI.
  4. Select OAuth 2 scopes as defined in Authorized Applications.
  5. In the Redirect URI, enter the URL where users are sent after they authorize with GitLab.
  6. Select Save application. GitLab provides:

    • The OAuth 2 Client ID in the Application ID field.
    • The OAuth 2 Client Secret, accessible:

Create an instance-wide application

To create an application for your GitLab instance:

  1. On the top bar, select Main menu > Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Applications.
  3. Select New application.

When creating application in the Admin Area , mark it as trusted. The user authorization step is automatically skipped for this application.

View all authorized applications

To see all the application you’ve authorized with your GitLab credentials:

  1. On the top bar, in the top right corner, select your avatar.
  2. Select Edit profile and then select Applications.
  3. See the Authorized applications section.

The GitLab OAuth 2 applications support scopes, which allow application to perform different actions. See the following table for all available scopes.

ScopeDescription
apiGrants complete read/write access to the API, including all groups and projects, the container registry, and the package registry.
read_userGrants read-only access to the authenticated user’s profile through the /user API endpoint, which includes username, public email, and full name. Also grants access to read-only API endpoints under /users.
read_apiGrants read access to the API, including all groups and projects, the container registry, and the package registry.
read_repositoryGrants read-only access to repositories on private projects using Git-over-HTTP or the Repository Files API.
write_repositoryGrants read-write access to repositories on private projects using Git-over-HTTP (not using the API).
read_registryGrants read-only access to container registry images on private projects.
write_registryGrants read-only access to container registry images on private projects.
sudoGrants permission to perform API actions as any user in the system, when authenticated as an administrator user.
openidGrants permission to authenticate with GitLab using OpenID Connect. Also gives read-only access to the user’s profile and group memberships.
profileGrants read-only access to the user’s profile data using OpenID Connect.
emailGrants read-only access to the user’s primary email address using OpenID Connect.

At any time you can revoke any access by selecting Revoke.

Access token expiration

Version history
  • Introduced in GitLab 14.3, with the ability to opt out.
  • Ability to opt-out of expiring access token removed in GitLab 15.0.
caution
The ability to opt out of expiring access tokens was deprecated in GitLab 14.3 and removed in 15.0. All existing integrations must be updated to support access token refresh.

Access tokens expire after two hours. Integrations that use access tokens must generate new ones at least every two hours.

When applications are deleted, all grants and tokens associated with the application are also deleted.

Hashed OAuth application secrets

Version history
On self-managed GitLab, by default this feature is available. To hide the feature, ask an administrator to disable the feature flag named hash_oauth_secrets. On GitLab.com, this feature is available.

By default, GitLab stores OAuth application secrets in the database in hashed format. These secrets are only available to users immediately after creating OAuth applications. In earlier versions of GitLab, application secrets are stored as plain text in the database.

Other ways to use OAuth 2 in GitLab

You can:

  • Create and manage OAuth 2 applications using the Applications API.
  • Enable users to sign in to GitLab using third-party OAuth 2 providers. For more information, see the OmniAuth documentation.
  • Use the GitLab Importer with OAuth 2 to give access to repositories without sharing user credentials to your GitLab.com account.