Public access

GitLab allows Owners to set a projects’ visibility as public, internal or private. These visibility levels affect who can see the project in the public access directory (/public under your GitLab instance), like at https://gitlab.com/public.

Visibility of projects

Public projects

Public projects can be cloned without any authentication.

They will be listed in the public access directory (/public) for all users.

Any logged in user will have Guest permissions on the repository.

Internal projects

Internal projects can be cloned by any logged in user.

They will also be listed in the public access directory (/public), but only for logged in users.

Any logged in user will have Guest permissions on the repository.

Note: From July 2019, the Internal visibility setting is disabled for new projects, groups, and snippets on GitLab.com. Existing projects, groups, and snippets using the Internal visibility setting keep this setting. You can read more about the change in the relevant issue.

Private projects

Private projects can only be cloned and viewed by project members.

They will appear in the public access directory (/public) for project members only.

How to change project visibility

  1. Go to your project’s Settings
  2. Change “Visibility Level” to either Public, Internal or Private

Visibility of groups

Note: Starting with GitLab 8.6, the group visibility has changed and can be configured the same way as projects. In previous versions, a group’s page was always visible to all users.

Like with projects, the visibility of a group can be set to dictate whether anonymous users, all signed in users, or only explicit group members can view it. The restriction for visibility levels on the application setting level also applies to groups, so if that’s set to internal, the explore page will be empty for anonymous users. The group page now has a visibility level icon.

Visibility of users

The public page of a user, located at /username, is always visible whether you are logged in or not.

When visiting the public page of a user, you can only see the projects which you are privileged to.

If the public level is restricted, user profiles are only visible to logged in users.

Restricting the use of public or internal projects

In the Admin area under Settings (/admin/application_settings), you can restrict the use of visibility levels for users when they create a project or a snippet:

Restrict visibility levels

This is useful to prevent people exposing their repositories to public by accident. The restricted visibility settings do not apply to admin users.