GitLab Documentation

Import bare repositories into your GitLab instance

Import bare repositories into your GitLab instance


  • The owner of the project will be the first admin
  • The groups will be created as needed, including subgroups
  • The owner of the group will be the first admin
  • Existing projects will be skipped
  • The existing Git repos will be moved from disk (removed from the original path)

How to use

Create a new folder to import your Git repositories from.

The new folder needs to have git user ownership and read/write/execute access for git user and its group:

sudo -u git mkdir /var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repository-import-<date>/new_group

Copy your bare repositories inside this newly created folder:

  • Any .git repositories found on any of the subfolders will be imported as projects
  • Groups will be created as needed, these could be nested folders. Example:

If we copy the repos to /var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repository-import-<date>, and repo A needs to be under the groups G1 and G2, it will have to be created under those folders: /var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repository-import-<date>/G1/G2/A.git.

sudo cp -r /old/git/foo.git /var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repository-import-<date>/new_group/

# Do this once when you are done copying git repositories
sudo chown -R git:git /var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repository-import-<date>

foo.git needs to be owned by the git user and git users group.

If you are using an installation from source, replace /var/opt/gitlab/ with /home/git.

Run the command below depending on your type of installation:

Omnibus Installation

$ sudo gitlab-rake gitlab:import:repos['/var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repository-import-<date>']

Installation from source

Before running this command you need to change the directory to where your GitLab installation is located:

$ cd /home/git/gitlab
$ sudo -u git -H bundle exec rake gitlab:import:repos['/var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repository-import-<date>'] RAILS_ENV=production

Example output

Processing /var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repository-import-1/a/b/c/blah.git
 * Using namespace: a/b/c
 * Created blah (a/b/c/blah)
 * Skipping repo  /var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repository-import-1/a/b/c/
Processing /var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repository-import-1/abcd.git
 * Created abcd (abcd.git)
Processing /var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repository-import-1/group/xyz.git
 * Using namespace: group (2)
 * Created xyz (group/xyz.git)
 * Skipping repo /var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repository-import-1/@shared/a/b/abcd.git

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