Import bare repositories

Rake tasks are available to import bare repositories into a GitLab instance. When migrating from an existing GitLab instance, and to preserve ownership by users and their namespaces, please use our project-based import/export.

Note that:

  • The owner of the project will be the first administrator.
  • The groups will be created as needed, including subgroups.
  • The owner of the group will be the first administrator.
  • Existing projects will be skipped.
  • Projects in hashed storage may be skipped. For more information, see Importing bare repositories from hashed storage.
  • The existing Git repositories will be moved from disk (removed from the original path).

To import bare repositories into a GitLab instance:

  1. Create a new folder to import your Git repositories from. You can also import projects into a (sub)group’s namespace, instead of the administrator’s namespace. To do so, create subfolders and give ownership and read/write/execute permissions of those subfolders to the git user and its group:

    sudo -u git mkdir -p /var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repository-import-$(date "+%Y-%m-%d")/<optional_groupname>/<optional_subgroup>
    
  2. Copy your bare repositories inside this newly created folder. Note:

    • 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.

    For example, if we copy the repositories to /var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repository-import-2020-08-22, and repository A needs to be under the groups G1 and G2, it must be created under those folders: /var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repository-import-2020-08-22/G1/G2/A.git.

    sudo cp -r /old/git/foo.git /var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repository-import-$(date "+%Y-%m-%d")/<optional_groupname>/<optional_subgroup>
    
    # Do this once when you are done copying git repositories
    sudo chown -R git:git /var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repository-import-$(date "+%Y-%m-%d")
    

    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.

  3. Run the following command depending on your type of installation:

    • Omnibus Installation
    sudo gitlab-rake gitlab:import:repos['/var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repository-import-$(date "+%Y-%m-%d")']
    
    • Installation from source. Before running this command you need to change to the directory 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 "+%Y-%m-%d")'] 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/blah.wiki.git
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
[...]

Importing bare repositories from hashed storage

Projects in legacy storage have a directory structure that mirrors their full project path in GitLab, including their namespace structure. This information is leveraged by the bare repository importer to import projects into their proper locations. Each project and its parent namespaces are meaningfully named.

However, the directory structure of projects in hashed storage do not contain this information. This is beneficial for a variety of reasons, especially improved performance and data integrity. See Repository Storage Types for more details.

The repositories that are importable depends on the version of GitLab.

GitLab 10.3 or earlier

Importing bare repositories from hashed storage is unsupported.

GitLab 10.4 and later

To support importing bare repositories from hashed storage, GitLab 10.4 and later stores the full project path with each repository, in a special section of the Git repository’s configuration file. This section is formatted as follows:

[gitlab]
  fullpath = gitlab-org/gitlab

However, existing repositories were not migrated to include this path.

Bare repositories are importable if the following events occurred to the repository in GitLab 10.4 and later:

  • Created
  • Migrated to hashed storage
  • Renamed
  • Transferred to another namespace
  • Ancestor renamed
  • Ancestor transferred to another namespace

Bare repositories are not importable by GitLab 10.4 to GitLab 11.6, if all the following are true about the repository:

  • It was created in GitLab 10.3 or earlier.
  • It was not renamed, transferred, or migrated to hashed storage in GitLab 10.4 to GitLab 11.6.
  • Its ancestor namespaces were not renamed or transferred in GitLab 10.4 to GitLab 11.6.

Since GitLab 11.6, all bare repositories are importable.

To manually migrate repositories yourself (for GitLab 10.4 to GitLab 11.6), you can use the Rails console to do so. In a Rails console session, run the following to migrate a project:

project = Project.find_by_full_path('gitlab-org/gitlab')
project.write_repository_config

In a Rails console session, run the following to migrate all of a namespace’s projects (this may take a while if there are 1000s of projects in a namespace):

namespace = Namespace.find_by_full_path('gitlab-org')
namespace.send(:write_projects_repository_config)