Permissions and roles

Users have different abilities depending on the role they have in a particular group or project. If a user is both in a project’s group and the project itself, the highest role is used.

On public and internal projects, the Guest role (not to be confused with Guest user) is not enforced.

When a member leaves a team’s project, all the assigned issues and merge requests are automatically unassigned.

GitLab administrators receive all permissions.

To add or import a user, you can follow the project members documentation.

Principles behind permissions

See our product handbook on permissions.

Instance-wide user permissions

By default, users can create top-level groups and change their usernames. A GitLab administrator can configure the GitLab instance to modify this behavior.

Project members permissions

The Master role was renamed to Maintainer in GitLab 11.0.

The Owner role is only available at the group or personal namespace level (and for instance administrators) and is inherited by its projects. While Maintainer is the highest project-level role, some actions can only be performed by a personal namespace or group owner, or an instance administrator, who receives all permissions. For more information, see projects members documentation.

The following table lists project permissions available for each role:

Action Guest Reporter Developer Maintainer Owner
Analytics:
View issue analytics
Analytics:
View merge request analytics
Analytics:
View value stream analytics
Analytics:
View DORA metrics
 
Analytics:
View CI/CD analytics
 
Analytics:
View code review analytics
 
Analytics:
View repository analytics
 
Application security:
View licenses in dependency list
✓ (1)
Application security:
Create and run on-demand DAST scans
   
Application security:
Manage security policy
   
Application security:
View dependency list
   
Application security:
View threats list
   
Application security:
Create a CVE ID Request
     
Application security:
Create or assign security policy project
       
CI/CD:
Download and browse job artifacts
✓ (3)
CI/CD:
View a job log
✓ (3)
CI/CD:
View list of jobs
✓ (3)
CI/CD:
View environments
 
CI/CD:
Cancel and retry jobs
   
CI/CD:
Create new environments
   
CI/CD:
Run CI/CD pipeline against a protected branch
    ✓ (5)
CI/CD:
Stop environments
   
CI/CD:
View a job with debug logging
   
CI/CD:
Manage CI/CD variables
     
CI/CD:
Manage job triggers
     
CI/CD:
Manage runners
     
CI/CD:
Run Web IDE’s Interactive Web Terminals
     
CI/CD:
Use environment terminals
     
CI/CD:
Delete pipelines
       
Clusters:
View pod logs
   
Clusters:
Manage clusters
     
Container Registry:
Create, edit, delete cleanup policies
   
Container Registry:
Remove a container registry image
   
Container Registry:
Update container registry
   
GitLab Pages:
View Pages protected by access control
GitLab Pages:
Manage
     
GitLab Pages:
Manage GitLab Pages domains and certificates
     
GitLab Pages:
Remove GitLab Pages
     
Issues:
Add Labels
✓ (16)
Issues:
Assign
✓ (16)
Issues:
Create
Issues:
Create confidential issues
Issues:
View Design Management pages
Issues:
View related issues
Issues:
Set weight
✓ (16)
Issues:
View confidential issues
(2)
Issues:
Lock threads
 
Issues:
Manage related issues
 
Issues:
Manage tracker
 
Issues:
Move issues (15)
 
Issues:
Set issue time tracking estimate and time spent
 
Issues:
Upload Design Management files
   
Issues:
Delete
       
License Compliance:
View allowed and denied licenses
✓ (1)
License Compliance:
View License Compliance reports
✓ (1)
License Compliance:
View License list
 
License Compliance:
Manage license policy
     
Merge requests:
Assign reviewer
 
Merge requests:
See list
 
Merge requests:
Apply code change suggestions
   
Merge requests:
Approve (9)
   
Merge requests:
Assign
   
Merge requests:
Create
   
Merge requests:
Add labels
   
Merge requests:
Lock threads
   
Merge requests:
Manage or accept
   
Merge requests:
Manage merge approval rules (project settings)
     
Merge requests:
Delete
       
Metrics dashboards:
Manage user-starred metrics dashboards (7)
Metrics dashboards:
View metrics dashboard annotations
 
Metrics dashboards:
Create/edit/delete metrics dashboard annotations
   
Package registry:
Pull package
✓ (1)
Package registry:
Publish package
   
Package registry:
Delete package
     
Project operations:
View Error Tracking list
 
Project operations:
Manage Feature Flags
   
Project operations:
Manage Error Tracking
     
Projects:
Download project
✓ (1)
Projects:
Leave comments
Projects:
Reposition comments on images (posted by any user)
✓ (10) ✓ (10) ✓ (10)
Projects:
View Insights
Projects:
View releases
✓ (6)
Projects:
View Requirements
Projects:
View time tracking reports
✓ (1)
Projects:
View wiki pages
Projects:
Create snippets
 
Projects:
Manage labels
 
Projects:
View project statistics
 
Projects:
Create, edit, delete milestones.
   
Projects:
Create, edit, delete releases
    ✓ (13) ✓ (13) ✓ (13)
Projects:
Create, edit wiki pages
   
Projects:
Enable Review Apps
   
Projects:
View project Audit Events
    ✓ (11)
Projects:
Add deploy keys
     
Projects:
Add new team members
     
Projects:
Change project features visibility level
      ✓ (14)
Projects:
Configure webhooks
     
Projects:
Delete wiki pages
     
Projects:
Edit comments (posted by any user)
     
Projects:
Edit project badges
     
Projects:
Edit project settings
     
Projects:
Export project
     
Projects:
Manage project access tokens (12)
     
Projects:
Manage Project Operations
     
Projects:
Share (invite) projects with groups
      ✓ (8) ✓ (8)
Projects:
View 2FA status of members
     
Projects:
Administer project compliance frameworks
       
Projects:
Archive project
       
Projects:
Change project visibility level
       
Projects:
Delete project
       
Projects:
Disable notification emails
       
Projects:
Rename project
       
Projects:
Transfer project to another namespace
       
Repository:
Pull project code
✓ (1)
Repository:
View project code
✓ (1)
Repository:
View a commit status
 
Repository:
Add tags
   
Repository:
Create new branches
   
Repository:
Create or update commit status
    ✓ (5)
Repository:
Force push to non-protected branches
   
Repository:
Push to non-protected branches
   
Repository:
Remove non-protected branches
   
Repository:
Rewrite or remove Git tags
   
Repository:
Enable or disable branch protection
     
Repository:
Enable or disable tag protection
     
Repository:
Manage push rules
     
Repository:
Push to protected branches
     
Repository:
Turn on or off protected branch push for developers
     
Repository:
Remove fork relationship
       
Repository:
Force push to protected branches (4)
         
Repository:
Remove protected branches (4)
         
Requirements Management:
Archive / reopen
 
Requirements Management:
Create / edit
 
Requirements Management:
Import / export
 
Security dashboard:
View Security reports
✓ (3)
Security dashboard:
Create issue from vulnerability finding
   
Security dashboard:
Create vulnerability from vulnerability finding
   
Security dashboard:
Dismiss vulnerability
   
Security dashboard:
Dismiss vulnerability finding
   
Security dashboard:
Resolve vulnerability
   
Security dashboard:
Revert vulnerability to detected state
   
Security dashboard:
Use security dashboard
   
Security dashboard:
View vulnerability
   
Security dashboard:
View vulnerability findings in dependency list
   
Terraform:
Read Terraform state
   
Terraform:
Manage Terraform state
     
Test cases:
Archive
 
Test cases:
Create
 
Test cases:
Move
 
Test cases:
Reopen
 
  1. On self-managed GitLab instances, guest users are able to perform this action only on public and internal projects (not on private projects). External users must be given explicit access even if the project is internal. For GitLab.com, see the GitLab.com visibility settings.
  2. Guest users can only view the confidential issues they created themselves.
  3. If Public pipelines is enabled in Project Settings > CI/CD.
  4. Not allowed for Guest, Reporter, Developer, Maintainer, or Owner. See protected branches.
  5. If the branch is protected, this depends on the access Developers and Maintainers are given.
  6. Guest users can access GitLab Releases for downloading assets but are not allowed to download the source code nor see repository information like tags and commits.
  7. Actions are limited only to records owned (referenced) by user.
  8. When Share Group Lock is enabled the project can’t be shared with other groups. It does not affect group with group sharing.
  9. For information on eligible approvers for merge requests, see Eligible approvers.
  10. Applies only to comments on Design Management designs.
  11. Users can only view events based on their individual actions.
  12. Project access tokens are supported for self-managed instances on Free and above. They are also supported on GitLab SaaS Premium and above (excluding trial licenses).
  13. If the tag is protected, this depends on the access Developers and Maintainers are given.
  14. A Maintainer can’t change project features visibility level if project visibility is set to private.
  15. Attached design files are moved together with the issue even if the user doesn’t have the Developer role.
  16. Guest users can set metadata (for example, labels, assignees, or milestones) when creating an issue.

Project features permissions

Wiki and issues

Project features like wikis and issues can be hidden from users depending on which visibility level you select on project settings.

  • Disabled: disabled for everyone
  • Only team members: only team members can see even if your project is public or internal
  • Everyone with access: everyone can see depending on your project’s visibility level
  • Everyone: enabled for everyone (only available for GitLab Pages)

Protected branches

Additional restrictions can be applied on a per-branch basis with protected branches. Additionally, you can customize permissions to allow or prevent project Maintainers and Developers from pushing to a protected branch. Read through the documentation on protected branches to learn more.

Value Stream Analytics permissions

Find the current permissions on the Value Stream Analytics dashboard, as described in related documentation.

Issue board permissions

Find the current permissions for interacting with the issue board feature in the issue boards permissions page.

File Locking permissions

The user that locks a file or directory is the only one that can edit and push their changes back to the repository where the locked objects are located.

Read through the documentation on permissions for File Locking to learn more.

Confidential Issues permissions

Confidential issues can be accessed by users with reporter and higher permission levels, as well as by guest users that create a confidential issue. To learn more, read through the documentation on permissions and access to confidential issues.

Container Registry visibility permissions

Find the visibility permissions for the Container Registry, as described in the related documentation.

Group members permissions

note
In GitLab 11.0, the Master role was renamed to Maintainer.

Any user can remove themselves from a group, unless they are the last Owner of the group.

The following table lists group permissions available for each role:

Action Guest Reporter Developer Maintainer Owner
Browse group
Edit SAML SSO Billing ✓ (4)
Pull a container image using the dependency proxy
View Contribution analytics
View group epic
View group wiki pages ✓ (6)
View Insights
View Insights charts
View Issue analytics
View Value Stream analytics
Create/edit group epic  
Create/edit/delete epic boards  
Manage group labels  
Pull packages  
View a container registry  
View Group DevOps Adoption  
View metrics dashboard annotations  
View Productivity analytics  
Create and edit group wiki pages    
Create project in group     ✓ (3)(5) ✓ (3) ✓ (3)
Create/edit/delete group milestones    
Create/edit/delete iterations    
Create/edit/delete metrics dashboard annotations    
Enable/disable a dependency proxy    
Purge the dependency proxy for a group        
Publish packages    
Use security dashboard    
View group Audit Events     ✓ (7) ✓ (7)
Create subgroup       ✓ (1)
Delete group wiki pages      
Edit epic comments (posted by any user)       ✓ (2) ✓ (2)
List group deploy tokens      
Manage group push rules      
View/manage group-level Kubernetes cluster      
Administer project compliance frameworks        
Create/Delete group deploy tokens        
Change group visibility level        
Delete group        
Delete group epic        
Disable notification emails        
Edit group settings        
Filter members by 2FA status        
Manage group level CI/CD variables        
Manage group members        
Share (invite) groups with groups        
View 2FA status of members        
View Billing         ✓ (4)
View Usage Quotas         ✓ (4)
  1. Groups can be set to allow either Owners or Owners and Maintainers to create subgroups
  2. Introduced in GitLab 12.2.
  3. Default project creation role can be changed at:
  4. Does not apply to subgroups.
  5. Developers can push commits to the default branch of a new project only if the default branch protection is set to “Partially protected” or “Not protected”.
  6. In addition, if your group is public or internal, all users who can see the group can also see group wiki pages.
  7. Users can only view events based on their individual actions.

Subgroup permissions

When you add a member to a subgroup, they inherit the membership and permission level from the parent group(s). This model allows access to nested groups if you have membership in one of its parents.

To learn more, read through the documentation on subgroups memberships.

External users

In cases where it is desired that a user has access only to some internal or private projects, there is the option of creating External Users. This feature may be useful when for example a contractor is working on a given project and should only have access to that project.

External users:

  • Can only create projects (including forks), subgroups, and snippets within the top-level group to which they belong.
  • Can only access public projects and projects to which they are explicitly granted access, thus hiding all other internal or private ones from them (like being logged out).
  • Can only access public groups and groups to which they are explicitly granted access, thus hiding all other internal or private ones from them (like being logged out).
  • Can only access public snippets.

Access can be granted by adding the user as member to the project or group. Like usual users, they receive a role in the project or group with all the abilities that are mentioned in the permissions table above. For example, if an external user is added as Guest, and your project is internal or private, they do not have access to the code; you need to grant the external user access at the Reporter level or above if you want them to have access to the code. You should always take into account the project’s visibility and permissions settings as well as the permission level of the user.

note
External users still count towards a license seat.

An administrator can flag a user as external by either of the following methods:

  • Through the API.
  • Using the GitLab UI:
    1. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
    2. On the left sidebar, select Overview > Users to create a new user or edit an existing one. There, you can find the option to flag the user as external.

Additionally users can be set as external users using SAML groups and LDAP groups.

Setting new users to external

By default, new users are not set as external users. This behavior can be changed by an administrator:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Settings > General.
  3. Expand the Account and limit section.

If you change the default behavior of creating new users as external, you have the option to narrow it down by defining a set of internal users. The Internal users field allows specifying an email address regex pattern to identify default internal users. New users whose email address matches the regex pattern are set to internal by default rather than an external collaborator.

The regex pattern format is in Ruby, but it needs to be convertible to JavaScript, and the ignore case flag is set (/regex pattern/i). Here are some examples:

  • Use \.internal@domain\.com$ to mark email addresses ending with .internal@domain.com as internal.
  • Use ^(?:(?!\.ext@domain\.com).)*$\r? to mark users with email addresses NOT including .ext@domain.com as internal.
caution
Be aware that this regex could lead to a regular expression denial of service (ReDoS) attack.

Free Guest users

When a user is given Guest permissions on a project, group, or both, and holds no higher permission level on any other project or group on the GitLab instance, the user is considered a guest user by GitLab and does not consume a license seat. There is no other specific “guest” designation for newly created users.

If the user is assigned a higher role on any projects or groups, the user takes a license seat. If a user creates a project, the user becomes a Maintainer on the project, resulting in the use of a license seat. Also, note that if your project is internal or private, Guest users have all the abilities that are mentioned in the permissions table above (they are unable to browse the project’s repository, for example).

note
To prevent a guest user from creating projects, as an admin, you can edit the user’s profile to mark the user as external. Beware though that even if a user is external, if they already have Reporter or higher permissions in any project or group, they are not counted as a free guest user.

Auditor users

Auditor users are given read-only access to all projects, groups, and other resources on the GitLab instance.

An Auditor user should be able to access all projects and groups of a GitLab instance with the permissions described on the documentation on auditor users permissions.

Read more about Auditor users.

Users with minimal access

Owners can add members with a “minimal access” role to a parent group. Such users don’t automatically have access to projects and subgroups underneath. To support such access, owners must explicitly add these “minimal access” users to the specific subgroups/projects.

Users with minimal access can list the group in the UI and through the API. However, they cannot see details such as projects or subgroups. They do not have access to the group’s page or list any of its subgroups or projects.

Minimal access users take license seats

Users with even a “minimal access” role are counted against your number of license seats. This requirement does not apply for GitLab Ultimate subscriptions.

Project features

Project features like wiki and issues can be hidden from users depending on which visibility level you select on project settings.

  • Disabled: disabled for everyone
  • Only team members: only team members will see even if your project is public or internal
  • Everyone with access: everyone can see depending on your project visibility level
  • Everyone: enabled for everyone (only available for GitLab Pages)

GitLab CI/CD permissions

note
In GitLab 11.0, the Master role was renamed to Maintainer.

GitLab CI/CD permissions rely on the role the user has in GitLab. There are four roles:

  • Administrator
  • Maintainer
  • Developer
  • Guest/Reporter

The Administrator role can perform any action on GitLab CI/CD in scope of the GitLab instance and project.

Action Guest, Reporter Developer Maintainer Administrator
See commits and jobs
Retry or cancel job  
Erase job artifacts and job logs   ✓ (1)
Delete project    
Create project    
Change project configuration    
Add specific runners    
Add shared runners      
See events in the system      
Admin Area      
  1. Only if the job was:
    • Triggered by the user
    • In GitLab 13.0 and later, run for a non-protected branch.

Job permissions

note
In GitLab 11.0, the Master role was renamed to Maintainer.

This table shows granted privileges for jobs triggered by specific types of users:

Action Guest, Reporter Developer Maintainer Admin
Run CI job  
Clone source and LFS from current project  
Clone source and LFS from public projects  
Clone source and LFS from internal projects   ✓ (1) ✓ (1)
Clone source and LFS from private projects   ✓ (2) ✓ (2) ✓ (2)
Pull container images from current project  
Pull container images from public projects  
Pull container images from internal projects   ✓ (1) ✓ (1)
Pull container images from private projects   ✓ (2) ✓ (2) ✓ (2)
Push container images to current project  
Push container images to other projects        
Push source and LFS        
  1. Only if the user is not an external one
  2. Only if the user is a member of the project

Running pipelines on protected branches

The permission to merge or push to protected branches is used to define if a user can run CI/CD pipelines and execute actions on jobs that are related to those branches.

See Security on protected branches for details about the pipelines security model.

Release permissions with protected tags

The permission to create tags is used to define if a user can create, edit, and delete Releases.

See Release permissions for more information.

LDAP users permissions

In GitLab 8.15 and later, LDAP user permissions can now be manually overridden by an admin user. Read through the documentation on LDAP users permissions to learn more.

Project aliases

Project aliases can only be read, created and deleted by a GitLab administrator. Read through the documentation on Project aliases to learn more.