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

  • Introduced in GitLab 14.8, personal namespace owners appear with Owner role in new projects in their namespace. Introduced with a flag named personal_project_owner_with_owner_access. Disabled by default.
  • Generally available in GitLab 14.9. Feature flag personal_project_owner_with_owner_access removed.

A user’s role determines what permissions they have on a project. The Owner role provides all permissions but is available only:

  • For group and project Owners. In GitLab 14.8 and earlier, the role is inherited for a group’s projects.
  • For Administrators.

Personal namespace owners:

  • Are displayed as having the Maintainer role on projects in the namespace, but have the same permissions as a user with the Owner role.
  • In GitLab 14.9 and later, for new projects in the namespace, are displayed as having the Owner role.

For more information about how to manage project members, see members of a project.

The following table lists project permissions available for each role:

ActionGuestReporterDeveloperMaintainerOwner
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
  
Application security:
Create and run on-demand DAST scans
  
Application security:
Manage security policy
  
Application security:
View dependency list
  
Application security:
Create a CVE ID Request
   
Application security:
Create or assign security policy project
    
Clusters:
View clusters
  
Clusters:
Manage clusters
   
Container Registry:
Create, edit, delete cleanup policies
   
Container Registry:
Push an image to the Container Registry
  
Container Registry:
Pull an image from the Container Registry
✓ (20)✓ (20)
Container Registry:
Remove a Container Registry image
  
GitLab Pages:
View Pages protected by access control
GitLab Pages:
Manage
   
GitLab Pages:
Manage GitLab Pages domains and certificates
   
GitLab Pages:
Remove GitLab Pages
   
Incident Management:
View alerts
 
Incident Management:
Assign an alert
Incident Management:
View incident
Incident Management:
Create incident
(16)
Incident Management:
View on-call schedules
 
Incident Management:
Participate in on-call rotation
Incident Management:
View escalation policies
 
Incident Management:
Manage on-call schedules
   
Incident Management:
Manage escalation policies
   
Issue boards:
Create or delete lists
 
Issue boards:
Move issues between lists
 
Issues:
Add Labels
✓ (15)
Issues:
Add to epic
 ✓ (23)✓ (23)✓ (23)✓ (23)
Issues:
Assign
✓ (15)
Issues:
Create (18)
Issues:
Create confidential issues
Issues:
View Design Management pages
Issues:
View related issues
Issues:
Set weight
✓ (15)
Issues:
Set parent epic
 
Issues:
View confidential issues
(2)
Issues:
Close / reopen (19)
 
Issues:
Lock threads
 
Issues:
Manage related issues
 
Issues:
Manage tracker
 
Issues:
Move issues (14)
 
Issues:
Set issue time tracking estimate and time spent
 
Issues:
Archive Design Management files
  
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 (8)
  
Merge requests:
Assign
  
Merge requests:
Create (17)
  
Merge requests:
Add labels
  
Merge requests:
Lock threads
  
Merge requests:
Manage or accept
  
Merge requests:
Resolve a thread
  
Merge requests:
Manage merge approval rules (project settings)
   
Merge requests:
Delete
    
Metrics dashboards:
Manage user-starred metrics dashboards (6)
Metrics dashboards:
View metrics dashboard annotations
 
Metrics dashboards:
Create/edit/delete metrics dashboard annotations
  
Package registry:
Pull a package
✓ (1)
Package registry:
Publish a package
  
Package registry:
Delete a package
   
Package registry:
Delete a file associated with a 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)
✓ (9)✓ (9)✓ (9)
Projects:
View Insights
Projects:
View releases
✓ (5)
Projects:
View Requirements
Projects:
View time tracking reports
✓ (1)
Projects:
View wiki pages
Projects:
Create snippets
 
Projects:
Manage labels
 
Projects:
View project traffic statistics
 
Projects:
Create, edit, delete milestones.
 
Projects:
Create, edit, delete releases
  ✓ (12)✓ (12)✓ (12)
Projects:
Create, edit wiki pages
  
Projects:
Enable Review Apps
  
Projects:
View project Audit Events
  ✓ (10)
Projects:
Add deploy keys
   
Projects:
Add new team members
   
Projects:
Manage team members
   ✓ (21)
Projects:
Change project features visibility level
   ✓ (13)
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 (11)
   ✓ (21)
Projects:
Manage Project Operations
   
Projects:
Rename project
   
Projects:
Share (invite) projects with groups
   ✓ (7)✓ (7)
Projects:
View 2FA status of members
   
Projects:
Assign project to a compliance framework
    
Projects:
Archive project
    
Projects:
Change project visibility level
    
Projects:
Delete project
    
Projects:
Disable notification emails
    
Projects:
Transfer project to another namespace
    
Projects: View Usage Quotas page   
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
  ✓ (4)
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 (4)
   
Repository:
Turn on or off protected branch push for developers
   
Repository:
Remove fork relationship
    
Repository:
Force push to protected branches (3)
     
Repository:
Remove protected branches (3)
     
Requirements Management:
Archive / reopen
 
Requirements Management:
Create / edit
 
Requirements Management:
Import / export
 
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
  
Tasks:
Create (18)
Tasks:
Edit
 
Tasks:
Remove from issue
 
Tasks:
Delete (22)
    
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 or are assigned to.
  3. Not allowed for Guest, Reporter, Developer, Maintainer, or Owner. See protected branches.
  4. If the branch is protected, this depends on the access given to Developers and Maintainers.
  5. Guest users can access GitLab Releases for downloading assets but are not allowed to download the source code nor see repository information like commits and release evidence.
  6. Actions are limited only to records owned (referenced) by user.
  7. When Share Group Lock is enabled the project can’t be shared with other groups. It does not affect group with group sharing.
  8. For information on eligible approvers for merge requests, see Eligible approvers.
  9. Applies only to comments on Design Management designs.
  10. Users can only view events based on their individual actions.
  11. 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).
  12. If the tag is protected, this depends on the access given to Developers and Maintainers.
  13. A Maintainer or Owner can’t change project features visibility level if project visibility is set to private.
  14. Attached design files are moved together with the issue even if the user doesn’t have the Developer role.
  15. Guest users can only set metadata (for example, labels, assignees, or milestones) when creating an issue. They cannot change the metadata on existing issues.
  16. In GitLab 14.5 or later, Guests are not allowed to create incidents. In GitLab 15.1 and later, a Guest who created an issue that was promoted to an incident cannot edit, close, or reopen their incident.
  17. In projects that accept contributions from external members, users can create, edit, and close their own merge requests.
  18. Authors and assignees can modify the title and description even if they don’t have the Reporter role.
  19. Authors and assignees can close and reopen issues even if they don’t have the Reporter role.
  20. The ability to view the Container Registry and pull images is controlled by the Container Registry’s visibility permissions.
  21. Maintainers cannot create, demote, or remove Owners, and they cannot promote users to the Owner role. They also cannot approve Owner role access requests.
  22. Authors of tasks can delete them even if they don’t have the Owner role, but they have to have at least the Guest role for the project.
  23. You must have permission to view the epic.

Project features permissions

More details about the permissions for some project-level features follow.

GitLab CI/CD permissions

GitLab CI/CD permissions for some roles can be modified by these settings:

  • Public pipelines: When set to public, gives access to certain CI/CD features to Guest project members.
  • Pipeline visibility: When set to Everyone with Access, gives access to certain CI/CD “view” features to non-project members.
ActionNon-memberGuestReporterDeveloperMaintainerOwner
See that artifacts exist✓ (3)✓ (3)
View a list of jobs✓ (1)✓ (2)
View and download artifacts✓ (1)✓ (2)
View environments ✓ (3)✓ (3)
View job logs and job details page✓ (1)✓ (2)
View pipeline details page✓ (1)✓ (2)
View pipelines page✓ (1)✓ (2)
View pipelines tab in MR✓ (3)✓ (3)
View vulnerabilities in a pipeline ✓ (2)
View and download project-level Secure Files    
Cancel and retry jobs   
Create new environments    
Delete job logs or job artifacts   ✓ (4)
Run CI/CD pipeline   
Run CI/CD pipeline for a protected branch   ✓ (5)✓ (5)
Stop environments    
View a job with debug logging    
Use pipeline editor   
Run interactive web terminals    
Add specific runners to project    
Clear runner caches manually    
Enable shared runners in project    
Manage CI/CD settings    
Manage job triggers    
Manage project-level CI/CD variables    
Manage project-level Secure Files     
Use environment terminals     
Delete pipelines     
  1. If the project is public and Public pipelines is enabled in Project Settings > CI/CD.
  2. If Public pipelines is enabled in Project Settings > CI/CD.
  3. If the project is public.
  4. Only if the job was both:
    • Triggered by the user.
    • In GitLab 13.0 and later, run for a non-protected branch.
  5. If the user is allowed to merge or push to the protected branch.

Job permissions

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

ActionGuest, ReporterDeveloperMaintainerAdministrator
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 triggering user is not an external one.
  2. Only if the triggering user is a member of the project.

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 Developers or Maintainers 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.

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 or are assigned to it. To learn more, read through the documentation on permissions and access to confidential issues.

Container Registry visibility permissions

The ability to view the Container Registry and pull images is controlled by the Container Registry’s visibility permissions. Find these permissions for the Container Registry as described in the related documentation.

Group members permissions

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:

ActionGuestReporterDeveloperMaintainerOwner
Add an issue to an epic ✓ (7)✓ (7)✓ (7)✓ (7)✓ (7)
Browse group
Pull a container image using the dependency proxy
View Contribution analytics
View group epic
View group wiki pages✓ (5)
View Insights
View Insights charts
View Issue analytics
View value stream analytics
Create/edit group epic  
Create/edit/delete epic boards  
Manage group labels 
Publish packages   
Pull packages  
Delete packages    
Create/edit/delete Maven and generic package duplicate settings    
Pull a Container Registry image✓ (6)
Remove a Container Registry image  
View Group DevOps Adoption  
View metrics dashboard annotations 
View Productivity analytics  
Create and edit group wiki pages  
Create project in group  ✓ (2)(4)✓ (2)✓ (2)
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    
Create/edit/delete dependency proxy cleanup policies    
Use security dashboard   
View group Audit Events  ✓ (6)✓ (6)
Create subgroup   ✓ (1)
Delete group wiki pages  
Edit epic comments (posted by any user)   
List group deploy tokens   
Manage group push rules    
View/manage group-level Kubernetes cluster   
Create and manage compliance frameworks    
Create/Delete group deploy tokens    
Change group visibility level    
Delete group    
Delete group epic     
Disable notification emails    
Edit group settings    
Edit SAML SSO     ✓ (3)
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     ✓ (3)
View group Usage Quotas page    ✓ (3)
Manage group runners    
Migrate groups    
Manage subscriptions, and purchase CI/CD minutes and storage     
  1. Groups can be set to allow either Owners, or Owners and users with the Maintainer role, to create subgroups.
  2. Default project creation role can be changed at:
  3. Does not apply to subgroups.
  4. 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”.
  5. In addition, if your group is public or internal, all users who can see the group can also see group wiki pages.
  6. Users can only view events based on their individual actions.
  7. You must have permission to view the epic and edit the issue.

Subgroup permissions

When you add a member to a subgroup, they inherit the membership and permission level from the parent groups. 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:

  • Cannot create project, groups, and snippets within their personal namespaces.
  • Can only create projects (including forks), subgroups, and snippets within top-level groups to which they are explicitly granted access.
  • 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 Main 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:

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 Main 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 the Guest role 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 administrator, 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

Introduced in GitLab 13.4.

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. Owners must explicitly add these “minimal access” users to the specific subgroups and projects.

Because of an outstanding issue, when minimal access users:

  • Sign in with standard web authentication, they receive a 404 error when accessing the parent group.
  • Sign in with Group SSO, they receive a 404 error immediately because they are redirected to the parent group page.

To work around the issue, give these users the Guest role or higher to any project or subgroup within the parent group.

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 can 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).

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

LDAP user permissions can be manually overridden by an administrator. 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.