Import multiple repositories by uploading a manifest file

Tier: Free, Premium, Ultimate Offering:, Self-managed, GitLab Dedicated
  • Ability to re-import projects introduced in GitLab 15.9.

GitLab allows you to import all the required Git repositories based on a manifest file like the one used by the Android repository. Use the manifest to import a project with many repositories like the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).


  • Requirement for Maintainer role instead of Developer role introduced in GitLab 16.0 and backported to GitLab 15.11.1 and GitLab 15.10.5.
  • Manifest import source must be enabled. If not enabled, ask your GitLab administrator to enable it. The Manifest import source is enabled by default on
  • GitLab must use PostgreSQL for its database, because subgroups are needed for the manifest import to work. Read more about the database requirements.
  • At least the Maintainer role on the destination group to import to.

Manifest format

A manifest must be an XML file. There must be one remote tag with a review attribute that contains a URL to a Git server, and each project tag must have a name and path attribute. GitLab then builds the URL to the repository by combining the URL from the remote tag with a project name. A path attribute is used to represent the project path in GitLab.

Below is a valid example of a manifest file:

  <remote review="" />

  <project path="build/make" name="platform/build" />
  <project path="build/blueprint" name="platform/build/blueprint" />

As a result, the following projects are created:

GitLab Import URL

Import the repositories

To start the import:

  1. From your GitLab dashboard select New project.
  2. Switch to the Import project tab.
  3. Select Manifest file.
  4. Provide GitLab with a manifest XML file.
  5. Select a group you want to import to (you need to create a group first if you don’t have one).
  6. Select List available repositories. At this point, you are redirected to the import status page with projects list based on the manifest file.
  7. To import:
    • All projects for the first time: Select Import all repositories.
    • Individual projects again: Select Re-import. Specify a new name and select Re-import again. Re-importing creates a new copy of the source project.