Collaborate on merge requests across forks

When you open a merge request from your fork, you can allow upstream members to collaborate with you on your branch. When you enable this option, members who have permission to merge to the target branch get permission to write to the merge request’s source branch.

The members of the upstream project can then make small fixes or rebase branches before merging.

This feature is available for merge requests across forked projects that are publicly accessible.

Allow commits from upstream members

Enabled by default in GitLab 13.7 and later.

As the author of a merge request, you can allow commit edits from upstream members of the project you’re contributing to:

  1. While creating or editing a merge request, scroll to Contribution and select the Allow commits from members who can merge to the target branch checkbox.
  2. Finish creating your merge request.

After you create the merge request, the merge request widget displays the message Members who can merge are allowed to add commits. Upstream members can then commit directly to your branch, as well as retry the pipelines and jobs of the merge request.

Prevent commits from upstream members

As the author of a merge request, you can prevent commit edits from upstream members of the project you’re contributing to:

  1. While creating or editing a merge request, scroll to Contribution and clear the Allow commits from members who can merge to the target branch checkbox.
  2. Finish creating your merge request.

Push to the fork as the upstream member

You can push directly to the branch of the forked repository if:

  • The author of the merge request has enabled contributions from upstream members.
  • You have at least the Developer role in the upstream project.

In the following example:

  • The forked repository URL is git@gitlab.com:contributor/forked-project.git.
  • The branch of the merge request is fork-branch.

To change or add a commit to the contributor’s merge request:

  1. Go to the merge request.
  2. In the upper right corner, select Code, then select Check out branch.
  3. In the modal window, select Copy ( ).
  4. In your terminal, go to your cloned version of the repository, and paste the commands. For example:

    git fetch "git@gitlab.com:contributor/forked-project.git" 'fork-branch'
    git checkout -b contributor/fork-branch' FETCH_HEAD
    

    Those commands fetch the branch from the forked project, and create a local branch for you to work on.

  5. Make your changes to your local copy of the branch, and then commit them.
  6. Push your local changes to the forked project. The following command pushes the local branch contributor/fork-branch to the fork-branch branch of the git@gitlab.com:contributor/forked-project.git repository:

    git push git@gitlab.com:contributor/forked-project.git contributor/fork-branch:fork-branch
    

    If you have amended or squashed any commits, you must force push. Proceed with caution as this command rewrites the commit history:

    git push --force git@gitlab.com:contributor/forked-project.git contributor/fork-branch:fork-branch
    

    Note the colon (:) between the two branches. The general scheme is:

    git push <forked_repository_git_url> <local_branch>:<fork_branch>
    

Troubleshooting

Pipeline status unavailable from MR page of forked project

When a user forks a project, the permissions of the forked copy are not copied from the original project. The creator of the fork must grant permissions to the forked copy before members in the upstream project can view or merge the changes in the merge request.

To see the pipeline status from the merge request page of a forked project going back to the original project:

  1. Create a group containing all the upstream members.
  2. Go to the Project information > Members page in the forked project and invite the newly-created group to the forked project.