Push rules

Push rules are pre-receive Git hooks you can enable in a user-friendly interface. Push rules give you more control over what can and can’t be pushed to your repository. While GitLab offers protected branches, you may need more specific rules, such as:

  • Evaluating the contents of a commit.
  • Confirming commit messages match expected formats.
  • Enforcing branch name rules.
  • Evaluating the details of files.
  • Preventing Git tag removal.

GitLab uses RE2 syntax for regular expressions in push rules. You can test them at the regex101 regex tester.

For custom push rules use server hooks.

Enable global push rules

You can create push rules for all new projects to inherit, but they can be overridden at the project level or the group level.


  • You must be an administrator.

To create global push rules:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Push Rules.
  3. Expand Push rules.
  4. Set the rule you want.
  5. Select Save push rules.

Override global push rules per project

The push rule of an individual project overrides the global push rule. To override global push rules for a specific project:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Projects and find your project.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Settings > Repository.
  3. Expand Push rules.
  4. Set the rule you want.
  5. Select Save push rules.

Verify users

Use these rules to validate users who make commits.

  • Reject unverified users: Users must have a confirmed email address.
  • Check whether the commit author is a GitLab user: The commit author and committer must have an email address that’s been verified by GitLab.
  • Commit author’s email: Both the author’s and committer’s email addresses must match the regular expression. To allow any email address, leave empty.

Validate commit messages

Use these rules for your commit messages.

  • Require expression in commit messages: Messages must match the expression. To allow any commit message, leave empty. Uses multiline mode, which can be disabled by using (?-m).

    For example, if every commit should reference a Jira issue (like Refactored css. Fixes JIRA-123.), the regular expression would be JIRA\-\d+.

  • Reject expression in commit messages: Commit messages must not match the expression. To allow any commit message, leave empty. Uses multiline mode, which can be disabled by using (?-m).

Validate branch names

To validate your branch names, enter a regular expression for Branch name. To allow any branch name, leave empty. Your default branch is always allowed.


  • Branches must start with JIRA-.

  • Branches must end with -JIRA.

  • Branches must be between 4 and 15 characters long, accepting only lowercase letters, numbers and dashes.

In GitLab 12.10 and later, certain formats of branch names are restricted by default for security purposes. 40-character hexadecimal names, similar to Git commit hashes, are prohibited.

Prevent unintended consequences

Use these rules to prevent unintended consequences.

Validate files

Use these rules to validate files contained in the commit.

  • Prevent pushing secret files: Files must not contain secrets.
  • Prohibited file names: Files that do not exist in the repository must not match the regular expression. To allow all file names, leave empty. See common examples.
  • Maximum file size: Added or updated files must not exceed this file size (in MB). To allow files of any size, set to 0. Files tracked by Git LFS are exempted.

Prevent pushing secrets to the repository

Moved to GitLab Premium in 13.9.

Never commit secrets, such as credential files and SSH private keys, to a version control system. In GitLab, you can use a predefined list of files to block those files from a repository. Merge requests that contain a file that matches the list are blocked. This push rule does not restrict files already committed to the repository.

Files blocked by this rule are listed below. For a complete list of criteria, refer to files_denylist.yml.

  • AWS CLI credential blobs:

    • .aws/credentials
    • aws/credentials
    • homefolder/aws/credentials
  • Private RSA SSH keys:

    • /ssh/id_rsa
    • /.ssh/personal_rsa
    • /config/server_rsa
    • id_rsa
    • .id_rsa
  • Private DSA SSH keys:

    • /ssh/id_dsa
    • /.ssh/personal_dsa
    • /config/server_dsa
    • id_dsa
    • .id_dsa
  • Private ED25519 SSH keys:

    • /ssh/id_ed25519
    • /.ssh/personal_ed25519
    • /config/server_ed25519
    • id_ed25519
    • .id_ed25519
  • Private ECDSA SSH keys:

    • /ssh/id_ecdsa
    • /.ssh/personal_ecdsa
    • /config/server_ecdsa
    • id_ecdsa
    • .id_ecdsa
  • Private ECDSA_SK SSH keys (GitLab 14.8 and later):

    • /ssh/id_ecdsa_sk
    • /.ssh/personal_ecdsa_sk
    • /config/server_ecdsa_sk
    • id_ecdsa_sk
    • .id_ecdsa_sk
  • Private ED25519_SK SSH keys (GitLab 14.8 and later):

    • /ssh/id_ed25519_sk
    • /.ssh/personal_ed25519_sk
    • /config/server_ed25519_sk
    • id_ed25519_sk
    • .id_ed25519_sk
  • Any files ending with these suffixes:

    • *.pem
    • *.key
    • *.history
    • *_history

Prohibit files by name

Moved to GitLab Premium in 13.9.

In Git, filenames include both the file’s name, and all directories preceding the name. When you git push, each filename in the push is compared to the regular expression in Prohibited file names.

The regular expression in your Prohibited file names push rule can contain multiple, independent matches to exclude. You can match file names broadly to any location in your repository, or restrict only in certain locations. Filename matches can also be partial, and exclude file types by extension.

These examples use regex (regular expressions) string boundary characters to match the beginning of a string (^), and its end ($). They also include instances where either the directory path or the filename can include . or /. Both of these special regex characters must be escaped with a backslash \\ if you want to use them as normal characters in a match condition.

  • Prevent pushing .exe files to any location in the repository - This regex matches any filename that contains .exe at the end:

  • Prevent pushing a specific configuration file in the repository root

  • Prevent pushing a specific configuration file in a known directory

  • Prevent pushing a specific file to any location in the repository - This example tests for any file named install.exe. The parenthesized expression (^|\/) matches either a file following a directory separator, or a file in the root directory of the repository:

  • Combine all previous expressions into one expression - The preceding expressions rely on the end-of-string character $. We can move that part of each expression to the end of the grouped collection of match conditions, where it is appended to all matches:



Reject unsigned commits push rule disables Web IDE

In GitLab 13.10, if a project has the Reject unsigned commits push rule, the user cannot create commits through the GitLab Web IDE.

To allow committing through the Web IDE on a project with this push rule, a GitLab administrator must disable the feature flag reject_unsigned_commits_by_gitlab. with a flag


Unsigned commits created in the GitLab UI

The Reject unsigned commits push rule ignores commits that are authenticated and created by GitLab (either through the UI or API). When this push rule is enabled, unsigned commits may still appear in the commit history if a commit was created in GitLab itself. As expected, commits created outside GitLab and pushed to the repository are rejected. For more information about this issue, read issue #19185.