Working with projects

Most work in GitLab is done in a project. Files and code are saved in projects, and most features are in the scope of projects.

Explore projects

You can explore other popular projects available on GitLab. To explore projects:

  1. Click Projects in the navigation bar.
  2. Click Explore Projects.

GitLab displays a list of projects, sorted by last updated date. To view projects with the most stars, click Most stars. To view projects with the largest number of comments in the past month, click Trending.

Create a project

To create a project in GitLab:

  1. In your dashboard, click the green New project button or use the plus icon in the navigation bar. This opens the New project page.
  2. On the New project page, choose if you want to:
noteFor a list of words that can’t be used as project names see Reserved project and group names.

Blank projects

To create a new blank project on the New project page:

  1. Click Create blank project
  2. Provide the following information:
    • The name of your project in the Project name field. You can’t use special characters, but you can use spaces, hyphens, underscores, or even emoji. When adding the name, the Project slug auto populates. The slug is what the GitLab instance uses as the URL path to the project. If you want a different slug, input the project name first, then change the slug after.
    • The path to your project in the Project slug field. This is the URL path for your project that the GitLab instance uses. If the Project name is blank, it auto populates when you fill in the Project slug.
    • The Project description (optional) field enables you to enter a description for your project’s dashboard, which helps others understand what your project is about. Though it’s not required, it’s a good idea to fill this in.
    • Changing the Visibility Level modifies the project’s viewing and access rights for users.
    • Selecting the Initialize repository with a README option creates a README file so that the Git repository is initialized, has a default branch, and can be cloned.
  3. Click Create project.

Project templates

Project templates can pre-populate a new project with the necessary files to get you started quickly.

There are two main types of project templates:

Built-in templates

Built-in templates are project templates that are:

To use a built-in template on the New project page:

  1. Click Create from template
  2. Select the Built-in tab.
  3. From the list of available built-in templates, click the:
    • Preview button to look at the template source itself.
    • Use template button to start creating the project.
  4. Finish creating the project by filling out the project’s details. The process is the same as creating a blank project.
Enterprise templates

GitLab is developing Enterprise templates to help you streamline audit management with selected regulatory standards. These templates automatically import issues that correspond to each regulatory requirement.

To create a new project with an Enterprise template, on the New project page:

  1. Click Create from template
  2. Select the Built-in tab.
  3. From the list of available built-in Enterprise templates, click the:
    • Preview button to look at the template source itself.
    • Use template button to start creating the project.
  4. Finish creating the project by filling out the project’s details. The process is the same as creating a blank project.

Available Enterprise templates include:

  • HIPAA Audit Protocol template (introduced in GitLab 12.10)
noteYou can improve the existing built-in templates or contribute new ones in the project-templates and pages groups by following these steps.
Custom project templates

Creating new projects based on custom project templates is a convenient option for quickly starting projects.

Custom projects are available at the instance-level from the Instance tab, or at the group-level from the Group tab, on the Create from template page.

To use a custom project template on the New project page:

  1. Click Create from template
  2. Select the Instance tab or the Group tab.
  3. From the list of available custom templates, click the:
    • Preview button to look at the template source itself.
    • Use template button to start creating the project.
  4. Finish creating the project by filling out the project’s details. The process is the same as creating a blank project.

Push to create a new project

Introduced in GitLab 10.5.

When you create a new repository locally, instead of manually creating a new project in GitLab and then cloning the repository locally, you can directly push it to GitLab to create the new project, all without leaving your terminal. If you have access rights to the associated namespace, GitLab automatically creates a new project under that GitLab namespace with its visibility set to Private by default (you can later change it in the project’s settings).

This can be done by using either SSH or HTTPS:

## Git push using SSH
git push --set-upstream git@gitlab.example.com:namespace/nonexistent-project.git master

## Git push using HTTPS
git push --set-upstream https://gitlab.example.com/namespace/nonexistent-project.git master

You can pass the flag --tags to the git push command to export existing repository tags.

Once the push finishes successfully, a remote message indicates the command to set the remote and the URL to the new project:

remote:
remote: The private project namespace/nonexistent-project was created.
remote:
remote: To configure the remote, run:
remote:   git remote add origin https://gitlab.example.com/namespace/nonexistent-project.git
remote:
remote: To view the project, visit:
remote:   https://gitlab.example.com/namespace/nonexistent-project
remote:

Fork a project

A fork is a copy of an original repository that you put in another namespace where you can experiment and apply changes that you can later decide whether or not to share, without affecting the original project.

It takes just a few steps to fork a project in GitLab.

Star a project

You can star a project to make it easier to find projects you frequently use. The number of stars a project has can indicate its popularity.

To star a project:

  1. Go to the home page of the project you want to star.
  2. In the upper right corner of the page, click Star.

To view your starred projects:

  1. Click Projects in the navigation bar.
  2. Click Starred Projects.
  3. GitLab displays information about your starred projects, including:

    • Project description, including name, description, and icon
    • Number of times this project has been starred
    • Number of times this project has been forked
    • Number of open merge requests
    • Number of open issues

Delete a project

To delete a project, first navigate to the home page for that project.

  1. Navigate to Settings > General.
  2. Expand the Advanced section.
  3. Scroll down to the Delete project section.
  4. Click Delete project
  5. Confirm this action by typing in the expected text.

Projects in personal namespaces are deleted immediately on request. For information on delayed deletion of projects in a group, please see Enable delayed project removal.

Project settings

Set the project’s visibility level and the access levels to its various pages and perform actions like archiving, renaming or transferring a project.

Read through the documentation on project settings.

Project activity

To view the activity of a project, navigate to Project overview > Activity. From there, you can click on the tabs to see All the activity, or see it filtered by Push events, Merge events, Issue events, Comments, Team, and Wiki.

Leave a project

Leave project only displays on the project’s dashboard when a project is part of a group (under a group namespace). If you choose to leave a project you are no longer a project member, and cannot contribute.

Use your project as a Go package

Any project can be used as a Go package. GitLab responds correctly to go get and godoc.org discovery requests, including the go-import and go-source meta tags.

Private projects, including projects in subgroups, can be used as a Go package, but may require configuration to work correctly. GitLab responds correctly to go get discovery requests for projects that are not in subgroups, regardless of authentication or authorization. Authentication is required to use a private project in a subgroup as a Go package. Otherwise, GitLab truncates the path for private projects in subgroups to the first two segments, causing go get to fail.

GitLab implements its own Go proxy. This feature must be enabled by an administrator and requires additional configuration. See GitLab Go Proxy.

Disable Go module features for private projects

In Go 1.12 and later, Go queries module proxies and checksum databases in the process of fetching a module. This can be selectively disabled with GOPRIVATE (disable both), GONOPROXY (disable proxy queries), and GONOSUMDB (disable checksum queries).

GOPRIVATE, GONOPROXY, and GONOSUMDB are comma-separated lists of Go modules and Go module prefixes. For example, GOPRIVATE=gitlab.example.com/my/private/project disables queries for that one project, but GOPRIVATE=gitlab.example.com disables queries for all projects on GitLab.com. Go does not query module proxies if the module name or a prefix of it appears in GOPRIVATE or GONOPROXY. Go does not query checksum databases if the module name or a prefix of it appears in GONOPRIVATE or GONOSUMDB.

Authenticate Go requests

To authenticate requests to private projects made by Go, use a .netrc file and a personal access token in the password field. This only works if your GitLab instance can be accessed with HTTPS. The go command does not transmit credentials over insecure connections. This authenticates all HTTPS requests made directly by Go, but does not authenticate requests made through Git.

For example:

machine gitlab.example.com
login <gitlab_user_name>
password <personal_access_token>
noteOn Windows, Go reads ~/_netrc instead of ~/.netrc.

Authenticate Git fetches

If a module cannot be fetched from a proxy, Go falls back to using Git (for GitLab projects). Git uses .netrc to authenticate requests. You can also configure Git to either:

  • Embed specific credentials in the request URL.
  • Use SSH instead of HTTPS, as Go always uses HTTPS to fetch Git repositories.
# Embed credentials in any request to GitLab.com:
git config --global url."https://${user}:${personal_access_token}@gitlab.example.com".insteadOf "https://gitlab.example.com"

# Use SSH instead of HTTPS:
git config --global url."git@gitlab.example.com".insteadOf "https://gitlab.example.com"

Access project page with project ID

Introduced in GitLab 11.8.

To quickly access a project from the GitLab UI using the project ID, visit the /projects/:id URL in your browser or other tool accessing the project.

Project’s landing page

The project’s landing page shows different information depending on the project’s visibility settings and user permissions.

For public projects, and to members of internal and private projects with permissions to view the project’s code:

  • The content of a README or an index file is displayed (if any), followed by the list of directories in the project’s repository.
  • If the project doesn’t contain either of these files, the visitor sees the list of files and directories of the repository.

For users without permissions to view the project’s code, GitLab displays:

  • The wiki homepage, if any.
  • The list of issues in the project.