GitLab Notification Emails

GitLab has a notification system in place to notify a user of events that are important for the workflow.

Notification settings

You can find notification settings under the user profile.

notification settings

Notification settings are divided into three groups:

  • Global settings
  • Group settings
  • Project settings

Each of these settings have levels of notification:

  • Watch: Receive notifications for any activity.
  • On Mention: Receive notifications when @mentioned in comments.
  • Participate: Receive notifications for threads you have participated in.
  • Disabled: Turns off notifications.
  • Custom: Receive notifications for custom selected events.
  • Global: For groups and projects, notifications as per global settings.

Global Settings

Global settings are at the bottom of the hierarchy. Any setting set here will be overridden by a setting at the group or a project level.

Group or Project settings can use global notification setting which will then use anything that is set at Global Settings.

Group Settings

notification settings

Group settings are taking precedence over Global Settings but are on a level below Project or Subgroup settings:

Group < Subgroup < Project

This means that you can set a different level of notifications per group while still being able to have a finer level setting per project or subgroup. Organization like this is suitable for users that belong to different groups but don’t have the same need for being notified for every group they are member of. These settings can be configured on group page under the name of the group. It will be the dropdown with the bell icon. They can also be configured on the user profile notifications dropdown.

Project Settings

notification settings

Project settings are at the top level and any setting placed at this level will take precedence of any other setting. This is suitable for users that have different needs for notifications per project basis. These settings can be configured on project page under the name of the project. It will be the dropdown with the bell icon. They can also be configured on the user profile notifications dropdown.

Notification events

Below is the table of events users can be notified of:

Event Sent to Settings level
New SSH key added User Security email, always sent.
New email added User Security email, always sent.
Email changed User Security email, always sent.
Password changed User Security email, always sent.
New user created User Sent on user creation, except for omniauth (LDAP)
User added to project User Sent when user is added to project
Project access level changed User Sent when user project access level is changed
User added to group User Sent when user is added to group
Group access level changed User Sent when user group access level is changed
Project moved Project members [1] [1] not disabled

Issue / Epics / Merge request events

In most of the below cases, the notification will be sent to:

  • Participants:
    • the author and assignee of the issue/merge request
    • authors of comments on the issue/merge request
    • anyone mentioned by @username in the issue/epic/merge request title or description
    • anyone mentioned by @username in any of the comments on the issue/epic/merge request …with notification level “Participating” or higher
  • Watchers: users with notification level “Watch”
  • Subscribers: anyone who manually subscribed to the issue/epic/merge request
  • Custom: Users with notification level “custom” who turned on notifications for any of the events present in the table below
Event Sent to
New issue  
Close issue  
Reassign issue The above, plus the old assignee
Reopen issue  
Due issue Participants and Custom notification level with this event selected
Change milestone issue Subscribers, participants mentioned, and Custom notification level with this event selected
Remove milestone issue Subscribers, participants mentioned, and Custom notification level with this event selected
New merge request  
Push to merge request Participants and Custom notification level with this event selected
Reassign merge request The above, plus the old assignee
Close merge request  
Reopen merge request  
Merge merge request  
Change milestone merge request Subscribers, participants mentioned, and Custom notification level with this event selected
Remove milestone merge request Subscribers, participants mentioned, and Custom notification level with this event selected
New comment The above, plus anyone mentioned by @username in the comment, with notification level “Mention” or higher
Failed pipeline The author of the pipeline
Successful pipeline The author of the pipeline, if they have the custom notification setting for successful pipelines set
New epic  
Close epic  
Reopen epic  

In addition, if the title or description of an Issue or Merge Request is changed, notifications will be sent to any new mentions by @username as if they had been mentioned in the original text.

You won’t receive notifications for Issues, Merge Requests or Milestones created by yourself (except when an issue is due). You will only receive automatic notifications when somebody else comments or adds changes to the ones that you’ve created or mentions you.

If an open merge request becomes unmergeable due to conflict, its author will be notified about the cause. If a user has also set the merge request to automatically merge once pipeline succeeds, then that user will also be notified.

Email Headers

Notification emails include headers that provide extra content about the notification received:

Header Description
X-GitLab-Project The name of the project the notification belongs to
X-GitLab-Project-Id The ID of the project
X-GitLab-Project-Path The path of the project
X-GitLab-(Resource)-ID The ID of the resource the notification is for, where resource is Issue, MergeRequest, Commit, etc
X-GitLab-Discussion-ID Only in comment emails, the ID of the discussion the comment is from
X-GitLab-Pipeline-Id Only in pipeline emails, the ID of the pipeline the notification is for
X-GitLab-Reply-Key A unique token to support reply by email
X-GitLab-NotificationReason The reason for being notified. “mentioned”, “assigned”, etc

X-GitLab-NotificationReason

This header holds the reason for the notification to have been sent out, where reason can be mentioned, assigned, own_activity, etc. Only one reason is sent out according to its priority:

  • own_activity
  • assigned
  • mentioned

The reason in this header will also be shown in the footer of the notification email. For example an email with the reason assigned will have this sentence in the footer: "You are receiving this email because you have been assigned an item on {configured GitLab hostname}"

Note: Only reasons listed above have been implemented so far. Further implementation is being discussed.