Contribute to GitLab

Thank you for your interest in contributing to GitLab. This guide details how to contribute to GitLab in a way that is easy for everyone.

We want to create a welcoming environment for everyone who is interested in contributing. Please visit our Code of Conduct page to learn more about our committment to an open and welcoming environment.

For a first-time step-by-step guide to the contribution process, please see "Contributing to GitLab".

Looking for something to work on? Look for issues with the label Accepting merge requests.

GitLab comes in two flavors, GitLab Community Edition (CE) our free and open source edition, and GitLab Enterprise Edition (EE) which is our commercial edition. Throughout this guide you will see references to CE and EE for abbreviation.

To get an overview of GitLab community membership including those that would be reviewing or merging your contributions, please visit the community roles page.

If you want to know how the GitLab core team operates please see the GitLab contributing process.

GitLab Inc engineers should refer to the engineering workflow document

Security vulnerability disclosure

Please report suspected security vulnerabilities in private to, also see the disclosure section on the website. Please do NOT create publicly viewable issues for suspected security vulnerabilities.

Code of conduct

Our code of conduct can be found on the "Contributing to GitLab" page.

Closing policy for issues and merge requests

GitLab is a popular open source project and the capacity to deal with issues and merge requests is limited. Out of respect for our volunteers, issues and merge requests not in line with the guidelines listed in this document may be closed without notice.

Please treat our volunteers with courtesy and respect, it will go a long way towards getting your issue resolved.

Issues and merge requests should be in English and contain appropriate language for audiences of all ages.

If a contributor is no longer actively working on a submitted merge request we can decide that the merge request will be finished by one of our Merge request coaches or close the merge request. We make this decision based on how important the change is for our product vision. If a Merge request coach is going to finish the merge request we assign the ~"coach will finish" label.

Helping others

Please help other GitLab users when you can. The methods people will use to seek help can be found on the getting help page.

Sign up for the mailing list, answer GitLab questions on StackOverflow or respond in the IRC channel. You can also sign up on CodeTriage to help with the remaining issues on the GitHub issue tracker.

I want to contribute!

If you want to contribute to GitLab, issues with the Accepting merge requests label are a great place to start. If you have any questions or need help visit Getting Help to learn how to communicate with GitLab. If you're looking for a Gitter or Slack channel please consider we favor asynchronous communication over real time communication. Thanks for your contribution!

Contribution Flow

When contributing to GitLab, your merge request is subject to review by merge request maintainers of a particular specialty.

When you submit code to GitLab, we really want it to get merged, but there will be times when it will not be merged.

When maintainers are reading through a merge request they may request guidance from other maintainers. If merge request maintainers conclude that the code should not be merged, our reasons will be fully disclosed. If it has been decided that the code quality is not up to GitLab’s standards, the merge request maintainer will refer the author to our docs and code style guides, and provide some guidance.

Sometimes style guides will be followed but the code will lack structural integrity, or the maintainer will have reservations about the code’s overall quality. When there is a reservation the maintainer will inform the author and provide some guidance. The author may then choose to update the merge request. Once the merge request has been updated and reassigned to the maintainer, they will review the code again. Once the code has been resubmitted any number of times, the maintainer may choose to close the merge request with a summary of why it will not be merged, as well as some guidance. If the merge request is closed the maintainer will be open to discussion as to how to improve the code so it can be approved in the future.

GitLab will do its best to review community contributions as quickly as possible. Specially appointed developers review community contributions daily. You may take a look at the team page for the merge request coach who specializes in the type of code you have written and mention them in the merge request. For example, if you have written some JavaScript in your code then you should mention the frontend merge request coach. If your code has multiple disciplines you may mention multiple merge request coaches.

GitLab receives a lot of community contributions, so if your code has not been reviewed within 4 days of its initial submission feel free to re-mention the appropriate merge request coach.

When submitting code to GitLab, you may feel that your contribution requires the aid of an external library. If your code includes an external library please provide a link to the library, as well as reasons for including it.

When your code contains more than 500 changes, any major breaking changes, or an external library, @mention a maintainer in the merge request. If you are not sure who to mention, the reviewer will add one early in the merge request process.


This documentation outlines the current issue process.

Merge requests

This documentation outlines the current merge request process.

Style guides

This documentation outlines the current style guidelines.

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