Groups

With GitLab Groups you can assemble related projects together and grant members access to several projects at once.

Groups can also be nested in subgroups.

Find your groups by expanding the left menu and clicking Groups:

GitLab Groups

The Groups page displays all groups you are a member of, how many projects it holds, how many members it has, the group visibility, and, if you have enough permissions, a link to the group settings. By clicking the last button you can leave that group.

Use cases

You can create groups for numerous reasons. To name a few:

  • Organize related projects under the same namespace, add members to that group and grant access to all their projects at once
  • Create a group, include members of your team, and make it easier to @mention all the team at once in issues and merge requests
    • Create a group for your company members, and create subgroups for each individual team. Let's say you create a group called company-team, and among others, you created subgroups in this group for each individual team backend-team, frontend-team, and production-team:
      1. When you start a new implementation from an issue, you add a comment: "@company-team, let's do it! @company-team/backend-team you're good to go!"
      2. When your backend team needs help from frontend, they add a comment: "@company-team/frontend-team could you help us here please?"
      3. When the frontend team completes their implementation, they comment: "@company-team/backend-team, it's done! Let's ship it @company-team/production-team!"

Namespaces

In GitLab, a namespace is a unique name to be used as a user name, a group name, or a subgroup name.

  • http://gitlab.example.com/username
  • http://gitlab.example.com/groupname
  • http://gitlab.example.com/groupname/subgroup_name

For example, consider a user called John:

  1. John creates his account on GitLab.com with the username john; his profile will be accessed under https://gitlab.example.com/john
  2. John creates a group for his team with the groupname john-team; his group and its projects will be accessed under https://gitlab.example.com/john-team
  3. John creates a subgroup of john-team with the subgroup name marketing; his subgroup and its projects will be accessed under https://gitlab.example.com/john-team/marketing

By doing so:

  • Any team member mentions John with @john
  • John mentions everyone from his team with @john-team
  • John mentions only his marketing team with @john-team/marketing

Issues and merge requests within a group

Issues and merge requests are part of projects. For a given group, view all the issues and merge requests across all the projects in that group, together in a single list view.

Epics

Epics are available in GitLab Enterprise Edition Ultimate. Epics are designed to enable you plan and track work at the feature level, as opposed to the design and implementation details level of an issue.

Epics are scoped at the group level. A paginated list of epics is available in each group. From this page, you can also click the New epic button at the top right to create a new epic. Creating a new epic will bring you to the epic view itself for that newly created epic.

epics list view

When creating an epic, you only specify its title. For existing epics, you can add/change its title, description, planned start date, and planned end date. The planned end date cannot be before the planned start date (but they can be the same day).

An epic contains a list of issues. And an issue can be associated with at most one epic. In an epic, you add (and remove) issues associated with the epic by clicking +, pasting in the link to the issue, and clicking Add. Any issue belonging to a project in the epic's group or any of the epic's subgroups can are eligible to be added. When you add an issue to an epic that's already associated with another epic, the issue is automatically removed from the previous epic. In other words, an issue can be associated with at most one epic.

You can also delete an epic from the epic view. Deleting an epic releases all existing issues fromt their associated epic in the system.

epic view

See group permissions for epics and associating issues.

Create a new group

Notes:

  • For a list of words that are not allowed to be used as group names see the reserved names.

You can create a group in GitLab from:

  1. The Groups page: expand the left menu, click Groups, and click the green button New group:

    new group from groups page

  2. Elsewhere: expand the plus sign button on the top navbar and choose New group:

    new group from elsewhere

Add the following information:

new group info

  1. Set the Group path which will be the namespace under which your projects will be hosted (path can contain only letters, digits, underscores, dashes and dots; it cannot start with dashes or end in dot).
  2. The Group name will populate with the path. Optionally, you can change it. This is the name that will display in the group views.
  3. Optionally, you can add a description so that others can briefly understand what this group is about.
  4. Optionally, choose an avatar for your project.
  5. Choose the visibility level.

Add users to a group

Add members to a group by navigating to the group's dashboard, and clicking Members:

add members to group

Select the permission level and add the new member. You can also set the expiring date for that user, from which they will no longer have access to your group.

One of the benefits of putting multiple projects in one group is that you can give a user to access to all projects in the group with one action.

Consider we have a group with two projects:

  • On the Group Members page we can now add a new user to the group.
  • Now because this user is a Developer member of the group, he automatically gets Developer access to all projects within that group.

If necessary, you can increase the access level of an individual user for a specific project, by adding them again as a new member to the project with the new permission levels.

Request access to a group

As a group owner you can enable or disable non members to request access to your group. Go to the group settings and click on Allow users to request access.

As a user, you can request to be a member of a group. Go to the group you'd like to be a member of, and click the Request Access button on the right side of your screen.

Request access button


Group owners and masters will be notified of your request and will be able to approve or decline it on the members page.

Manage access requests


If you change your mind before your request is approved, just click the Withdraw Access Request button.

Withdraw access request button

Add projects to a group

There are two different ways to add a new project to a group:

  • Select a group and then click on the New project button.

    New project

    You can then continue on creating a project.

  • While you are creating a project, select a group namespace you've already created from the dropdown menu.

    Select group

Transfer an existing project into a group

You can transfer an existing project into a group as long as you have at least Master permissions to that group and if you are an Owner of the project.

Transfer a project to a new namespace

Find this option under your project's settings.

GitLab administrators can use the admin interface to move any project to any namespace if needed.

Sharing a project with a group

You can share your projects with a group and give your group members access to the project all at once.

Alternatively, you can lock the sharing with group feature.

Manage group memberships via LDAP

In GitLab Enterprise Edition it is possible to manage GitLab group memberships using LDAP groups. See the GitLab Enterprise Edition documentation for more information.

Group settings

Once you have created a group, you can manage its settings by navigating to the group's dashboard, and clicking Settings.

group settings

General settings

Besides giving you the option to edit any settings you've previously set when creating the group, you can also access further configurations for your group.

Changing a group's path

Note: If you want to retain ownership over the original namespace and protect the URL redirects, then instead of changing a group's path or renaming a username, you can create a new group and transfer projects to it.

Changing a group's path can have unintended side effects.

  • Existing web URLs for the group and anything under it (i.e. projects) will redirect to the new URLs
  • Existing Git remote URLs for projects under the group will no longer work, but Git responses will show an error with the new remote URL
  • The original namespace can be claimed again by any group or user, which will destroy web redirects and Git remote warnings
  • If you are vacating the path so it can be claimed by another group or user, you may need to rename the group name as well since both names and paths must be unique

It is currently not possible to rename a namespace if it contains a project with container registry tags, because the project cannot be moved.

Enforce 2FA to group members

Add a security layer to your group by enforcing two-factor authentication (2FA) to all group members.

Share with group lock

Prevent projects in a group from sharing a project with another group. This allows for tighter control over project access.

For example, consider you have two distinct teams (Group A and Group B) working together in a project. To inherit the group membership, you share the project between the two groups A and B. Share with group lock prevents any project within the group from being shared with another group. By doing so, you guarantee only the right group members have access to that projects.

To enable this feature, navigate to the group settings page. Select Share with group lock and Save the group.

Checkbox for share with group lock

Member Lock (EES/EEP)

Available in GitLab Enterprise Edition Starter, with Member Lock it is possible to lock membership in project to the level of members in group.

Member Lock lets a group owner to lock down any new project membership to all the projects within the group, allowing tighter control over project membership.

For instance, if you want to lock the group for an Audit Event, you enable Member Lock to guarantee that any membership is added or changed during the audition.

To enable this feature, navigate to group settings page, select Member lock and Save group.

Checkbox for membership lock

This will disable the option for all users who previously had permissions to operate project memberships so no new users can be added. Furthermore, any request to add new user to project through API will not be possible.

Advanced settings