Users have different abilities depending on the access level they have in a particular group or project. If a user is both in a group's project and the project itself, the highest permission level is used.

On public and internal projects the Guest role is not enforced. All users will be able to create issues, leave comments, and pull or download the project code.

GitLab administrators receive all permissions.

To add or import a user, you can follow the project users and members documentation.


The following table depicts the various user permission levels in a project.

Action Guest Reporter Developer Master Owner
Create new issue
Leave comments
See a list of builds 1
See a build log 1
Download and browse build artifacts 1
Pull project code
Download project
Create code snippets
Manage issue tracker
Manage labels
See a commit status
See a container registry
See environments
Manage/Accept merge requests
Create new merge request
Create new branches
Push to non-protected branches
Force push to non-protected branches
Remove non-protected branches
Add tags
Write a wiki
Cancel and retry builds
Create or update commit status
Update a container registry
Remove a container registry image
Create new environments
Create new milestones
Add new team members
Push to protected branches
Enable/disable branch protection
Turn on/off protected branch push for devs
Rewrite/remove Git tags
Edit project
Add deploy keys to project
Configure project hooks
Manage runners
Manage build triggers
Manage variables
Delete environments
Switch visibility level
Transfer project to another namespace
Remove project
Force push to protected branches 2
Remove protected branches 2


Any user can remove themselves from a group, unless they are the last Owner of the group. The following table depicts the various user permission levels in a group.

Action Guest Reporter Developer Master Owner
Browse group
Edit group
Create project in group
Manage group members
Remove group

External Users

In cases where it is desired that a user has access only to some internal or private projects, there is the option of creating External Users. This feature may be useful when for example a contractor is working on a given project and should only have access to that project.

External users can only access projects to which they are explicitly granted access, thus hiding all other internal or private ones from them. Access can be granted by adding the user as member to the project or group.

They will, like usual users, receive a role in the project or group with all the abilities that are mentioned in the table above. They cannot however create groups or projects, and they have the same access as logged out users in all other cases.

An administrator can flag a user as external through the API or by checking the checkbox on the admin panel. As an administrator, navigate to Admin > Users to create a new user or edit an existing one. There, you will find the option to flag the user as external.

By default new users are not set as external users. This behavior can be changed by an administrator under Admin > Application Settings.

GitLab CI

GitLab CI permissions rely on the role the user has in GitLab. There are four permission levels it total:

  • admin
  • master
  • developer
  • guest/reporter

The admin user can perform any action on GitLab CI in scope of the GitLab instance and project. In addition, all admins can use the admin interface under /admin/runners.

Action Guest, Reporter Developer Master Admin
See commits and builds
Retry or cancel build
Remove project
Create project
Change project configuration
Add specific runners
Add shared runners
See events in the system
Admin interface

  1. If Allow guest to access builds is enabled in CI settings 

  2. Not allowed for Guest, Reporter, Developer, Master, or Owner