Contribute to GitLab

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

For a first-time step-by-step guide to the contribution process for development, see Tutorial: Make a GitLab contribution.

For other ways to contribute see our Contributing to GitLab page.

Looking for something to work on? See the How to contribute section for more information.

GitLab comes in two flavors:

  • GitLab Community Edition (CE), our free and open source edition.
  • GitLab Enterprise Edition (EE), which is our commercial edition.

Throughout this guide you will see references to CE and EE for abbreviation.

Code of conduct

We want to create a welcoming environment for everyone who is interested in contributing. For more information about our commitment to an open and welcoming environment, see our Code of Conduct page.

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

How to contribute

If you would like to contribute to GitLab:

For a walkthrough of the contribution process, see Tutorial: Make a GitLab contribution.

Review process

When you submit code to GitLab, we really want it to get merged! However, we always review submissions carefully, and this takes time. Code submissions will usually be reviewed by two domain experts before being merged:

After review, the reviewer could ask the author to update the merge request. In that case, the reviewer would set the ~"workflow::in dev" label. Once the merge request has been updated and set as ready for review again (for example, with @gitlab-bot ready), they will review the code again. This process may repeat any number of times before merge, to help make the contribution the best it can be.

Lastly, keep the following in mind when submitting merge requests:

  • When reviewers are reading through a merge request they may request guidance from other reviewers.
  • If the code quality is found to not meet GitLab standards, the merge request reviewer will provide guidance and refer the author to our:
  • Sometimes style guides will be followed but the code will lack structural integrity, or the reviewer will have reservations about the code's overall quality. When there is a reservation, the reviewer will inform the author and provide some guidance.
  • Though GitLab generally allows anyone to indicate approval of merge requests, the maintainer may require approvals from certain reviewers before merging a merge request.
  • Sometimes a maintainer may choose to close a merge request. They will fully disclose why it will not be merged, as well as some guidance. The maintainers will be open to discussion about how to change the code so it can be approved and merged in the future.

Getting attention on your merge request

GitLab will do its best to review community contributions as quickly as possible. Specially appointed developers review community contributions daily. 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 front-end code, 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. If your code has not been reviewed within two working days of its initial submission, you can ask for help with @gitlab-bot help.

Issues workflow

This documentation outlines the current issue workflow:

Merge requests workflow

This documentation outlines the current merge request process.

Closing policy for issues and merge requests

Getting an Enterprise Edition License

If you need a license for contributing to an EE-feature, see relevant information.

Finding help