GitLab self-managed subscription (PREMIUM SELF)

You can install, administer, and maintain your own GitLab instance.

This page covers the details of your GitLab self-managed subscription.

GitLab subscription management requires access to the Customers Portal.

Customers Portal

GitLab provides the Customers Portal where you can manage your subscriptions and your account details.

Customers of resellers do not have access to this portal and should contact their reseller for any changes to their subscription.


The cost of a GitLab self-managed subscription is determined by the following:

  • GitLab tier
  • Subscription seats

Choose a GitLab tier

Pricing is tier-based, so you can choose the features that fit your budget. For information on the features available for each tier, see the GitLab self-managed feature comparison.

Subscription seats

A GitLab self-managed subscription uses a hybrid model. You pay for a subscription according to the maximum number of users enabled during the subscription period. For instances that are offline or on a closed network, the maximum number of simultaneous users in the GitLab self-managed installation is checked each quarter, using Seat Link.

Billable users

A billable user counts against the number of subscription seats. Every user is considered a billable user, with the following exceptions:

  • Deactivated users and blocked users don't count as billable users in the current subscription. When they are either deactivated or blocked they release a billable user seat. However, they may count toward overages in the subscribed seat count.
  • Users who are pending approval.
  • Members with Guest permissions on an Ultimate subscription.
  • GitLab-created service accounts: Ghost User and bots (Support Bot, Project bot users, and so on).

Tips for managing users and subscription seats

Managing the number of users against the number of subscription seats can be a challenge:

  • If LDAP integration is enabled, anyone in the configured domain can sign up for a GitLab account. This can result in an unexpected bill at time of renewal.
  • If sign-up is enabled on your instance, anyone who can access the instance can sign up for an account.

GitLab has several features which can help you manage the number of users:

Obtain a subscription

To subscribe to GitLab through a GitLab self-managed installation:

  1. Go to the Customers Portal and purchase a GitLab self-managed plan.
  2. After purchase, a license file is sent to the email address associated to the Customers Portal account, which must be uploaded to your GitLab instance.

NOTE: If you're purchasing a subscription for an existing Free GitLab self-managed instance, ensure you're purchasing enough seats to cover your users.

View your subscription

If you are an administrator, you can view the status of your subscription:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > {admin} Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select License.

The License page includes the following details:

  • Licensee
  • Plan
  • When it was uploaded, started, and when it expires

It also displays the following important statistics:

Field Description
Users in License The number of users you've paid for in the current license loaded on the system. The number does not change unless you add seats during your current subscription period.
Billable users The daily count of billable users on your system. The count may change as you block or add users to your instance.
Maximum users The highest number of billable users on your system during the term of the loaded license.
Users over license Calculated as Maximum users - Users in License for the current license term. This number incurs a retroactive charge that needs to be paid for at renewal.

Renew your subscription

To renew your subscription, prepare for renewal by reviewing your account, then renew your GitLab self-managed subscription.

Prepare for renewal by reviewing your account

The Customers Portal is your tool for renewing and modifying your subscription. Before going ahead with renewal, log in and verify or update:

  • The invoice contact details on the Account details page.
  • The credit card on file on the Payment Methods page.

NOTE: Contact our support team if you need assistance accessing the Customers Portal or if you need to change the contact person who manages your subscription.

It's important to regularly review your user accounts, because:

  • Stale user accounts that are not blocked count as billable users. You may pay more than you should if you renew for too many users.
  • Stale user accounts can be a security risk. A regular review helps reduce this risk.

Users over License

A GitLab subscription is valid for a specific number of seats. The number of users over license is the number of Maximum users that exceed the Users in License for the current license term. You must pay for this number of users either before renewal, or at the time of renewal. This is known as the true up process.

To view the number of users over license go to the Admin Area.

Users over license example

You purchase a license for 10 users.

Event Billable members Maximum users
Ten users occupy all 10 seats. 10 10
Two new users join. 12 12
Three users leave and their accounts are removed. 9 12

Users over license = 12 - 10 (Maximum users - users in license)

Add seats to a subscription

The users in license count can be increased by adding seats to a subscription any time during the subscription period. The cost of seats added during the subscription period is prorated from the date of purchase through the end of the subscription period.

To add seats to a subscription:

  1. Log in to the Customers Portal.
  2. Navigate to the Manage Purchases page.
  3. Select Add more seats on the relevant subscription card.
  4. Enter the number of additional users.
  5. Select Proceed to checkout.
  6. Review the Subscription Upgrade Detail. The system lists the total price for all users on the system and a credit for what you've already paid. You are only be charged for the net change.
  7. Select Confirm Upgrade.

The following items are emailed to you:

  • A payment receipt. You can also access this information in the Customers Portal under View invoices.
  • A new license. Upload this license to your instance to use it.

Renew a subscription

Starting 30 days before a subscription expires, GitLab notifies administrators of the date of expiry with a banner in the GitLab user interface.

We recommend following these steps during renewal:

  1. Prune any inactive or unwanted users by blocking them.

  2. Determine if you have a need for user growth in the upcoming subscription.

  3. Log in to the Customers Portal and select the Renew button beneath your existing subscription.

    NOTE: If you need to change your GitLab tier, contact our sales team via the sales contact form for assistance as this can't be done in the Customers Portal.

  4. In the first box, enter the total number of user licenses you'll need for the upcoming year. Be sure this number is at least equal to, or greater than the number of billable users in the system at the time of performing the renewal.

  5. Enter the number of users over license in the second box for the user overage incurred in your previous subscription term.

  6. Review your renewal details and complete the payment process.

  7. A license for the renewal term is available for download on the Manage Purchases page on the relevant subscription card. Select Copy license to clipboard or Download license to get a copy.

  8. Upload your new license to your instance.

An invoice is generated for the renewal and available for viewing or download on the View invoices page. If you have difficulty during the renewal process, contact our support team for assistance.

Seat Link

Introduced in GitLab 12.9.

Seat Link allows GitLab Inc. to provide our GitLab self-managed customers with prorated charges for user growth throughout the year using a quarterly reconciliation process.

Seat Link daily sends a count of all users in connected GitLab self-managed instances to GitLab. That information is used to automate prorated reconciliations. The data is sent securely through an encrypted HTTPS connection to on port 443.

Seat Link provides only the following information to GitLab:

  • Date
  • Timestamp
  • License key
  • Historical maximum user count
  • Billable users count
  • GitLab version
  • Hostname
  • Instance ID
  • MD5 hash of license

For offline or closed network customers, the existing true-up model is used. Prorated charges are not possible without user count data.

Click here to view example content of a Seat Link POST request.

  gitlab_version: '13.12.0',
  timestamp: '2020-01-29T18:25:57+00:00',
  date: '2020-01-29',
  license_key: 'ZXlKa1lYUmhJam9pWm5WNmVsTjVZekZ2YTJoV2NucDBh
  hostname: '',
  instance_id: 'c1ac02cb-cb3f-4120-b7fe-961bbfa3abb7',
  license_md5: '7cd897fffb3517dddf01b79a0889b515'

You can view the exact JSON payload in the administration panel. To view the payload:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > {admin} Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Settings > Metrics and profiling and expand Seat Link.
  3. Select Preview payload.

Disable Seat Link

Introduced in GitLab 12.10.

Seat Link is enabled by default.

To disable this feature:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > {admin} Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Settings > Metrics and profiling and expand Seat Link.
  3. Clear the Enable Seat Link checkbox.
  4. Select Save changes.

To disable Seat Link in an Omnibus GitLab installation, and prevent it from being configured in the future through the administration panel, set the following in gitlab.rb:

gitlab_rails['seat_link_enabled'] = false

To disable Seat Link in a GitLab source installation, and prevent it from being configured in the future through the administration panel, set the following in gitlab.yml:

production: &base
  # ...
    # ...
    seat_link_enabled: false

Upgrade your subscription tier

To upgrade your GitLab tier:

  1. Log in to the Customers Portal.
  2. Select the Upgrade button on the relevant subscription card on the Manage purchases page.
  3. Select the desired upgrade.
  4. Confirm the active form of payment, or add a new form of payment.
  5. Select the I accept the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service checkbox.
  6. Select Purchase.

The following is emailed to you:

  • A payment receipt. You can also access this information in the Customers Portal under View invoices.
  • A new license.

Upload the new license to your instance. The new tier takes effect when the new license is uploaded.

Subscription expiry

When your license expires, GitLab locks down features, like Git pushes and issue creation. Then, your instance becomes read-only and an expiration message is displayed to all administrators.

For GitLab self-managed instances, you have a 14-day grace period before this occurs.

  • To resume functionality, upload a new license.
  • To fall back to Free features, delete the expired license.

Contact Support

Learn more about:

We also encourage all users to search our project trackers for known issues and existing feature requests in the GitLab project.

These issues are the best avenue for getting updates on specific product plans and for communicating directly with the relevant GitLab team members.


Credit card declined

If your credit card is declined when purchasing a GitLab subscription, possible reasons include:

  • The credit card details provided are incorrect.
  • The credit card account has insufficient funds.
  • You are using a virtual credit card and it has insufficient funds, or has expired.
  • The transaction exceeds the credit limit.
  • The transaction exceeds the credit card's maximum transaction amount.

Check with your financial institution to confirm if any of these reasons apply. If they don't apply, contact GitLab Support.