Public access

GitLab allows Owners to set a project's visibility as public, internal, or private. These visibility levels affect who can see the project in the public access directory (/public under your GitLab instance), like at

Visibility of projects

Public projects

Public projects can be cloned without any authentication over HTTPS.

They are listed in the public access directory (/public) for all users.

Any logged in user has Guest permissions on the repository.

Internal projects

Internal projects can be cloned by any logged in user except external users.

They are also listed in the public access directory (/public), but only for logged in users.

Any logged in users except external users have Guest permissions on the repository.

NOTE: From July 2019, the Internal visibility setting is disabled for new projects, groups, and snippets on Existing projects, groups, and snippets using the Internal visibility setting keep this setting. You can read more about the change in the relevant issue.

Private projects

Private projects can only be cloned and viewed by project members (except for guests).

They appear in the public access directory (/public) for project members only.

How to change project visibility

  1. Go to your project's Settings.
  2. Change Visibility Level to either Public, Internal, or Private.

Visibility of groups

NOTE: Starting with GitLab 8.6, the group visibility has changed and can be configured the same way as projects. In previous versions, a group's page was always visible to all users.

Like with projects, the visibility of a group can be set to dictate whether anonymous users, all signed in users, or only explicit group members can view it. The restriction for visibility levels on the application setting level also applies to groups, so if that's set to internal, the explore page is empty for anonymous users. The group page now has a visibility level icon.

Admin users cannot create subgroups or projects with higher visibility level than that of the immediate parent group.

Visibility of users

The public page of a user, located at /username, is always visible whether you are logged in or not.

When visiting the public page of a user, you can only see the projects which you are privileged to.

If the public level is restricted, user profiles are only visible to logged in users.

Visibility of pages

By default, the following directories are visible to unauthenticated users:

  • Public access (/public).
  • Explore (/explore).
  • Help (/help).

However, if the access level of the /public directory is restricted, these directories are visible only to logged in users.

Restricting the use of public or internal projects

You can restrict the use of visibility levels for users when they create a project or a snippet. This is useful to prevent users from publicly exposing their repositories by accident. The restricted visibility settings do not apply to admin users.

For details, see Restricted visibility levels.