GitLab

For repositories stored on GitLab, the gitlab backend allows CMS users to log in directly with their GitLab account. Note that all users must have push access to your content repository for this to work.

Note: GitLab default branch is protected by default, thus typically requires maintainer permissions in order for users to have push access.

The GitLab API allows for three types of OAuth2 flows:

Authorization Code Flow with Netlify

When using GitLab's Authorization Code Flow for authentication, you can use Netlify to handle the server-side authentication requests.

To enable it:

  1. Follow the GitLab docs to add your Netlify CMS instance as an OAuth application. For the Redirect URI, enter https://api.netlify.com/auth/done, and check the box for api scope.
  2. Follow the Netlify docs to add your new GitLab Application ID and Secret to your Netlify site dashboard.
  3. In your repository, add the following lines to your Netlify CMS config.yml file:
backend:
  name: gitlab
  repo: owner-name/repo-name # Path to your GitLab repository

Client-Side PKCE Authorization

With GitLab's PKCE authorization, users can authenticate with GitLab directly from the client. To do this:

  1. Follow the GitLab docs to add your Netlify CMS instance as an OAuth application and uncheck the Confidential checkbox. For the Redirect URI, enter the address where you access Netlify CMS, for example, https://www.mysite.com/admin/. For scope, select api.

  2. GitLab gives you an Application ID. Copy this ID and enter it in your Netlify CMS config.yml file, along with the following settings:

    backend:
      name: gitlab
      repo: owner-name/repo-name # Path to your GitLab repository
      auth_type: pkce # Required for pkce
      app_id: your-app-id # Application ID from your GitLab settings

    You can also use PKCE Authorization with a self-hosted GitLab instance. This requires adding api_root, base_url, and auth_endpoint fields:

    backend:
      name: gitlab
      repo: owner-name/repo-name # Path to your GitLab repository
      auth_type: pkce # Required for pkce
      app_id: your-app-id # Application ID from your GitLab settings
      api_root: https://my-hosted-gitlab-instance.com/api/v4
      base_url: https://my-hosted-gitlab-instance.com
      auth_endpoint: oauth/authorize

(DEPRECATED) Client-Side Implicit Grant

Note: This method is not recommended and will be deprecated both by GitLab and in the OAuth 2.1 specification in the future.

With GitLab's Implicit Grant, users can authenticate with GitLab directly from the client. To do this:

  1. Follow the GitLab docs to add your Netlify CMS instance as an OAuth application and uncheck the Confidential checkbox. For the Redirect URI, enter the address where you access Netlify CMS, for example, https://www.mysite.com/admin/. For scope, select api.

  2. GitLab gives you an Application ID. Copy this ID and enter it in your Netlify CMS config.yml file, along with the following settings:

    backend:
      name: gitlab
      repo: owner-name/repo-name # Path to your GitLab repository
      auth_type: implicit # Required for implicit grant
      app_id: your-app-id # Application ID from your GitLab settings

    You can also use Implicit Grant with a self-hosted GitLab instance. This requires adding api_root, base_url, and auth_endpoint fields:

    backend:
      name: gitlab
      repo: owner-name/repo-name # Path to your GitLab repository
      auth_type: implicit # Required for implicit grant
      app_id: your-app-id # Application ID from your GitLab settings
      api_root: https://my-hosted-gitlab-instance.com/api/v4
      base_url: https://my-hosted-gitlab-instance.com
      auth_endpoint: oauth/authorize

Note: In all cases, GitLab also provides you with a client secret. You should never store this in your repo or reveal it in the client.

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