gitlab CLI usage

python-gitlab provides a gitlab command-line tool to interact with GitLab servers. It uses a configuration file to define how to connect to the servers.



gitlab looks up 2 configuration files by default:

System-wide configuration file
User configuration file

You can use a different configuration file with the --config-file option.


The configuration file uses the INI format. It contains at least a [global] section, and a new section for each GitLab server. For example:

default = somewhere
ssl_verify = true
timeout = 5
api_version = 3

url =
private_token = vTbFeqJYCY3sibBP7BZM
api_version = 4

url =
private_token = CkqsjqcQSFH5FQKDccu4
timeout = 1

The default option of the [global] section defines the GitLab server to use if no server is explicitly specified with the --gitlab CLI option.

The [global] section also defines the values for the default connection parameters. You can override the values in each GitLab server section.

Global options
Option Possible values Description
ssl_verify True or False Verify the SSL certificate. Set to False if your SSL certificate is auto-signed.
timeout Integer Number of seconds to wait for an answer before failing.

You must define the url and private_token in each GitLab server section.

GitLab server options
Option Description
url URL for the GitLab server
private_token Your user token. Login/password is not supported.
api_version API version to use (3 or 4), defaults to 3
http_username Username for optional HTTP authentication
http_password Password for optional HTTP authentication


Objects and actions

The gitlab command expects two mandatory arguments. This first one is the type of object that you want to manipulate. The second is the action that you want to perform. For example:

$ gitlab project list

Use the --help option to list the available object types and actions:

$ gitlab --help
$ gitlab project --help

Some actions require additional parameters. Use the --help option to list mandatory and optional arguments for an action:

$ gitlab project create --help

Optional arguments

Use the following optional arguments to change the behavior of gitlab. These options must be defined before the mandatory arguments.

--verbose, -v
Outputs detail about retrieved objects.
--config-file, -c
Path to a configuration file.
--gitlab, -g
ID of a GitLab server defined in the configuration file.


$ gitlab -v -g elsewhere -c /tmp/gl.cfg project list


List the projects (paginated):

$ gitlab project list

List all the projects:

$ gitlab project list --all

Limit to 5 items per request, display the 1st page only

$ gitlab project list --page 1 --per-page 5

Get a specific project (id 2):

$ gitlab project get --id 2

Get a specific user by id or by username:

$ gitlab user get --id 3
$ gitlab user get-by-username --query jdoe

Get a list of snippets for this project:

$ gitlab project-issue list --project-id 2

Delete a snippet (id 3):

$ gitlab project-snippet delete --id 3 --project-id 2

Update a snippet:

$ gitlab project-snippet update --id 4 --project-id 2 \
    --code "My New Code"

Create a snippet:

$ gitlab project-snippet create --project-id 2
Impossible to create object (Missing attribute(s): title, file-name, code)

$ # oops, let's add the attributes:
$ gitlab project-snippet create --project-id 2 --title "the title" \
    --file-name "the name" --code "the code"

Define the status of a commit (as would be done from a CI tool for example):

$ gitlab project-commit-status create --project-id 2 \
    --commit-id a43290c --state success --name ci/jenkins \
    --target-url http://server/build/123 \
    --description "Jenkins build succeeded"

Use sudo to act as another user (admin only):

$ gitlab project create --name user_project1 --sudo username