Lower-level APIs

python-gitlab’s API levels provide different degrees of convenience, control and stability.

Main interface - Gitlab, managers and objects

As shown in previous sections and examples, the high-level API interface wraps GitLab’s API endpoints and makes them available from the Gitlab instance via managers that create objects you can manipulate.

This is what most users will want to use, as it covers most of GitLab’s API endpoints, and allows you to write idiomatic Python code when interacting with the API.

Lower-level API - HTTP methods


At this point, python-gitlab will no longer take care of URL-encoding and other transformations needed to correctly pass API parameter types. You have to construct these correctly yourself.

However, you still benefit from many of the client’s Features such as authentication, requests and retry handling.


If you’ve found yourself at this section because of an endpoint not yet implemented in the library - please consider opening a pull request implementing the resource or at least filing an issue so we can track progress.

High-quality pull requests for standard endpoints that pass CI and include unit tests and documentation are easy to review, and can land quickly with monthly releases. If you ask, we can also trigger a new release, so you and everyone benefits from the contribution right away!

Managers and objects call specific HTTP methods to fetch or send data to the server. These methods can be invoked directly to access endpoints not currently implemented by the client. This essentially gives you some level of usability for any endpoint the moment it is available on your GitLab instance.

These methods can be accessed directly via the Gitlab instance (e.g. gl.http_get()), or via an object’s manager (e.g. project.manager.gitlab.http_get()), if the Gitlab instance is not available in the current context.

For example, if you’d like to access GitLab’s undocumented latest pipeline endpoint, you can do so by calling http_get() with the path to the endpoint:

>>> gl = gitlab.Gitlab(private_token=private_token)
>>> pipeline = gl.http_get("/projects/gitlab-org%2Fgitlab/pipelines/latest")
>>> pipeline["id"]

The available methods are:

  • http_get()

  • http_post()

  • http_put()

  • http_patch()

  • http_delete()

  • http_list() (a wrapper around http_get handling pagination, including with lazy generators)

  • http_head() (only returns the header dictionary)

Lower-lower-level API - HTTP requests


This is mostly intended for internal use in python-gitlab and may have a less stable interface than higher-level APIs. To lessen the chances of a change to the interface impacting your code, we recommend using keyword arguments when calling the interfaces.

At the lowest level, HTTP methods call http_request(), which performs the actual request and takes care of details such as timeouts, retries, and handling rate-limits.

This method can be invoked directly to or customize this behavior for a single request, or to call custom HTTP methods not currently implemented in the library - while still making use of all of the client’s options and authentication methods.

For example, if for whatever reason you want to fetch allowed methods for an endpoint at runtime:

>>> gl = gitlab.Gitlab(private_token=private_token)
>>> response = gl.http_request(verb="OPTIONS", path="/projects")
>>> response.headers["Allow"]

Or get the total number of a user’s events with a customized HEAD request:

>>> response = gl.http_request(
        query_params={"sudo": "some-user"},
>>> response.headers["X-Total"]