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GraphQL is a query language for APIs. You can use it to request the exact data you need, and therefore limit the number of requests you need.

GraphQL data is arranged in types, so your client can use client-side GraphQL libraries to consume the API and avoid manual parsing.

The GraphQL API is versionless.

Getting started

If you're new to the GitLab GraphQL API, see Get started with GitLab GraphQL API.

You can view the available resources in the GraphQL API reference.

The GitLab GraphQL API endpoint is located at /api/graphql.

Interactive GraphQL explorer

Explore the GraphQL API using the interactive GraphQL explorer, either:

  • On
  • On your self-managed GitLab instance on https://<>/-/graphql-explorer.

For more information, see GraphiQL.

View GraphQL examples

You can work with sample queries that pull data from public projects on

The get started page includes different methods to customize GraphQL queries.


You can access some queries without authentication, but others require authentication. Mutations always require authentication.

You can authenticate by using either a:

If the authentication information is not valid, GitLab returns an error message with a status code of 401:

{"errors":[{"message":"Invalid token"}]}

Token authentication

  • Authentication method restrictions introduced in GitLab 17.0 with a flag named graphql_minimal_auth_methods and backported to GitLab 17.0.3 and GitLab 16.11.5. Disabled by default in 17.0.
  • Flag enabled by default in 17.0.3 and 16.11.5, therefore restrictions are enforced in these versions and later.

Use any of the following tokens to authenticate with the GraphQL API:

Authenticate with a token by passing it through in a request header or as a parameter.

Tokens require the correct scope.

Header authentication

Example of token authentication using an Authorization: Bearer <token> request header:

curl "" --header "Authorization: Bearer <token>" \
     --header "Content-Type: application/json" --request POST \
     --data "{\"query\": \"query {currentUser {name}}\"}"
Parameter authentication

Example of using an OAuth 2.0 token in the access_token parameter:

curl "<oauth_token>" \
     --header "Content-Type: application/json" --request POST \
     --data "{\"query\": \"query {currentUser {name}}\"}"

You can pass in personal, project, or group access tokens using the private_token parameter:

curl "<access_token>" \
     --header "Content-Type: application/json" --request POST \
     --data "{\"query\": \"query {currentUser {name}}\"}"
Token scopes

Tokens must have the correct scope to access the GraphQL API, either:

Scope Access
read_api Grants read access to the API. Sufficient for queries.
api Grants read and write access to the API. Required by mutations.

Session cookie authentication

Signing in to the main GitLab application sets a _gitlab_session session cookie.

The interactive GraphQL explorer and the web frontend of GitLab itself use this method of authentication.

Global IDs

In the GitLab GraphQL API, an id field is nearly always a Global ID and never a database primary key ID. A Global ID in the GitLab GraphQL API begins with "gid://gitlab/". For example, "gid://gitlab/Issue/123".

Global IDs are a convention used for caching and fetching in some client-side libraries.

GitLab Global IDs are subject to change. If changed, the use of the old Global ID as an argument is deprecated and supported according to the deprecation and breaking change process. You should not expect that a cached Global ID will be valid beyond the time of a GitLab GraphQL deprecation cycle.

Available top-level queries

The top-level entry points for all queries are defined in the Query type in the GraphQL reference.

Multiplex queries

GitLab supports batching queries into a single request. For more information, see Multiplex.

Breaking changes

The GitLab GraphQL API is versionless and changes to the API are primarily backward-compatible.

However, GitLab sometimes changes the GraphQL API in a way that is not backward-compatible. These changes are considered breaking changes, and can include removing or renaming fields, arguments, or other parts of the schema. When creating a breaking change, GitLab follows a deprecation and removal process.

To avoid having a breaking change affect your integrations, you should:

For more information, see Deprecating GitLab features.

Breaking change exemptions

Schema items labeled as experiments in the GraphQL API reference are exempt from the deprecation process. These items can be removed or changed at any time without notice.

Fields behind a feature flag and disabled by default do not follow the deprecation and removal process. These fields can be removed at any time without notice.

WARNING: GitLab makes all attempts to follow the deprecation and removal process. GitLab might make immediate breaking changes to the GraphQL API to patch critical security or performance concerns if the deprecation process would pose significant risk.

Verify against the future breaking-change schema

You can make calls against the GraphQL API as if all deprecated items were already removed. This way, you can verify API calls ahead of a breaking-change release before the items are actually removed from the schema.

To make these calls, add a remove_deprecated=true query parameter to the GraphQL API endpoint. For example, for GraphQL on

Deprecation and removal process

The deprecation and removal process for the GitLab GraphQL API aligns with the wider GitLab deprecation process.

Parts of the schema marked for removal from the GitLab GraphQL API are first deprecated but still available for at least six releases. They are then removed entirely during the next XX.0 major release.

Items are marked as deprecated in:

The deprecation message provides an alternative for the deprecated schema item, if applicable.

To avoid experiencing breaking changes, you should remove the deprecated schema from your GraphQL API calls as soon as possible. You should verify your API calls against the schema without the deprecated schema items.

Deprecation example

The following fields are deprecated in different minor releases, but both removed in GitLab 17.0:

Field deprecated in Reason
15.7 GitLab traditionally has 12 minor releases per major release. To ensure the field is available for 6 more releases, it is removed in the 17.0 major release (and not 16.0).
16.6 The removal in 17.0 allows for 6 months of availability.

List of removed items

View the list of items removed in previous releases.


The following limits apply to the GitLab GraphQL API.

Limit Default
Maximum page size 100 records (nodes) per page. Applies to most connections in the API. Particular connections may have different max page size limits that are higher or lower.
Maximum query complexity 200 for unauthenticated requests and 250 for authenticated requests.
Request timeout 30 seconds.
Maximum query size 10,000 characters per query or mutation. If this limit is reached, use variables and fragments to reduce the query or mutation size. Remove white spaces as last resort.

Maximum query complexity

The GitLab GraphQL API scores the complexity of a query. Generally, larger queries have a higher complexity score. This limit is designed to protecting the API from performing queries that could negatively impact its overall performance.

You can query the complexity score of a query and the limit for the request.

If a query exceeds the complexity limit, an error message response is returned.

In general, each field in a query adds 1 to the complexity score, although this can be higher or lower for particular fields. Sometimes, adding certain arguments may also increase the complexity of a query.

Resolve mutations detected as spam

GraphQL mutations can be detected as spam. If a mutation is detected as spam and:

  • A CAPTCHA service is not configured, a GraphQL top-level error is raised. For example:

      "errors": [
          "message": "Request denied. Spam detected",
          "locations": [ { "line": 6, "column": 7 } ],
          "path": [ "updateSnippet" ],
          "extensions": {
            "spam": true
      "data": {
        "updateSnippet": {
          "snippet": null
  • A CAPTCHA service is configured, you receive a response with:

    • needsCaptchaResponse set to true.
    • The spamLogId and captchaSiteKey fields set.

    For example:

      "errors": [
          "message": "Request denied. Solve CAPTCHA challenge and retry",
          "locations": [ { "line": 6, "column": 7 } ],
          "path": [ "updateSnippet" ],
          "extensions": {
            "needsCaptchaResponse": true,
            "captchaSiteKey": "6LeIxAcTAAAAAJcZVRqyHh71UMIEGNQ_MXjiZKhI",
            "spamLogId": 67
      "data": {
        "updateSnippet": {
          "snippet": null,
  • Use the captchaSiteKey to obtain a CAPTCHA response value using the appropriate CAPTCHA API. Only Google reCAPTCHA v2 is supported.

  • Resubmit the request with the X-GitLab-Captcha-Response and X-GitLab-Spam-Log-Id headers set.

NOTE: The GitLab GraphiQL implementation doesn't permit passing of headers, so we must write this as a cURL query. --data-binary is used to properly handle escaped double quotes in the JSON-embedded query.

export CAPTCHA_RESPONSE="<CAPTCHA response obtained from CAPTCHA service>"
export SPAM_LOG_ID="<spam_log_id obtained from initial REST response>"
curl --header "Authorization: Bearer $PRIVATE_TOKEN" --header "Content-Type: application/json" --header "X-GitLab-Captcha-Response: $CAPTCHA_RESPONSE" --header "X-GitLab-Spam-Log-Id: $SPAM_LOG_ID" --request POST --data-binary '{"query": "mutation {createSnippet(input: {title: \"Title\" visibilityLevel: public blobActions: [ { action: create filePath: \"BlobPath\" content: \"BlobContent\" } ] }) { snippet { id title } errors }}"}' ""