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Push rules

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  • Maximum regular expression length for push rules changed from 255 to 511 characters in GitLab 16.3.

Push rules are pre-receive Git hooks you can enable in a user-friendly interface. Push rules give you more control over what can and can't be pushed to your repository. While GitLab offers protected branches, you may need more specific rules, such as:

  • Evaluating the contents of a commit.
  • Confirming commit messages match expected formats.
  • Enforcing branch name rules.
  • Evaluating the details of files.
  • Preventing Git tag removal.

GitLab uses RE2 syntax for regular expressions in push rules. You can test them at the regex101 regex tester. Each regular expression is limited to 511 characters.

For custom push rules use server hooks.

Enable global push rules

You can create push rules for all new projects to inherit, but they can be overridden at the project level or the group level. All projects created after you configure global push rules inherit this configuration. However, each existing project must be updated manually, using the process described in Override global push rules per project.


  • You must be an administrator.

To create global push rules:

  1. On the left sidebar, at the bottom, select Admin Area.
  2. Select Push Rules.
  3. Expand Push rules.
  4. Set the rule you want.
  5. Select Save push rules.

Override global push rules per project

The push rule of an individual project overrides the global push rule. To override global push rules for a specific project, or to update the rules for an existing project to match new global push rules:

  1. On the left sidebar, select Search or go to and find your project.
  2. Select Settings > Repository.
  3. Expand Push rules.
  4. Set the rule you want.
  5. Select Save push rules.

Verify users

Use these rules to validate users who make commits.

  • Reject unverified users: Users must have a confirmed email address.
  • Check whether the commit author is a GitLab user: The commit author and committer must have an email address that's been verified by GitLab.
  • Commit author's email: Both the author's and committer's email addresses must match the regular expression. To allow any email address, leave empty.

Validate commit messages

Use these rules for your commit messages.

  • Require expression in commit messages: Messages must match the expression. To allow any commit message, leave empty. Uses multiline mode, which can be disabled by using (?-m). Some validation examples:

    • JIRA\-\d+ requires every commit to reference a Jira issue, like Refactored css. Fixes JIRA-123.
    • [[:^punct:]]\b$ rejects a commit if the final character is a punctuation mark. The word boundary character (\b) prevents false negatives, because Git adds a newline character (\n) to the end of the commit message.

    Commit messages created in GitLab UI set \r\n as a newline character. Use (\r\n?|\n) instead of \n in your regular expression to correctly match it.

    For example, given the following multi-line commit description:


    You can validate it with this regular expression: JIRA:(\r\n?|\n)\w+.

  • Reject expression in commit messages: Commit messages must not match the expression. To allow any commit message, leave empty. Uses multiline mode, which can be disabled by using (?-m).

Reject commits that aren't DCO certified

Commits signed with the Developer Certificate of Origin (DCO) certify the contributor wrote, or has the right to submit, the code contributed in that commit. You can require all commits to your project to comply with the DCO. This push rule requires a Signed-off-by: trailer in every commit message, and rejects any commits that lack it.

Validate branch names

To validate your branch names, enter a regular expression for Branch name. To allow any branch name, leave empty. Your default branch is always allowed. Certain formats of branch names are restricted by default for security purposes. Names with 40 hexadecimal characters, similar to Git commit hashes, are prohibited.

Some validation examples:

  • Branches must start with JIRA-.

  • Branches must end with -JIRA.

  • Branches must be between 4 and 15 characters long, accepting only lowercase letters, numbers and dashes.


Prevent unintended consequences

Use these rules to prevent unintended consequences.

Validate files

Use these rules to validate files contained in the commit.

  • Prevent pushing secret files: Files must not contain secrets.
  • Prohibited filenames: Files that do not exist in the repository must not match the regular expression. To allow all filenames, leave empty. See common examples.
  • Maximum file size: Added or updated files must not exceed this file size (in MB). To allow files of any size, set to 0. Files tracked by Git LFS are exempted.

Prevent pushing secrets to the repository

Never commit secrets, such as credential files and SSH private keys, to a version control system. In GitLab, you can use a predefined list of files to block those files from a repository. Merge requests that contain a file that matches the list are blocked. This push rule does not restrict files already committed to the repository. You must update the configuration of existing projects to use the rule, using the process described in Override global push rules per project.

Files blocked by this rule are listed below. For a complete list of criteria, refer to files_denylist.yml.

  • AWS CLI credential blobs:

    • .aws/credentials
    • aws/credentials
    • homefolder/aws/credentials
  • Private RSA SSH keys:

    • /ssh/id_rsa
    • /.ssh/personal_rsa
    • /config/server_rsa
    • id_rsa
    • .id_rsa
  • Private DSA SSH keys:

    • /ssh/id_dsa
    • /.ssh/personal_dsa
    • /config/server_dsa
    • id_dsa
    • .id_dsa
  • Private ED25519 SSH keys:

    • /ssh/id_ed25519
    • /.ssh/personal_ed25519
    • /config/server_ed25519
    • id_ed25519
    • .id_ed25519
  • Private ECDSA SSH keys:

    • /ssh/id_ecdsa
    • /.ssh/personal_ecdsa
    • /config/server_ecdsa
    • id_ecdsa
    • .id_ecdsa
  • Private ECDSA_SK SSH keys:

    • /ssh/id_ecdsa_sk
    • /.ssh/personal_ecdsa_sk
    • /config/server_ecdsa_sk
    • id_ecdsa_sk
    • .id_ecdsa_sk
  • Private ED25519_SK SSH keys:

    • /ssh/id_ed25519_sk
    • /.ssh/personal_ed25519_sk
    • /config/server_ed25519_sk
    • id_ed25519_sk
    • .id_ed25519_sk
  • Any files ending with these suffixes:

    • *.pem
    • *.key
    • *.history
    • *_history

Prohibit files by name

In Git, filenames include both the file's name, and all directories preceding the name. When you git push, each filename in the push is compared to the regular expression in Prohibited filenames.

The regular expression in your Prohibited filenames push rule can contain multiple, independent matches to exclude. You can match filenames broadly to any location in your repository, or restrict only in certain locations. Filename matches can also be partial, and exclude file types by extension.

These examples use regex (regular expressions) string boundary characters to match the beginning of a string (^), and its end ($). They also include instances where either the directory path or the filename can include . or /. Both of these special regex characters must be escaped with a backslash \\ if you want to use them as standard characters in a match condition.

  • Prevent pushing .exe files to any location in the repository - This regex matches any filename that contains .exe at the end:

  • Prevent pushing a specific configuration file in the repository root

  • Prevent pushing a specific configuration file in a known directory

  • Prevent pushing a specific file to any location in the repository - This example tests for any file named install.exe. The parenthesized expression (^|\/) matches either a file following a directory separator, or a file in the root directory of the repository:

  • Combine all previous expressions into one expression - The preceding expressions rely on the end-of-string character $. We can move that part of each expression to the end of the grouped collection of match conditions, where it is appended to all matches:


Related topics


Reject unsigned commits push rule disables Web IDE

If a project has the Reject unsigned commits push rule, the user cannot create commits through the GitLab Web IDE.

To allow committing through the Web IDE on a project with this push rule, a GitLab administrator must disable the feature flag reject_unsigned_commits_by_gitlab with a flag.


Unsigned commits created in the GitLab UI

The Reject unsigned commits push rule ignores commits that are authenticated and created by GitLab (either through the UI or API). When this push rule is enabled, unsigned commits may still appear in the commit history if a commit was created in GitLab itself. As expected, commits created outside GitLab and pushed to the repository are rejected. For more information about this issue, read issue #19185.

Bulk update push rules for all projects

To update the push rules to be the same for all projects, you need to use the rails console, or write a script to update each project using the Push Rules API endpoint.

For example, to enable Check whether the commit author is a GitLab user and Do not allow users to remove Git tags with git push checkboxes, and create a filter for allowing commits from a specific email domain only through rails console:

WARNING: Commands that change data can cause damage if not run correctly or under the right conditions. Always run commands in a test environment first and have a backup instance ready to restore.

Project.find_each do |p|
  pr = p.push_rule || p)
  # Check whether the commit author is a GitLab user
  pr.member_check = true
  # Do not allow users to remove Git tags with `git push`
  pr.deny_delete_tag = true
  # Commit author's email
  pr.author_email_regex = '@domain\.com$'!