How to Set Up A Git Repository within GitLab

What is a Git Repository?

What Is the Difference Between GitLab and GitHub?

How to Set up a Local Repository for GitLab

  1. Go to your dashboard and look for the green button labeled “New Project.” Alternatively, you can use the plus icon in the navigation bar. Either one of these buttons will open the “New Project” page.
  2. From the “New Project” page, you’ll be given the option to create a blank project, create a project from templates, import a project from a different repository, or run CI/CD pipelines for external repositories. See the sections below for further information on the specifics of each of these.

Creating a New Repository within GitLab

Blank projects

  1. Select “Blank Project” from the “New Project” page.
  2. Enter the name of your project in the “Project Name” field. Special characters aren’t allowed, but anything else is fair game.
  3. GitLab uses a project slug as the main URL path to your project. When you enter the project name, this “Project Slug” field will auto populate. If you don’t like the automatically chosen slug, you can change it manually.
  4. Entering a project description will help others understand what your project is about. This field isn’t required, but it is recommended to make project management easier. You can enter a description for your project in the “Project Description” field.
  5. Set the viewing and access rights for users in the “Visibility Level” section. This is where you decide which users will have access to which features. This is one of the distinguishing features between GitLab and more basic Git hosting services such as GitHub.
  6. Check the “Initialize repository with a README” option. This is an optional selection, but is recommended because doing so will put an initial file in the repository, create a default branch for it, and initialize the repository.
  7. Click on “Create Project” to finish the process.

Template-based projects

  1. From the “New Project” page, select the “Create from template” tab.
  2. If you want to use a built-in template, choose the “Built-in” tab from the page that opens. If you want to use a custom template, you can find them in the “Instance” or “Group” tab, depending on where the template resides.
  3. After selecting the type of template you want to use, you’ll be presented with a list of the available templates. Find a template that interests you and click on the “Preview” button to get a look at the template source.
  4. Once you’ve found the template that you want to use for your project, click on the “Use Template” button to begin creating a project based on that template.
  5. Now you must enter the details of the project. Everything from here on is exactly the same as the steps for creating a blank project, detailed in the section above.

Creating a Repository from an Existing Project

Cloning an Existing Repository

  1. To fork a project on GitLab, you need to have permission to view it. Assuming that you do, you can navigate to the project’s home page and click on the “Fork” button in the top right corner.
  2. Next, you’ll be shown a list of namespaces that you can fork to. You must have Developer or higher permissions for a namespace before you will be allowed to fork to it. After the fork is created, whichever permissions you have in the namespace are what you’ll have in the fork.


An Alten Company, Cprime is a global consulting firm helping transforming businesses get in sync.

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An Alten Company, Cprime is a global consulting firm helping transforming businesses get in sync.

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