A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Create a Group in GitLab

Creating a group in GitLab is an essential step for organizing and managing multiple projects effectively. This guide will walk you through the process of setting up a group, personalizing it, inviting members, and managing permissions to ensure a smooth collaboration experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Accessing the Group Creation Menu involves navigating the sidebar and locating the ‘New Group’ button.
  • Entering group details includes choosing a group name, setting the group URL, and selecting the visibility level.
  • Personalizing your group allows you to select your role, specify group usage, and choose the group’s purpose.
  • Inviting members to your group requires entering their email addresses and assigning appropriate roles.
  • Managing group permissions and utilizing subgroups can enhance collaboration and project management.

Accessing the Group Creation Menu

Navigating the Sidebar

To start creating a group in GitLab, you first need to access the group creation menu. Navigate to the left sidebar where you will find various options for managing your projects and groups. This sidebar is your main navigation tool within GitLab.

Locating the New Group Button

Once you are in the sidebar, look for the option to create a new group. This is typically found under the ‘Create new’ section. Click on the ‘New group’ button to proceed. This will take you to the group creation screen where you can enter all the necessary details for your new group.

Entering Group Details

Choosing a Group Name

Choosing a group name is the first step in creating your GitLab group. This name will be used to identify your group within GitLab, so make sure it is both descriptive and concise. You can edit your group details from the group general settings if needed.

Setting the Group URL

The group URL is automatically generated based on the group name, but you can customize it to better fit your needs. This URL will be used to access your group, so choose something memorable and relevant.

Selecting the Visibility Level

When creating a group, you have the option to set its visibility level. The options are:

  • Private: Only members can see the group and its projects.
  • Internal: Any logged-in user can see the group and its projects.
  • Public: Anyone can see the group and its projects.

Choose the visibility level that best suits your group’s purpose and security needs.

Personalizing Your Group

Once you’ve entered the basic details for your group, it’s time to personalize it to better fit your needs and preferences. This step is optional but highly recommended to enhance your GitLab experience.

Inviting Members to Your Group

Members that are not automatically added are displayed on the Invited tab. This tab includes users who:

  • Have not yet accepted the invitation.
  • Are waiting for approval from an administrator.
  • Exceed the group user cap.



  • You must have the Owner role.
  • The member must have direct membership in the group. If membership is inherited from a parent group, then the member can be
    removed from the parent group only.

To remove a member from a group:

Up to ten of the most recently active group owners receive an email with your request. Any group owner can approve or decline the

If you change your mind before your request is approved, select Withdraw Access Request.

Creating the Group

Once you’ve entered all the necessary details, it’s time to finalize the creation of your group. Follow these steps to complete the process and ensure everything is set up correctly.

Managing Group Members

Adding New Members

To add new members to your group, navigate to the left sidebar and select Manage > Members. From there, you can invite users by entering their email addresses. Members that are not automatically added will appear on the Invited tab, which includes users who have not yet accepted the invitation, are waiting for approval from an administrator, or exceed the group user cap.

Removing Members

To remove a member from the group, you must have the Owner role. Note that the member must have direct membership in the group; if their membership is inherited from a parent group, they can only be removed from the parent group. Navigate to Manage > Members, find the member you wish to remove, and select the appropriate option to remove them.

Changing Member Roles

You can change the roles of existing members by navigating to Manage > Members. Select the member whose role you wish to change and choose the new role from the available options. This allows you to manage permissions and access levels effectively within your group.

Note: The display of group members’ Source might be inconsistent. For more information, see issue 23020.

Setting Group Permissions

Understanding Permission Levels

In GitLab, permission levels are crucial for managing access and control within your group. The primary roles include Guest, Reporter, Developer, Maintainer, and Owner. Each role has specific permissions, ranging from minimal access for Guests to full control for Owners. Understanding these roles is essential for effective group management.

Assigning Permissions

To assign permissions in your GitLab group:

  1. On the left sidebar, select Search or go to and find your group.
  2. Select Settings > General.
  3. Expand the Permissions and group features section.
  4. From Roles allowed to create projects, select an option.
  5. Select Save changes.

For advanced permission settings, consider upgrading to GitLab Premium. This version offers more granular control over permissions and additional features to enhance group management.

Utilizing Subgroups

GitLab group creation

Creating subgroups in GitLab is a powerful way to organize your projects and teams. Group members of the avengers will be directly inherited by all subgroups, making it easier to manage users across multiple projects. This strategy simplifies user management, especially when someone leaves or joins an organization. You only need to add or remove them from the respective group, reducing the effort required to manage users in the organization.

Users cannot create a subgroup or project with a higher visibility level than that of the immediate parent group. This ensures that your subgroup’s visibility is always aligned with your organization’s policies. To view groups where you have direct or indirect membership:

  1. On the left sidebar, select Search or go to.
  2. Select View all my groups.
  3. In the upper right, select Explore groups.

This page shows groups that you are a member of through direct or inherited membership. You can also view all of the issues and merge requests for the projects in the group, and analytics about the group’s activity. For larger organizations, creating subgroups can significantly enhance your project management capabilities.

Using Group-Level Project Templates

Creating Custom Templates

Creating custom project templates at the group level allows you to standardize project structures and streamline the setup process for new projects. Custom templates are available in Premium and Ultimate tiers and can be created by anyone with the necessary permissions.

To create a custom template:

  1. Navigate to the group where you want to create the template.
  2. Go to the Settings tab and select Templates.
  3. Click on Create new template and fill in the required details.
  4. Save the template for future use.

Applying Templates to Projects

Using a template to create a new project ensures consistency and saves time. Follow these steps to apply a template:

  1. On the left sidebar, at the top, select Create new and then New project/repository.
  2. Select Create from template.
  3. Choose the Group tab to view available group-level templates.
  4. Select the desired template and click Use template.
  5. Enter the project details, such as the project name and visibility level.
  6. Click Create project to finalize.

Utilizing group-level project templates can significantly enhance productivity and maintain uniformity across multiple projects within the same group.

Implementing SAML SSO for Groups

Configuring SAML SSO

To configure SAML SSO for your GitLab group, navigate to the group settings and select the SAML SSO option. You’ll need to provide the Identity Provider (IdP) details, including the SSO URL, Issuer, and Certificate. Ensure all fields are correctly filled to avoid any authentication issues.

  1. Go to Group Settings.
  2. Select SAML SSO.
  3. Enter IdP details:
    • SSO URL
    • Issuer
    • Certificate

Proper configuration of SAML SSO enhances security and streamlines user access management.

Syncing with SAML

Once SAML SSO is configured, you can sync your group with the IdP. This allows for automatic user provisioning and de-provisioning based on the IdP’s user directory. Regular syncing ensures that your group’s membership stays up-to-date with your organization’s directory.

  • Navigate to Group Settings.
  • Select SAML Sync.
  • Initiate the sync process.

By implementing SAML SSO, you can significantly improve the security and efficiency of managing group access in GitLab.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Resolving Group Creation Errors

If you encounter issues while creating a group, ensure that you have the necessary permissions. Admins that have not been assigned to a namespace cannot create groups. Double-check your role and permissions settings.

Handling Permission Issues

Permission issues can often arise due to misconfigurations. Verify that the permission levels are correctly assigned to each member. If problems persist, consider reviewing the group settings or consulting the GitLab documentation for further assistance.


Creating a group in GitLab is a straightforward process that can significantly enhance your project management and collaboration efforts. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily set up a group, customize its settings, and invite team members to join. This not only helps in organizing your projects but also streamlines access and permissions management. Whether you’re working on multiple projects or onboarding new team members, GitLab groups offer a flexible and efficient way to manage your development workflow. So go ahead, create your group, and take your GitLab experience to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I access the group creation menu in GitLab?

On the left sidebar, at the top, select ‘Create new’ and then ‘New group’. After that, click on ‘Create group’.

What details are required to create a group in GitLab?

You need to enter a group name, set the group URL, and select the visibility level. Optionally, you can also personalize your group by selecting your role, specifying group usage, and choosing the group purpose.

How do I invite members to my GitLab group?

To invite members, enter their email addresses in the provided text boxes. You can invite multiple members by selecting ‘Invite another member’ and entering additional email addresses.

Can I change the roles of members after creating the group?

Yes, you can change member roles after creating the group by navigating to ‘Manage > Members’ and selecting the desired role for each member.

What are subgroups and how do I create them?

Subgroups allow you to organize projects within a group more effectively. To create a subgroup, go to your group and select ‘New subgroup’. You can then manage subgroup permissions separately.

How do I set up SAML SSO for my GitLab group?

To configure SAML SSO, go to the group settings, select ‘SAML SSO’, and follow the configuration steps. Ensure you sync your group with SAML for seamless integration.

What should I do if I encounter group creation errors?

If you face any errors while creating a group, double-check the group name and URL for any reserved words and ensure all required fields are filled. Refer to GitLab’s troubleshooting guide for more assistance.

How can I manage group permissions in GitLab?

Navigate to the group settings and select ‘Permissions’. Here, you can assign different permission levels to members, such as Guest, Reporter, Developer, Maintainer, or Owner.

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