Step-by-Step Guide: How to Create a Git Repository in GitLab

Are you new to the world of coding and collaboration, wondering how developers manage and share their work effectively? Git, a powerful version control system, is the solution. This article will guide you through the step-by-step process of creating a Git repository in GitLab. From setting up a GitLab account to cloning the repository and working with branches, committing changes, pushing and pulling changes, collaborating with others, managing issues and milestones, to continuous integration and deployment, we’ll cover it all. By the end of this guide, you’ll have the knowledge to confidently create and manage your own Git repository in GitLab.

Key Takeaways

  • GitLab is a powerful version control system that helps developers manage and share their code effectively.
  • Setting up a GitLab account is the first step in creating a Git repository.
  • Creating a new Git repository involves navigating to the GitLab dashboard, creating a new project, and choosing repository settings.
  • Cloning the Git repository allows you to work with the code locally on your machine.
  • Working with branches, committing changes, and pushing and pulling changes are essential Git operations for managing code.

Why Use GitLab for Version Control

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Create a Git Repository in GitLab

Benefits of Using GitLab

GitLab offers a wide range of benefits for version control and collaboration. With GitLab, you can easily manage your code, track changes, and collaborate with your team. Some key benefits of using GitLab include:

  • Centralized Solution: GitLab acts as a central solution provider, offering Git repositories with both free and paid versions. It provides a comprehensive DevOps platform that allows ease of project management, user permission control, and more functionalities.

  • Collaboration: GitLab enhances team productivity by providing collaborative functions such as project management, bug tracking, and support ticket management. It allows multiple developers to work on the same project and integrates frequent customer feedback directly into the source code.

  • Version Control: GitLab provides powerful version control capabilities, allowing you to track changes, revert to previous versions, and manage branches effectively.

  • Continuous Integration and Deployment: GitLab offers built-in CI/CD pipelines, enabling you to automate the process of building, testing, and deploying your applications.

  • Security: GitLab prioritizes security and provides features like two-factor authentication, IP ranges restrictions, and SSH key fingerprints to ensure the safety of your code.

  • Extensibility: GitLab is highly extensible and integrates with various tools and services, allowing you to customize your workflow and enhance your development process.

With these benefits, GitLab is a powerful tool for version control and collaboration, empowering teams to deliver high-quality software efficiently.

Key Features of GitLab

GitLab offers a wide range of features that make it a powerful tool for version control and collaboration. Some of the key features include:

  • Built-in Agile Features: GitLab provides built-in agile features such as issue boards and labels, allowing teams to effectively manage their work.
  • CI/CD Pipelines: With GitLab, you can easily build, test, and deploy applications using continuous integration and deployment pipelines.
  • Collaboration Tools: GitLab offers various collaboration tools like merge requests and repositories, enabling seamless collaboration among team members.
  • Security Scanning: GitLab allows you to scan your CI pipeline and repositories for security vulnerabilities, ensuring the safety of your code.

GitLab’s comprehensive set of features makes it a versatile platform for version control and project management.

Setting Up a GitLab Account

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Create a Git Repository in GitLab

Creating a GitLab Account

To create a GitLab account, simply navigate to the GitLab website and click on the ‘Sign up’ button. Fill in the required information, including your email address and a strong password. Once you’ve completed the registration process, you’ll have access to all the features and benefits of GitLab Premium.

Configuring Account Settings

To configure your account settings in GitLab, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Account Settings by clicking on your profile picture in the top right corner of the GitLab dashboard.
  2. Click on the Integrations tab.
  3. Expand the GitLab section.
  4. Input the necessary values, such as the GitLab Instance, Application ID, and Secret.
  5. If you have a special hosted version of GitLab, modify the GitLab Instance to use the hostname provided for your organization.
  6. Once the form is complete, click Save.

Note: Make sure to save your changes before leaving the Account Settings page.

Creating a New Git Repository

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Create a Git Repository in GitLab

Navigating to the GitLab Dashboard

To access the GitLab Dashboard, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your GitLab account.
  2. Once logged in, you will be redirected to the GitLab Dashboard.
  3. Here, you can view an overview of your projects, repositories, and activity.
  4. Use the sidebar navigation to access different sections of the GitLab Dashboard, such as Projects, Groups, and Issues.
  5. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the layout and features of the GitLab Dashboard, as it will be your central hub for managing your Git repositories.

Creating a New Project

To create a new project in GitLab, follow these steps:

  1. Open GitLab and click on ‘Create a project’.
  2. Select the ‘Blank Project’ option.
  3. Fill in the ‘Project name’ and ‘Project slug’ fields.
  4. Choose the ‘Visibility Level’ option, we recommend making the repository private.
  5. Click on ‘Create project’ to continue.

Once you have created the project, you can start adding files and collaborating with others.

Choosing Repository Settings

After creating a new project in GitLab, the next step is to choose the appropriate repository settings. These settings determine how your repository will function and what features will be available to you. Here are some important considerations when selecting repository settings:

  • Visibility Level: Determine who can access your repository, whether it’s public, internal, or private.
  • Default Branch: Set the default branch for your repository, usually ‘master’ or ‘main’.
  • Merge Method: Choose the merge method for merging branches, such as ‘Merge commit’ or ‘Fast-forward’.

It’s crucial to configure these settings correctly to ensure smooth collaboration and version control within your project. Take the time to review and adjust these settings according to your project’s requirements.

Cloning the Git Repository

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Create a Git Repository in GitLab

Installing Git on Your Local Machine

To install Git on your local machine, follow these steps:

  1. Download the software from the official website.
  2. Install the software using the appropriate method for your operating system.
  3. Open a terminal or command prompt and check the Git version using the command git --version.
  4. Set up a local directory for your repository.
  5. Familiarize yourself with basic Git commands for pushing, pulling, and merging.

Remember to regularly update Git to ensure you have the latest features and bug fixes.

Cloning the Repository

To clone a Git repository from GitLab, you have a few options. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. If you’re using IntelliJ IDEA, you can clone a project directly from the IDE. Simply go to the IntelliJ IDEA Documentation – JetBrains website and follow the instructions.

  2. If you prefer using the command line, start by navigating to your live environment’s home directory. Use the command cd ~/ to get there. Once you’re in the home directory, run the command git clone [repository-address] with the repository address you copied from GitLab.

  3. After cloning the repository, you may see a warning that says "you appear to have cloned an empty repository." Don’t worry, this is normal because the repository is empty at the moment.

  4. If you’re using Kinsta, our Nginx configuration serves content from the ~/public folder. So, you’ll need to delete the current ~/public folder and rename your cloned repository folder to public.

Configuring Remote Origin

After creating your GitLab account and setting up your local repository, the next step is to configure the remote origin. The remote origin is the URL of your project’s online copy, similar to telling your local library where to find a book. To configure the remote origin, use the git remote add command followed by the name ‘origin’ and the URL of your remote repository. For example:

git remote add origin

Once you have configured the remote origin, you can use the git push command to send your code to the remote repository. Use the -u flag to set up a connection. For example:

git push -u origin master

Working with Branches

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Create a Git Repository in GitLab

Creating a New Branch

After creating your site’s staging environment, you can proceed to create a new branch in GitLab. A branch is a separate line of development that allows you to work on new features or make changes to your project without affecting the main branch. To create a new branch, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the GitLab dashboard.
  2. Click on the ‘New Project’ button.
  3. Choose the appropriate repository settings.

Once you have created the new branch, you can start making changes and committing them to the branch. This allows you to work on multiple features or bug fixes simultaneously, keeping your main branch clean and stable.

Switching Between Branches

Switching between branches in Git allows you to seamlessly switch your working environment to a different branch. This is useful when you want to work on a different feature or fix a bug without affecting the main branch. To switch between branches, follow these steps:

  1. Use the command git branch to see a list of available branches in your repository.
  2. Use the command git checkout <branch-name> to switch to the desired branch.
  3. Make the necessary changes and commit them to the branch.
  4. Use the command git checkout <original-branch> to switch back to the original branch when you’re done.

Switching between branches allows you to work on multiple features or fixes simultaneously, keeping your code organized and reducing the risk of conflicts.

Merging Branches

Merging branches is an essential step in Git that allows you to combine the changes from different branches into a single branch. This is particularly useful when working on a collaborative project with multiple contributors. To merge branches, follow these steps:

  1. Checkout the branch that you want to merge the changes into.
  2. Run the command git merge <branch-name> to merge the changes from the specified branch.
  3. Resolve any merge conflicts that may arise.
  4. Commit the merged changes.

Merging branches helps keep your codebase organized and ensures that all the changes are incorporated into the main branch.

Committing Changes

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Create a Git Repository in GitLab

Adding Files to the Staging Area

To add files to the staging area in GitLab, you have a few options. If you’re using the Git integration in PyCharm, you can simply select the files you want to add from the Project tool window and press Control+Alt+A or choose Git | Add from the context menu. This will add the selected files to your local Git repository. Alternatively, you can add files directly from your computer by navigating to the project directory and using the command line. Once you have the files you want to add, use the command ‘git add <file>’ to add individual files or ‘git add .’ to add all files in the directory. After adding the files, you can proceed to commit the changes.

Committing Changes

After making changes to your code, it’s time to commit them. Committing changes in Git is like taking a snapshot of your project at that moment. It allows you to keep a record of what your project looked like at different points in time. To commit changes, you can use the git commit command. Make sure to provide a short message that describes the changes you made. For example:

git commit -m "First commit"

By committing your changes, Git helps you track the progress of your project and easily revert back if needed.

Viewing Commit History

To view the commit history of your Git repository, you can use the git log command. This command displays a list of all the commits that have been made, along with their respective details such as the commit message, author, and timestamp. By default, the commit history is displayed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent commit at the top.

If you want to limit the number of commits displayed, you can use the –max-count option followed by the desired number of commits. For example, to view only the last 5 commits, you can use the command git log –max-count=5.

Additionally, you can use various formatting options with the git log command to customize the output. For instance, you can use the –oneline option to display each commit on a single line, or the –graph option to visualize the commit history as a graph.

It’s important to regularly review the commit history to keep track of the changes made to your repository and understand the development timeline of your project.

Pushing and Pulling Changes

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Create a Git Repository in GitLab

Pushing Changes to the Remote Repository

After making changes to your local repository, you will need to push those changes to the remote repository in order to share your work and integrate changes made by other contributors. To push your changes, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Push dialog by selecting Git | Push from the main menu or pressing Control+Shift+K.
  2. If you haven’t added any remotes yet, click the ‘Define remote’ link to add a remote repository.
  3. In the Push dialog, specify the remote name and the URL where it will be hosted.
  4. Click OK to push your commits to the remote repository.

Remember to provide your GitLab credentials when prompted. If you need to edit or remove a remote, you can do so by right-clicking the remote branch in the Branches pane of the Git Log tool window.

For more information, you can refer to the GitLab documentation on managing remotes and pushing changes to a remote repository.

Pulling Changes from the Remote Repository

After you have made changes to your local repository and want to integrate any changes made by other contributors, you can pull the latest changes from the remote repository. This ensures that your local version is up to date with the most recent changes.

To pull changes from the remote repository, follow these steps:

  1. Open your terminal or command prompt.
  2. Navigate to your local repository directory.
  3. Use the command git pull to fetch and merge the latest changes from the remote repository.

By pulling changes from the remote repository, you can easily collaborate with others and keep your local version synchronized with the latest updates.

Collaborating with Others

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Create a Git Repository in GitLab

Adding Collaborators to the Repository

Collaboration is a key aspect of GitLab, allowing multiple users to work together on a project. Adding collaborators to your repository is a simple process that can be done in a few steps:

  1. Navigate to your repository’s settings.
  2. Select the ‘Members’ tab.
  3. Click on the ‘Add member’ button.
  4. Enter the username or email address of the person you want to add as a collaborator.
  5. Choose the appropriate access level for the collaborator.

By adding collaborators, you can easily share your code and work together to achieve your project goals.

Resolving Merge Conflicts

When working with Git, it’s common to encounter merge conflicts when merging branches. Merge conflicts occur when there are conflicting changes between the local and server branches that need to be resolved. Resolving merge conflicts is an important skill to have as a developer, and Git provides several ways to handle them.

One approach to resolving merge conflicts is by selecting conflicting changes, committing fixes, and pushing the changes to the remote repository. This allows you to manually resolve conflicts and ensure that the final merged code is correct and functional.

Another approach is to use Git’s interactive rebase feature to rewrite the commit history and resolve conflicts. This can be useful when dealing with complex merge conflicts or when you want to have more control over the merging process.

It’s important to carefully review and test the merged code after resolving conflicts to ensure that it functions as expected. Additionally, it’s a good practice to communicate with your team members and discuss any conflicts or changes made during the merging process.

Resolving merge conflicts can sometimes be challenging, but with practice and the right tools, you can effectively manage and resolve conflicts in your Git repositories.

Reviewing and Approving Merge Requests

When reviewing and approving merge requests in GitLab, it is important to carefully examine the changes made in the branch and ensure they meet the project’s standards and requirements. Here are some tips to help you effectively review and approve merge requests:

  • Focus on the code: Pay close attention to the code changes, ensuring they are well-written, follow best practices, and are properly documented.
  • Test the changes: Before approving a merge request, it is recommended to test the changes locally or using GitLab CI to ensure they do not introduce any bugs or issues.
  • Provide constructive feedback: If you notice any areas for improvement or have suggestions, provide clear and constructive feedback to the author of the merge request.
  • Collaborate with others: If necessary, involve other team members or stakeholders in the review process to gather additional perspectives and ensure a thorough evaluation.

Remember, the goal of reviewing and approving merge requests is to maintain code quality, ensure project standards are met, and promote collaboration among team members. By following these guidelines, you can contribute to the success of your GitLab project.

Managing Issues and Milestones

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Create a Git Repository in GitLab

Creating and Assigning Issues

Creating and assigning issues is an essential part of managing your Git repository in GitLab. Issues allow you to track and organize tasks, bugs, and feature requests. To create a new issue, navigate to the ‘Issues’ tab in your GitLab project and click on the ‘New Issue’ button. Fill in the necessary details such as the issue title, description, and labels. You can also assign the issue to a specific user or group by selecting them from the assignee dropdown menu. Assigning issues helps to distribute tasks and responsibilities among team members, ensuring efficient collaboration and progress.

Tracking Progress with Milestones

GitLab milestones are a great way to track the progress of your project. You can use them to group issues and merge requests into a single timeline. Milestones provide a visual representation of the project’s progress and help you stay organized. They allow you to set deadlines and track the completion of specific tasks. With milestones, you can easily monitor the overall progress of your project and ensure that all the necessary work is being done.

Closing Issues

Once an issue has been resolved, you can close it in GitLab. Closing an issue indicates that it has been completed and is no longer active. This helps keep your issue tracker organized and allows you to focus on open issues that still require attention. To close an issue, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the issue page in GitLab.
  2. Locate the "Close" button at the top right corner of the page.
  3. Click the "Close" button to mark the issue as closed.

By closing issues, you can effectively track the progress of your project and ensure that all tasks are completed. Remember to regularly review and close resolved issues to maintain an efficient workflow.

Continuous Integration and Deployment

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Create a Git Repository in GitLab

Setting Up CI/CD Pipelines

After creating your Git repository, the next step is to set up CI/CD pipelines. CI/CD pipeline templates come built in, automatically scanning your code to create and run pipelines to build, test, package, and deploy your application. This ensures rapid progress in software development and catches bugs early in the process. To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Initialize the app
  2. Setup GitLab Runner
  3. Install GitLab Runner as a Docker service
  4. Register GitLab Runner container
  5. Create a .gitlab-ci.yml file
  6. View the status of the pipeline and jobs

By following these steps, you can automate your development workflows and enhance collaboration and efficiency. Remember, this article is just a hands-on demonstration of using GitLab CI/CD, but it will provide a solid foundation for building your own projects.

Configuring Deployment Environments

Once you have created your Git repository and set up your CI/CD pipelines, the next step is to configure the deployment environments. This allows you to define the specific environments where your application will be deployed, such as staging or production.

To configure the deployment environments in GitLab, follow these steps:

  1. Access the GitLab settings for your repository.
  2. Define the values associated with the newly added environment.
  3. Optionally, you can add additional granularity to the configuration by adding an additional deploy_staging block with the URL and SSH details for your staging environment.

By configuring the deployment environments, you can easily manage and deploy your application to different environments with ease.

Monitoring and Managing Pipelines

Once you have set up your CI/CD pipelines in GitLab, it is important to monitor and manage them effectively. Here are some tips to help you with this process:

  • Check the status of the most recent pipeline to see if it was successful or if there were any failures. You can click through the pipeline name to view more details, including a summary of all the jobs that ran.

  • Use the sidebar navigation to access the ‘Build’ and ‘Pipelines’ sections. This is where you can find information about your pipelines and their status.

  • If you need to review the logs of the gitlab-runner container on your local machine, you can do so.

  • Familiarize yourself with the CI/CD YAML syntax reference and examples provided in the GitLab documentation. This will help you understand how to configure and customize your pipelines.

Remember, monitoring and managing your pipelines is crucial for ensuring the smooth execution of your CI/CD processes.

Continuous Integration and Deployment is a crucial aspect of modern software development. It involves automating the process of building, testing, and deploying code changes to ensure that software is always in a releasable state. With Continuous Integration and Deployment, developers can quickly identify and fix issues, resulting in faster and more reliable software releases. If you are looking to streamline your software development process and improve the quality of your releases, visit our website, Home Page – DevSecOps, to learn more about how we can help. Our team of experts specializes in implementing Continuous Integration and Deployment practices and can provide you with the tools and guidance you need to succeed. Don’t miss out on the benefits of Continuous Integration and Deployment – contact us today!


Congratulations! You have now learned how to create a Git repository in GitLab. By following the step-by-step guide, even a complete beginner can set up their first repository with ease. GitLab is a powerful platform that allows for efficient collaboration and version control. Remember to utilize the .gitignore file to exclude unnecessary files from being tracked. Now, you can confidently start managing and sharing your code with others. Happy coding!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is GitLab?

GitLab is a web-based Git repository manager that provides a complete DevOps platform for managing and collaborating on code.

Why should I use GitLab for version control?

GitLab offers a wide range of features and benefits for version control, including a user-friendly interface, built-in CI/CD pipelines, issue tracking, and collaboration tools.

How do I create a GitLab account?

To create a GitLab account, visit the GitLab website and click on the ‘Sign Up’ button. Fill in the required information and follow the prompts to create your account.

What are the key features of GitLab?

GitLab provides features such as code versioning, issue tracking, merge requests, continuous integration and deployment, code review, and collaboration tools.

How do I create a new Git repository in GitLab?

To create a new Git repository in GitLab, navigate to the GitLab dashboard and click on the ‘New Project’ button. Follow the prompts to set up your repository.

How do I clone a Git repository from GitLab?

To clone a Git repository from GitLab, first, install Git on your local machine. Then, use the ‘git clone’ command followed by the repository URL to create a local copy of the repository.

How do I add files to the staging area in Git?

To add files to the staging area in Git, use the ‘git add’ command followed by the file names or patterns. This prepares the files for the next commit.

How do I push changes to a remote Git repository?

To push changes to a remote Git repository, use the ‘git push’ command followed by the remote repository name and branch name. This uploads your local commits to the remote repository.

You may also like...