Enabled and made generally available in GitLab 12.1. Feature flag graphql removed.

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.

There are no fixed endpoints and no data model, so you can add to the API without creating breaking changes. This enables us to have a versionless API.


We want the GraphQL API to be the primary means of interacting programmatically with GitLab. To achieve this, it needs full coverage - anything possible in the REST API should also be possible in the GraphQL API.

To help us meet this vision, the frontend should use GraphQL in preference to the REST API for new features.

There are no plans to deprecate the REST API. To reduce the technical burden of supporting two APIs in parallel, they should share implementations as much as possible.

Work with GraphQL

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 reference is automatically generated from the GitLab GraphQL schema and written to a Markdown file.

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


Explore the GraphQL API using the interactive GraphiQL explorer, or 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.

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 familiarize yourself with the deprecation and removal process and frequently verify your API calls against the future breaking-change schema.

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

For more information, see Deprecating GitLab features.

WARNING: GitLab makes all attempts to follow the deprecation and removal process. On rare occasions, 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

Introduced in GitLab 15.6.

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 GitLab GraphQL API endpoint (for example, for GitLab SaaS GraphQL).

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.

NOTE: If you use the GraphQL API, we recommend you remove the deprecated schema from your GraphQL API calls as soon as possible to avoid experiencing breaking changes. 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 14.0:

Field deprecated in Reason
12.7 GitLab traditionally has 12 minor releases per major release. To ensure the field is available for 6 more releases, it is removed in the 14.0 major release (and not 13.0).
13.6 The removal in 14.0 allows for 6 months of availability.

List of removed items

View the list of items removed in previous releases.

Available queries

The GraphQL API includes the following queries at the root level:

Query Description
project Project information and many of its associations, such as issues and merge requests.
group Basic group information and epics.
user Information about a particular user.
namespace The namespace and the projects in it.
currentUser Information about the authenticated user.
users Information about a collection of users.
metaData Metadata about GitLab and the GraphQL API.
snippets Snippets visible to the authenticated user.

New associations and root level objects are regularly added. See the GraphQL API Reference for up-to-date information.

Root-level queries are defined in app/graphql/types/query_type.rb.

Multiplex queries

GitLab supports batching queries into a single request using @apollo/client/link/batch-http. More information about multiplexed queries is also available for GraphQL Ruby, the library GitLab uses on the backend.


The following limits apply to the GitLab GraphQL API.

Limit Default
Max 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.
Max query complexity 200 for unauthenticated requests and 250 for authenticated requests.
Request timeout 30 seconds.
Max 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.

Max 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 protect 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.

NOTE: The complexity limits may be revised in future, and additionally, the complexity of a query may be altered.

Resolve mutations detected as spam

Introduced in GitLab 13.11.

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 }}"}' ""