Configuration settings for backing up repositories from GitLab.


Known limitations:


For the basics, please read the Sources section first.

For GitLab, the hoster entry in the config file needs to look like this:

hoster: gitlab


Without authentication, SCM Backup can only backup your public repositories.

In this case, it shows a warning:


To backup your private repositories as well, you need to authenticate:

  • To backup a user’s repositories, you need to authenticate with that user.

  • To backup a group’s repositories, you need to authenticate with a user who has sufficient permissions to that group’s repositories.

Create a personal access token for SCM Backup for that user:

  1. In the user’s settings on GitLab, go to Settings ⇒ Access tokens and create a new token with the following scopes:

    • api

    • read_repository

  2. Put the username and the token into the authName and password properties of the source in the config file.


      - title: some_title
        hoster: gitlab
        type: org
        name: your_group_name
        authName: your_user_name
        password: your_token

    This will backup the repositories of the group your_group_name, but authenticate with the user your_user_name.

Wikis and rate limits

Unfortunately, the “main” API call doesn’t return whether a project has a wiki.

To determine if there’s a wiki which needs to be backed up, SCM Backup has to do the following for each project that the API call returns:

  1. check if the “wiki” feature is activated for the current project (Repo settings ⇒ Features, default value for new repos: yes)

  2. if yes, make a separate call to the Wikis API to check if this wiki has at least one page


This means one additional API call per project with enabled wiki…even if the wiki doesn’t have a single page.

When you have lots of repos, this has two effects concerning GitLab’s rate limits:

  • SCM Backup pauses after each wiki API call to avoid hitting the limit of 10 requests per second per IP address

    ⇒ the more repos you have, the more time will the whole API calling take

  • There’s another limit of 600 API calls per minute altogether.

    ⇒ you may hit that limit when you have hundreds of repos and a fast Internet connection.

Both issues can be avoided by disabling the wiki feature in all projects that don’t actually use the wiki.