Deploy Tokens

  • Introduced in GitLab 10.7.
  • Moved from Settings > Repository in GitLab 12.9.

Deploy tokens allow you to download (git clone) or read the container registry images of a project without having a user and a password.

Deploy tokens can be managed by maintainers only.

If you have a key pair, you might want to use deploy keys instead.

Creating a Deploy Token

You can create as many deploy tokens as you like from the settings of your project. Alternatively, you can also create group-scoped deploy tokens.

  1. Log in to your GitLab account.
  2. Go to the project (or group) you want to create Deploy Tokens for.
  3. Go to {settings} Settings > CI / CD.
  4. Click on "Expand" on Deploy Tokens section.
  5. Choose a name, expiry date (optional), and username (optional) for the token.
  6. Choose the desired scopes.
  7. Click on Create deploy token.
  8. Save the deploy token somewhere safe. Once you leave or refresh the page, you won't be able to access it again.

Personal access tokens page

Deploy token expiration

Deploy tokens expire on the date you define, at midnight UTC.

Revoking a deploy token

At any time, you can revoke any deploy token by just clicking the respective Revoke button under the 'Active deploy tokens' area.

Limiting scopes of a deploy token

Deploy tokens can be created with two different scopes that allow various actions that a given token can perform. The available scopes are depicted in the following table.

Scope Description
read_repository Allows read-access to the repository through git clone
read_registry Allows read-access to container registry images if a project is private and authorization is required.

Deploy token custom username

Introduced in GitLab 12.1.

The default username format is gitlab+deploy-token-#{n}. Some tools or platforms may not support this format, in such case you can specify custom username to be used when creating the deploy token.


Git clone a repository

To download a repository using a Deploy Token, you just need to:

  1. Create a Deploy Token with read_repository as a scope.

  2. Take note of your username and token.

  3. git clone the project using the Deploy Token:

    git clone http://<username>:<deploy_token>

Replace <username> and <deploy_token> with the proper values.

Read Container Registry images

To read the container registry images, you'll need to:

  1. Create a Deploy Token with read_registry as a scope.
  2. Take note of your username and token.
  3. Log in to GitLab’s Container Registry using the deploy token:
docker login -u <username> -p <deploy_token>

Just replace <username> and <deploy_token> with the proper values. Then you can simply pull images from your Container Registry.

Group Deploy Token

Introduced in GitLab 12.9.

A deploy token created at the group level can be used across all projects that belong either to the specific group or to one of its subgroups.

To use a group deploy token:

  1. Create a deploy token for a group.
  2. Use it the same way you use a project deploy token when cloning a repository.

The scopes applied to a group deploy token (such as read_repository) will apply consistently when cloning the repository of related projects.

GitLab Deploy Token

Introduced in GitLab 10.8.

There's a special case when it comes to Deploy Tokens. If a user creates one named gitlab-deploy-token, the username and token of the Deploy Token will be automatically exposed to the CI/CD jobs as environment variables: CI_DEPLOY_USER and CI_DEPLOY_PASSWORD, respectively. With the GitLab Deploy Token, the read_registry scope is implied.

After you create the token, you can login to the Container Registry using those variables: