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Repository storage

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GitLab stores repositories on repository storage. Repository storage is either:

  • Physical storage configured with a gitaly_address that points to a Gitaly node.
  • Virtual storage that stores repositories on a Gitaly Cluster.

WARNING: Repository storage could be configured as a path that points directly to the directory where the repositories are stored. GitLab directly accessing a directory containing repositories is deprecated. You should configure GitLab to access repositories through a physical or virtual storage.

For more information on:

Hashed storage

  • Storage name field renamed from Gitaly storage name and Relative path field renamed from Gitaly relative path in GitLab 16.3.

Hashed storage stores projects on disk in a location based on a hash of the project's ID. This makes the folder structure immutable and eliminates the need to synchronize state from URLs to disk structure. This means that renaming a group, user, or project:

  • Costs only the database transaction.
  • Takes effect immediately.

The hash also helps spread the repositories more evenly on the disk. The top-level directory contains fewer folders than the total number of top-level namespaces.

The hash format is based on the hexadecimal representation of a SHA256, calculated with SHA256( The top-level folder uses the first two characters, followed by another folder with the next two characters. They are both stored in a special @hashed folder so they can co-exist with existing legacy storage projects. For example:

# Project's repository:

# Wiki's repository:

Translate hashed storage paths

Troubleshooting problems with the Git repositories, adding hooks, and other tasks requires you translate between the human-readable project name and the hashed storage path. You can translate:

From project name to hashed path

Administrators can look up a project's hashed path from its name or ID using:

To look up a project's hash path in the Admin Area:

  1. On the left sidebar, at the bottom, select Admin Area.

  2. Select Overview > Projects and select the project.

  3. Locate the Relative path field. The value is similar to:


To look up a project's hash path using a Rails console:

  1. Start a Rails console.

  2. Run a command similar to this example (use either the project's ID or its name):


From hashed path to project name

Administrators can look up a project's name from its hashed relative path using:

  • A Rails console.
  • The config file in the *.git directory.

To look up a project's name using the Rails console:

  1. Start a Rails console.

  2. Run a command similar to this example:

    ProjectRepository.find_by(disk_path: '@hashed/b1/7e/b17ef6d19c7a5b1ee83b907c595526dcb1eb06db8227d650d5dda0a9f4ce8cd9').project

The quoted string in that command is the directory tree you can find on your GitLab server. For example, on a default Linux package installation this would be /var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repositories/@hashed/b1/7e/b17ef6d19c7a5b1ee83b907c595526dcb1eb06db8227d650d5dda0a9f4ce8cd9.git with .git from the end of the directory name removed.

The output includes the project ID and the project name. For example:

=> #<Project id:16 it/supportteam/ticketsystem>

To look up a project's name using the config file in the *.git directory:

  1. Locate the *.git directory. This directory is located in /var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repositories/@hashed/, where the first four characters of the hash are the first two directories in the path under @hashed/. For example, on a default Linux package installation the *.git directory of the hash b17eb17ef6d19c7a5b1ee83b907c595526dcb1eb06db8227d650d5dda0a9f4ce8cd9 would be /var/opt/gitlab/git-data/repositories/@hashed/b1/7e/b17ef6d19c7a5b1ee83b907c595526dcb1eb06db8227d650d5dda0a9f4ce8cd9.git.
  2. Open the config file and locate the fullpath= key under [gitlab].

Hashed object pools

Object pools are repositories used to deduplicate forks of public and internal projects and contain the objects from the source project. Using objects/info/alternates, the source project and forks use the object pool for shared objects. For more information, see How Git object deduplication works in GitLab.

Objects are moved from the source project to the object pool when housekeeping is run on the source project. Object pool repositories are stored similarly to regular repositories in a directory called @pools instead of @hashed

# object pool paths

WARNING: Do not run git prune or git gc in object pool repositories, which are stored in the @pools directory. This can cause data loss in the regular repositories that depend on the object pool.

Group wiki storage

Unlike project wikis that are stored in the @hashed directory, group wikis are stored in a directory called @groups. Like project wikis, group wikis follow the hashed storage folder convention, but use a hash of the group ID rather than the project ID.

For example:

# group wiki paths

Gitaly Cluster storage

If Gitaly Cluster is used, Praefect manages storage locations. The internal path used by Praefect for the repository differs from the hashed path. For more information, see Praefect-generated replica paths.

Object storage support

This table shows which storable objects are storable in each storage type:

Storable object Hashed storage S3 compatible
Repository Yes -
Attachments Yes -
Avatars No -
Pages No -
Docker Registry No -
CI/CD job logs No -
CI/CD artifacts No Yes
CI/CD cache No Yes
LFS objects Similar Yes
Repository pools Yes -

Files stored in an S3-compatible endpoint can have the same advantages as hashed storage, as long as they are not prefixed with #{namespace}/#{project_name}. This is true for CI/CD cache and LFS objects.


Each file is stored in a directory that matches the id assigned to it in the database. The filename is always avatar.png for user avatars. When an avatar is replaced, the Upload model is destroyed and a new one takes place with a different id.

CI/CD artifacts

CI/CD artifacts are S3-compatible.

LFS objects

LFS Objects in GitLab implement a similar storage pattern using two characters and two-level folders, following the Git implementation:


# Based on object `oid`: `8909029eb962194cfb326259411b22ae3f4a814b5be4f80651735aeef9f3229c`, path will be:

LFS objects are also S3-compatible.

Configure where new repositories are stored

After you configure multiple repository storages, you can choose where new repositories are stored:

  1. On the left sidebar, at the bottom, select Admin Area.
  2. Select Settings > Repository.
  3. Expand Repository storage.
  4. Enter values in the Storage nodes for new repositories fields.
  5. Select Save changes.

Each repository storage path can be assigned a weight from 0-100. When a new project is created, these weights are used to determine the storage location the repository is created on.

The higher the weight of a given repository storage path relative to other repository storages paths, the more often it is chosen ((storage weight) / (sum of all weights) * 100 = chance %).

By default, if repository weights have not been configured earlier:

  • default is weighted 100.
  • All other storages are weighted 0.

NOTE: If all storage weights are 0 (for example, when default does not exist), GitLab attempts to create new repositories on default, regardless of the configuration or if default exists. See the tracking issue for more information.

Move repositories

To move a repository to a different repository storage (for example, from default to storage2), use the same process as migrating to Gitaly Cluster.