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Query users with GraphQL

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This page describes how you can use the GraphiQL explorer to query users.

You can run the same query directly via a HTTP endpoint, using cURL. For more information, see our guidance on getting started from the command line.

The example users query looks for a subset of users in a GitLab instance either by username or Global ID. The query includes:


This contains the data needed to implement pagination. GitLab uses cursor-based pagination. For more information, see Pagination in the GraphQL documentation.


In a GraphQL query, nodes is used to represent a collection of nodes on a graph. In this case, the collection of nodes is a collection of User objects. For each one, we output:

  • Their user's id.
  • The membership fragment, which represents a Project or Group membership belonging to that user. Outputting a fragment is denoted with the ...memberships notation.

The GitLab GraphQL API is extensive and a large amount of data for a wide variety of entities can be output. See the official reference documentation for the most up-to-date information.

Set up the GraphiQL explorer

This procedure presents a substantive example that you can copy and paste into GraphiQL explorer. GraphiQL explorer is available for:

  1. Copy the following code excerpt:

       users(usernames: ["user1", "user3", "user4"]) {
         pageInfo {
         nodes {
           userPermissions {
  2. Open the GraphiQL explorer tool.

  3. Paste the query listed above into the left window of your GraphiQL explorer tool.

  4. Select Play to get the result shown here:

GraphiQL explorer search for boards

NOTE: The GraphQL API returns a GlobalID, rather than a standard ID. It also expects a GlobalID as an input rather than a single integer.

This GraphQL query returns the specified information for the three users with the listed username. Since the GraphiQL explorer uses the session token to authorize access to resources, the output is limited to the projects and groups accessible to the currently authenticated user.

If you've signed in as an instance administrator, you would have access to all records, regardless of ownership.

If you are signed in as an administrator, you can show just the matching administrators on the instance by adding the admins: true parameter to the query changing the second line to:

  users(usernames: ["user1", "user3", "user4"], admins: true) {

Or you can just get all of the administrators:

  users(admins: true) {

For more information on: