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GitLab ChatOps

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Use GitLab ChatOps to interact with CI/CD jobs through chat services like Slack.

Many organizations use Slack or Mattermost to collaborate, troubleshoot, and plan work. With ChatOps, you can discuss work with your team, run CI/CD jobs, and view job output, all from the same application.

Slash command integrations

You can trigger ChatOps with the run slash command.

The following integrations are available:

ChatOps workflow and CI/CD configuration

ChatOps looks for the specified job in the .gitlab-ci.yml on the project's default branch. If the job is found, ChatOps creates a pipeline that contains only the specified job. If you set when: manual, ChatOps creates the pipeline, but the job doesn't start automatically.

A job run with ChatOps has the same functionality as a job run from GitLab. The job can use existing CI/CD variables like GITLAB_USER_ID to perform additional rights validation, but these variables can be overridden.

You should set rules so the job does not run as part of the standard CI/CD pipeline.

ChatOps passes the following CI/CD variables to the job:

  • CHAT_INPUT - The arguments passed to the run slash command.
  • CHAT_CHANNEL - The name of the chat channel the job is run from.
  • CHAT_USER_ID - The chat service ID of the user who runs the job.

When the job runs:

  • If the job completes in less than 30 minutes, ChatOps sends the job output to the chat channel.
  • If the job completes in more than 30 minutes, you must use a method like the Slack API to send data to the channel.

Exclude a job from ChatOps

To prevent a job from being run from chat:

  • In .gitlab-ci.yml, set the job to except: [chat].

Customize the ChatOps reply

ChatOps sends the output for a job with a single command to the channel as a reply. For example, when the following job runs, the chat reply is Hello world:

- chatops

  stage: chatops
    - if: $CI_PIPELINE_SOURCE == "chat"
    - echo "Hello World"

If the job contains multiple commands, or if before_script is set, ChatOps sends the commands and their output to the channel. The commands are wrapped in ANSI color codes.

To selectively reply with the output of one command, place the output in a chat_reply section. For example, the following job lists the files in the current directory:

- chatops

  stage: chatops
    - if: $CI_PIPELINE_SOURCE == "chat"
    - echo "This command will not be shown."
    - echo -e "section_start:$( date +%s ):chat_reply\r\033[0K\n$( ls -la )\nsection_end:$( date +%s ):chat_reply\r\033[0K"

Trigger a CI/CD job using ChatOps


  • You must have at least the Developer role for the project.
  • The project is configured to use a slash command integration.

You can run a CI/CD job on the default branch from Slack or Mattermost.

The slash command to trigger a CI/CD job depends on which slash command integration is configured for the project.

  • For the GitLab for Slack app, use /gitlab <project-name> run <job name> <arguments>.
  • For Slack or Mattermost slash commands, use /<trigger-name> run <job name> <arguments>.


  • <job name> is the name of the CI/CD job to run.
  • <arguments> are the arguments to pass to the CI/CD job.
  • <trigger-name> is the trigger name configured for the Slack or Mattermost integration.

ChatOps schedules a pipeline that contains only the specified job.

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