GitLab self-managed subscription (STARTER ONLY)

You can install, administer, and maintain your own GitLab instance.

In this page we'll go through the details of your GitLab self-managed subscription.

Choose a GitLab tier

Pricing is tier-based, allowing you to choose the features which fit your budget. For information on what features are available at each tier, see the GitLab self-managed feature comparison.

Choose the number of users

A self-managed subscription uses a hybrid model. You pay for a subscription according to the maximum number of users enabled during the subscription period. For instances that aren't offline or on a closed network, the maximum number of simultaneous users in the self-managed installation is checked each quarter, using Seat Link.

Every occupied seat is counted in the subscription, with the following exceptions:

  • Deactivated, pending approval and blocked users who are restricted prior to the renewal of a subscription won't be counted as active users for the renewal subscription. They may count as active users in the subscription period in which they were originally added.
  • Members with Guest permissions on an Ultimate subscription.
  • GitLab-created service accounts: Ghost User and bots (Support Bot, Project bot users, etc.).

Users statistics

To view a breakdown of the users within your instance, including active, billable, and blocked, go to Admin Area > Overview > Dashboard and select Users statistics in the Users section. For more details, see Users statistics.

NOTE: Note: If you have LDAP integration enabled, anyone in the configured domain can sign up for a GitLab account. This can result in an unexpected bill at time of renewal. Consider disabling new signups and managing new users manually instead.

Obtain a subscription

To subscribe to GitLab through a self-managed installation:

  1. Go to the Customers Portal and purchase a Starter, Premium, or Ultimate self-managed plan.
  2. After purchase, a license file is sent to the email address associated to the Customers Portal account, which must be uploaded to your GitLab instance.

TIP: Tip: If you're purchasing a subscription for an existing Core self-managed instance, ensure you're purchasing enough seats to cover your users.

View your subscription

If you are an administrator, to view the status of your self-managed subscription, log in to the your GitLab instance and go to the License page:

  1. Go to Admin Area.
  2. From the left-hand menu, select License.

Read more about the license admin area.

Renew your subscription

To renew your subscription, prepare for renewal by reviewing your account, then renew your self-managed subscription.

Prepare for renewal by reviewing your account

The Customers Portal is your tool for renewing and modifying your subscription. Before going ahead with renewal, log in and verify or update:

  • The invoice contact details on the Account details page.
  • The credit card on file on the Payment Methods page.

TIP: Tip: Contact our support team if you need assistance accessing the Customers Portal or if you need to change the contact person who manages your subscription.

It's important to regularly review your user accounts, because:

  • A GitLab subscription is based on the number of users. You will pay more than you should if you renew for too many users, while the renewal will fail if you attempt to renew a subscription for too few users.
  • Stale user accounts can be a security risk. A regular review helps reduce this risk.

Users over License

A GitLab subscription is valid for a specific number of users. For details, see Choose the number of users. If the active user count exceeds the number included in the subscription, known as the number of users over license, you must pay for the excess number of users either before renewal, or at the time of renewal. This is also known the true up process.

Self-managed instances can add users to a subscription any time during the subscription period. The cost of additional users added during the subscription period is prorated from the date of purchase through the end of the subscription period.

To add users to a subscription:

  1. Log in to the Customers Portal.
  2. Navigate to the Manage Purchases page.
  3. Select Add more seats on the relevant subscription card.
  4. Enter the number of additional users.
  5. Select Proceed to checkout.
  6. Review the Subscription Upgrade Detail. The system lists the total price for all users on the system and a credit for what you've already paid. You will only be charged for the net change.
  7. Select Confirm Upgrade.

The following will be emailed to you:

  • A payment receipt. You can also access this information in the Customers Portal under View invoices.
  • A new license. Upload this license to your instance to use it.

Renew a subscription

Starting 30 days before a subscription expires, GitLab notifies administrators of the date of expiry with a banner in the GitLab user interface.

We recommend following these steps during renewal:

  1. Prune any inactive or unwanted users by blocking them.

  2. Determine if you have a need for user growth in the upcoming subscription.

  3. Log in to the Customers Portal and select the Renew button beneath your existing subscription.

    TIP: Tip: If you need to change your GitLab tier, contact our sales team via for assistance as this can't be done in the Customers Portal.

  4. In the first box, enter the total number of user licenses you’ll need for the upcoming year. Be sure this number is at least equal to, or greater than the number of active users in the system at the time of performing the renewal.

  5. Enter the number of users over license in the second box for the user overage incurred in your previous subscription term.

    TIP: Tip: You can find the users over license in your instance's Admin dashboard by clicking on the Admin Area in the top bar, or going to /admin.

    The following table describes details of your admin dashboard and renewal terms:

    Field Description
    Users in License The number of users you've paid for in the current license loaded on the system. This does not include the amount you've paid for Users over license during renewal.
    Active users The number of current active users on your system.
    Maximum users The highest number of active users on your system during the term of the loaded license. If this number exceeds your users in license count at any point, you incur users over license.
    Users over license The number of users that exceed the Users in License for the current license term. Charges for this number of users will be incurred at the next renewal.
  6. Review your renewal details and complete the payment process.

  7. A license for the renewal term will be available for download on the Manage Purchases page on the relevant subscription card. Select Copy license to clipboard or Download license to get a copy.

  8. Upload your new license to your instance.

An invoice will be generated for the renewal and available for viewing or download on the View invoices page. If you have difficulty during the renewal process, contact our support team for assistance.

Seat Link

Introduced in GitLab Starter 12.9.

Seat Link allows GitLab Inc. to provide our self-managed customers with prorated charges for user growth throughout the year using a quarterly reconciliation process.

Seat Link daily sends a count of all users in connected self-managed instances to GitLab. That information is used to automate prorated reconciliations. The data is sent securely through an encrypted HTTPS connection.

Seat Link provides only the following information to GitLab:

  • Date
  • License key
  • Historical maximum user count
  • Active users count

For offline or closed network customers, the existing true-up model will be used. Prorated charges are not possible without user count data.

Click here to view example content of a Seat Link POST request.

  date: '2020-01-29',
  license_key: 'ZXlKa1lYUmhJam9pWm5WNmVsTjVZekZ2YTJoV2NucDBh
  max_historical_user_count: 10,
  active_users: 6

You can view the exact JSON payload in the administration panel. To view the payload:

  1. Navigate to Admin Area > Settings > Metrics and profiling and expand Seat Link.
  2. Click Preview payload.

Disable Seat Link

Introduced in GitLab Starter 12.10.

Seat Link is enabled by default.

To disable this feature, go to Admin Area > Settings > Metrics and profiling, uncheck the Enable Seat Link checkbox > Save changes.

To disable Seat Link in an Omnibus GitLab installation, and prevent it from being configured in the future through the administration panel, set the following in gitlab.rb:

gitlab_rails['seat_link_enabled'] = false

To disable Seat Link in a GitLab source installation, and prevent it from being configured in the future through the administration panel, set the following in gitlab.yml:

production: &base
  # ...
    # ...
    seat_link_enabled: false

Upgrade your subscription tier

To upgrade your GitLab tier:

  1. Log in to the Customers Portal.
  2. Select the Upgrade button on the relevant subscription card on the Manage purchases page.
  3. Select the desired upgrade.
  4. Confirm the active form of payment, or add a new form of payment.
  5. Select the I accept the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service checkbox.
  6. Select Purchase.

The following is emailed to you:

  • A payment receipt. You can also access this information in the Customers Portal under View invoices.
  • A new license.

Upload the new license to your instance. The new tier takes effect when the new license is uploaded.

Subscription expiry

When your subscription or trial expires, GitLab does not delete your data, but it may become inaccessible, depending on the tier at expiry. Some features may not behave as expected if you're not prepared for the expiry. For example, environment specific variables not being passed. If you renew or upgrade, your data will again be accessible.

For self-managed customers, there is a 14-day grace period when your features will continue to work as-is, after which the entire instance will become read only.

However, if you remove the license, you will immediately revert to Core features, and the instance will be read / write again.

Customers portal

GitLab provides a customer portal where you can manage your subscriptions and your account details.

Contact Support

Learn more about:

We also encourage all users to search our project trackers for known issues and existing feature requests in the GitLab project.

These issues are the best avenue for getting updates on specific product plans and for communicating directly with the relevant GitLab team members.


Credit card declined

If your credit card is declined when purchasing a GitLab subscription, possible reasons include:

  • The credit card details provided are incorrect.
  • The credit card account has insufficient funds.
  • You are using a virtual credit card and it has insufficient funds, or has expired.
  • The transaction exceeds the credit limit.
  • The transaction exceeds the credit card's maximum transaction amount.

Check with your financial institution to confirm if any of these reasons apply. If they don't apply, contact GitLab Support.