The Web Integrated Development Environment (IDE) editor makes it faster and easier to contribute changes to your projects by providing an advanced editor with commit staging.

Open the Web IDE

You can open the Web IDE when viewing a file, from the repository file list, and from merge requests.

Open Web IDE

File finder

Introduced in GitLab Free 10.8.

The file finder allows you to quickly open files in the current branch by searching for fragments of the file path. The file finder is launched using the keyboard shortcut Command+p, Control+p, or t (when editor is not in focus). Type the filename or file path fragments to start seeing results.

Command palette

You can see all available commands for manipulating editor content by pressing the F1 key when the editor is in focus. After that, the editor displays a complete list of available commands for manipulating editor content. The editor supports commands for multi-cursor editing, code block folding, commenting, searching and replacing, navigating editor warnings and suggestions, and more.

Some commands have a keyboard shortcut assigned to them. The command palette displays this shortcut next to each command. You can use this shortcut to invoke the command without having to select it in the command palette.

Command palette

Syntax highlighting

As expected from an IDE, syntax highlighting for many languages in the Web IDE makes your direct editing even easier.

The Web IDE currently provides:

  • Basic syntax colorization for a variety of programming, scripting and markup languages such as XML, PHP, C#, C++, Markdown, Java, VB, Batch, Python, Ruby, and Objective-C.
  • IntelliSense and validation support (displaying errors and warnings, providing smart completions, formatting, and outlining) for some languages. For example: TypeScript, JavaScript, CSS, LESS, SCSS, JSON, and HTML.

Because the Web IDE is based on the Monaco Editor, you can find a more complete list of supported languages in the Monaco languages repository. Under the hood, Monaco uses the Monarch library for syntax highlighting.

If you are missing Syntax Highlighting support for any language, we prepared a short guide on how to add support for a missing language Syntax Highlighting.


All the themes GitLab supports for syntax highlighting are applied to the Web IDE's entire screen. You can pick a theme from your profile preferences.

Solarized Dark Theme Dark Theme
Solarized Dark Theme Dark Theme

Highlight lines

WebIDE is built with the Web Editor. This enables WebIDE to share the same core features for highlighting and linking to particular lines in the edited files described for the Web Editor.

Schema based validation

  • Support for validation based on predefined schemas introduced in GitLab 13.2.
  • It was deployed behind a feature flag, disabled by default.
  • It's enabled on GitLab.com.
  • It cannot be enabled or disabled per-project.
  • For GitLab self-managed instances, GitLab administrators can opt to enable it.
  • Support for validation based on custom schemas introduced in GitLab Premium 13.4.

The Web IDE provides validation support for certain JSON and YAML files using schemas based on the JSON Schema Store.

Predefined schemas

The Web IDE has validation for certain files built in. This feature is only supported for the *.gitlab-ci.yml files.

Enable or disable validation based on predefined schemas (FREE SELF)

Validation based on predefined schemas is under development and not ready for production use. It is deployed behind a feature flag that is disabled by default for self-managed instances, GitLab administrators with access to the GitLab Rails console can enable it for your instance.

To enable it:


To disable it:


Custom schemas (PREMIUM)

Introduced in GitLab Premium 13.4.

The Web IDE also allows you to define custom schemas for certain JSON/YAML files in your project. You can do so by defining a schemas entry in the .gitlab/.gitlab-webide.yml file inside the repository's root. Here is an example configuration:

  - uri: https://json.schemastore.org/package
      - package.json
  - uri: https://somewebsite.com/first/raw/url
      - data/release_posts/unreleased/*.{yml,yaml}
  - uri: https://somewebsite.com/second/raw/url
      - "*.meta.json"

Each schema entry supports two properties:

  • uri: please provide an absolute URL for the schema definition file here. The schema from this URL is loaded when a matching file is open.
  • match: a list of matching paths or glob expressions. If a schema matches a particular path pattern, it is applied to that file. Please enclose the pattern in quotes if it begins with an asterisk (*), it's be applied to that file. If a pattern begins with an asterisk (*), enclose it in quotation marks. Otherwise, the configuration file is not valid YAML.

Configure the Web IDE

Introduced in GitLab Free 13.1.

The Web IDE supports configuration of certain editor settings by using .editorconfig files. When opening a file, the Web IDE looks for a file named .editorconfig in the current directory and all parent directories. If a configuration file is found and has settings that match the file's path, these settings are enforced on the opened file.

The Web IDE currently supports the following .editorconfig settings:

  • indent_style
  • indent_size
  • end_of_line
  • trim_trailing_whitespace
  • tab_width
  • insert_final_newline

Commit changes

After making your changes, click the Commit button on the bottom-left to review the list of changed files.

After you have finalized your changes, you can add a commit message, commit the changes and directly create a merge request. In case you don't have write access to the selected branch, you see a warning, but can still create a new branch and start a merge request.

To discard a change in a particular file, click the Discard changes button on that file in the changes tab. To discard all the changes, click the trash icon on the top-right corner of the changes sidebar.

Commit changes

Reviewing changes

Before you commit your changes, you can compare them with the previous commit by switching to the review mode or selecting the file from the list of changes.

An additional review mode is available when you open a merge request, which shows you a preview of the merge request diff if you commit your changes.

View CI job logs

Introduced in GitLab Free 11.0.

You can use the Web IDE to quickly fix failing tests by opening the branch or merge request in the Web IDE and opening the logs of the failed job. You can access the status of all jobs for the most recent pipeline and job traces for the current commit by clicking the Pipelines button in the top right.

The pipeline status is also shown at all times in the status bar in the bottom left.

Switching merge requests

Introduced in GitLab Free 11.0.

To switch between your authored and assigned merge requests, click the dropdown in the top of the sidebar to open a list of merge requests. You need to commit or discard all your changes before switching to a different merge request.

Switching branches

Introduced in GitLab Free 11.2.

To switch between branches of the current project repository, click the dropdown in the top of the sidebar to open a list of branches. You need to commit or discard all your changes before switching to a different branch.

Markdown editing

When you edit Markdown files in the Web IDE, you can preview your changes by clicking the Preview Markdown tab above the file editor. The Markdown preview supports GitLab Flavored Markdown.

You can also upload any local images by pasting them directly in the Markdown file. The image is uploaded to the same directory and is named image.png by default. If another file already exists with the same name, a numeric suffix is automatically added to the filename.

Live Preview

You can use the Web IDE to preview JavaScript projects right in the browser. This feature uses CodeSandbox to compile and bundle the JavaScript used to preview the web application.

Web IDE Live Preview

Additionally, for public projects an Open in CodeSandbox button is available to transfer the contents of the project into a public CodeSandbox project to quickly share your project with others.

Enable Live Preview

With Live Preview enabled, you can preview projects with a package.json file and a main entry point inside the Web IDE.

Live Preview is enabled for all projects on GitLab.com. If you are an administrator of a self-managed GitLab instance, and you want to enable Live Preview:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > {admin} Admin.
  2. In the left sidebar, select Settings > General.
  3. Scroll to Web IDE and select Expand: Administrator Live Preview setting
  4. Select Enable Live Preview and select Save changes.

In GitLab 12.9 and later, third-party assets and libraries required for Live Preview are hosted at https://sandbox-prod.gitlab-static.net when it is enabled. However, some libraries are still served from other third-party services, which may or may not be desirable in your environment.

An example package.json:

  "main": "index.js",
  "dependencies": {
    "vue": "latest"

Interactive Web Terminals for the Web IDE

WARNING: Interactive Web Terminals for the Web IDE is currently in Beta. GitLab.com shared runners do not yet support Interactive Web Terminals, so you would need to use your own private runner to make use of this feature.

Interactive Web Terminals give the project Maintainers user access to a terminal to interact with the runner directly from GitLab, including through the Web IDE.

Runner configuration

Some things need to be configured in the runner for the interactive web terminal to work:

  • The runner needs to have [session_server] configured properly. This section requires at least a session_timeout value (which defaults to 1800 seconds) and a listen_address value. If advertise_address is not defined, listen_address is used.
  • If you are using a reverse proxy with your GitLab instance, web terminals need to be enabled. (ULTIMATE SELF)

If you have the terminal open and the job has finished with its tasks, the terminal blocks the job from finishing for the duration configured in [session_server].session_timeout until you close the terminal window.

NOTE: Not all executors are supported. The File Sync feature is supported on Kubernetes runners only.

Web IDE configuration file

In order to enable the Web IDE terminals you need to create the file .gitlab/.gitlab-webide.yml inside the repository's root. This file is fairly similar to the CI configuration file syntax but with some restrictions:

  • No global blocks (such as before_script or after_script) can be defined.
  • Only one job named terminal can be added to this file.
  • Only the keywords image, services, tags, before_script, script, and variables are allowed to be used to configure the job.
  • To connect to the interactive terminal, the terminal job must be still alive and running, otherwise the terminal cannot connect to the job's session. By default the script keyword has the value sleep 60 to prevent the job from ending and giving the Web IDE enough time to connect. This means that, if you override the default script value, you have to add a command which would keep the job running, like sleep.

In the code below there is an example of this configuration file:

  # This can be any image that has the necessary runtime environment for your project.
  image: node:10-alpine
    - apk update
  script: sleep 60
    RAILS_ENV: "test"
    NODE_ENV: "test"

After the terminal has started, the console is displayed and we could access the project repository files.

Important. The terminal job is branch dependent. This means that the configuration file used to trigger and configure the terminal is the one in the selected branch of the Web IDE.

If there is no configuration file in a branch, an error message is shown.

Running interactive terminals in the Web IDE

If Interactive Terminals are available for the current user, the Terminal button is visible in the right sidebar of the Web IDE. Click this button to open or close the terminal tab.

After opening, the tab shows the Start Web Terminal button. This button may be disabled if the environment is not configured correctly. If so, a status message describes the issue. Here are some reasons why Start Web Terminal may be disabled:

  • .gitlab/.gitlab-webide.yml does not exist or is set up incorrectly.
  • No active private runners are available for the project.

If active, clicking the Start Web Terminal button loads the terminal view and start connecting to the runner's terminal. At any time, the Terminal tab can be closed and reopened and the state of the terminal is not affected.

When the terminal is started and is successfully connected to the runner, then the runner's shell prompt appears in the terminal. From here, you can enter commands executed in the runner's environment. This is similar to running commands in a local terminal or through SSH.

While the terminal is running, it can be stopped by clicking Stop Terminal. This disconnects the terminal and stops the runner's terminal job. From here, click Restart Terminal to start a new terminal session.

File syncing to web terminal

File changes in the Web IDE can be synced to a running web terminal. This enables users to test their code changes in a preconfigured terminal environment.

NOTE: Only file changes in the Web IDE are synced to the terminal. Changes made in the terminal are not synced to the Web IDE. This feature is only available for Kubernetes runners.

To enable file syncing to the web terminal, the .gitlab/.gitlab-webide.yml file needs to have a webide-file-sync service configured. Here is an example configuration for a Node JS project which uses this service:

  # This can be any image that has the necessary runtime environment for your project.
    name: node:10-alpine
    - name: registry.gitlab.com/gitlab-org/webide-file-sync:latest
      alias: webide-file-sync
      entrypoint: ["/bin/sh"]
      command: ["-c", "sleep 5 && ./webide-file-sync -project-dir $CI_PROJECT_DIR"]
        # The `webide-file-sync` executable defaults to port 3000.
        - number: 3000
  • The webide-file-sync executable must start after the project directory is available. This is why we need to add sleep 5 to the command. See this issue for more information.
  • $CI_PROJECT_DIR is a predefined CI/CD variable for GitLab Runners. This is where your project's repository resides.

After you have configured the web terminal for file syncing, then when the web terminal is started, a Terminal status is visible in the status bar.

Web IDE Client Side Evaluation

Changes made to your files via the Web IDE sync to the running terminal when:

  • Control + S (or Command + S on Mac) is pressed while editing a file.
  • Anything outside the file editor is clicked after editing a file.
  • A file or folder is created, deleted, or renamed.


The Web IDE has a few limitations:

  • Interactive Terminals is in a beta phase and continues to be improved in upcoming releases. In the meantime, please note that the user is limited to having only one active terminal at a time.

  • LFS files can be rendered and displayed but they cannot be updated and committed using the Web IDE. If an LFS file is modified and pushed to the repository, the LFS pointer in the repository is overwritten with the modified LFS file content.


  • If the terminal's text is gray and unresponsive, then the terminal has stopped and it can no longer be used. A stopped terminal can be restarted by clicking Restart Terminal.
  • If the terminal displays Connection Failure, then the terminal could not connect to the runner. Please try to stop and restart the terminal. If the problem persists, double check your runner configuration.