Transition your GitHub Repo to GitLab

The SKA Software team decided to move from GitHub to the GitLab platform as the main git-repository manager for its CI/CD tools. This page is a simple walk-through of all the steps you have to do for this switch.

Create GitLab Account

The fist step is the more obvious and the simplest one. You just have to go to in your favorite browser and create a new account. For that, you have two main options:

  1. Create an account with an email of your choice;
  2. Sign in with GitHub Credentials to automatically have the same account information on the new profile. (Recommended)


In the local development you must update the git files of each project to the new GitLab repository. Therefore, you only have to write this in the terminal inside the project directory:

$ git remote set-url origin

To check if everything went smoothly, type the command below and check if the both links are the same as the GitLab repo link that you just typed.

$ git remote -v

And it’s done! You can now do everything that you are authorized to do on this GitLab repository.

Project Owners

Create GitLab Project

For the moment the only users on our GitLab that can create a repository, are the System Team members - please ask on the #team-system-support Slack channel. For more information on creating new projects, go to this page.

Mirror Repository

It was generally accepted that we still use Github to show our open-source projects because we have more visibility there. So, to do that we have to setup a mirroring process from Gitlab to Github.

The first step is to create a personal access token on Github. For this, just open their settings page and select “Developer Settings” option from de side bar menu (direct link: From there click on ‘Personal Access Tokens”, press ‘Generate new token’ and fill the token’s name and check the ‘public_repo’ option. Just like the picture below.

GitHub Personal Token

Get GitHub Personal Token.

After you generate the token, go to your project settings page on Gitlab, click on ‘Repository’ section and fill the text boxes in the ‘Mirroring repositories’ like this:

  • Git repository URL: https://<your_github_username><your_github_project>.git.
  • Mirror direction: Push
  • Authentication method: Password
  • Password: Github_Password
GitLab Mirror Setup

The GitLab mirror setup.

Finally, with the mirroring process finalized and with no errors, you can start pushing and use the available dashboard to check if everything is working properly.

GitLab Mirror Dashboard

GitLab Mirror Dashboard.

Read-Only GitHub Project

Differences Between GitHub and GitLab

Since both GitHub and GitLab are built on top of Git, there are very few differences between the two systems. The first obvious difference is that GitLab has merge requests instead of pull requests. The function is pretty much identical, and the UI is pretty similar. GitLab provide an extensive tutorial on merge requests.

The other major difference is that GitLab provides automatic Continuous Integration Pipelines. If you have already used Jenkins, you’ll find it pretty similar. There is an SKA guide to Continuous Integration.