Jira DVCS connector

Use the Jira DVCS (distributed version control system) connector if you self-host your Jira instance, and you want to sync information between GitLab and Jira. If you use Jira Cloud, you should use the GitLab for Jira Cloud app unless you specifically need the DVCS connector.

When you configure the Jira DVCS connector, make sure your GitLab and Jira instances are accessible.

  • Self-managed GitLab: Your GitLab instance must be accessible by Jira.
  • Jira Server: Your network must allow access to your instance.
  • Jira Cloud: Your instance must be accessible through the internet.
When using GitLab 15.0 and later (including GitLab.com) with Jira Server, you might experience a session token bug in Jira. As a workaround, ensure Jira Server is version 9.1.0 and later or 8.20.11 and later.

Smart Commits

When connecting GitLab with Jira with DVCS, you can process your Jira issues using special commands, called Smart Commits, in your commit messages. With Smart Commits, you can:

  • Comment on issues.
  • Record time-tracking information against issues.
  • Transition issues to any status defined in the Jira project’s workflow.

Commands must be in the first line of the commit message. The Jira Software documentation contains more information about how Smart Commits work, and what commands are available for your use.

For Smart Commits to work, the committing user on GitLab must have a corresponding user on Jira with the same email address or username.

Smart Commit syntax

Smart Commits should follow the pattern of:

<ISSUE_KEY> <ignored text> #<command> <optional command parameters>

Some examples:

  • Add a comment to a Jira issue: KEY-123 fixes a bug #comment Bug is fixed.
  • Record time tracking: KEY-123 #time 2w 4d 10h 52m Tracking work time.
  • Close an issue: KEY-123 #close Closing issue

A Smart Commit message must not span more than one line (no carriage returns) but you can still perform multiple actions in a single commit. For example:

  • Add time tracking, add a comment, and transition to Closed:

    KEY-123 #time 2d 5h #comment Task completed ahead of schedule #close
  • Add a comment, transition to In-progress, and add time tracking:

    KEY-123 #comment started working on the issue #in-progress #time 12d 5h

Configure a GitLab application for DVCS

For projects in a single group we recommend you create a group application. For projects across multiple groups we recommend you create and use a jira user in GitLab, and use the account only for integration work. A separate account ensures regular account maintenance does not affect your integration. If a jira user or group application is not feasible, you can set up this integration as an instance-wide application or with a user owned application instead.

  1. Navigate to the appropriate Applications section.
  2. In the Name field, enter a descriptive name for the integration, such as Jira.
  3. In the Redirect URI field, enter the URI appropriate for your version of GitLab, replacing <gitlab.example.com> with your GitLab instance domain:
    • For GitLab versions 13.0 and later and Jira versions 8.14 and later, use the generated Redirect URL from Linking GitLab accounts with Jira.
    • For GitLab versions 13.0 and later and Jira Cloud, use https://<gitlab.example.com>/login/oauth/callback.
    • For GitLab versions 11.3 and later and Jira versions 8.13 and earlier, use https://<gitlab.example.com>/login/oauth/callback. If you use GitLab.com, the URL is https://gitlab.com/login/oauth/callback.
    • For GitLab versions 11.2 and earlier, use https://<gitlab.example.com>/-/jira/login/oauth/callback.
  4. For Scopes, select api and clear any other checkboxes.
    • The DVCS connector requires a write-enabled api scope to automatically create and manage required webhooks.
  5. Select Submit.
  6. Copy the Application ID and Secret values. You need them to configure Jira.

Configure Jira for DVCS

Configure this connection when you want to import all GitLab commits and branches, for the groups you specify, into Jira. This import takes a few minutes and, after it completes, refreshes every 60 minutes:

  1. Complete the GitLab configuration.
  2. Go to your DVCS accounts:
    • For Jira Server, select Settings (gear) > Applications > DVCS accounts.
    • For Jira Cloud, select Settings (gear) > Products > DVCS accounts.
  3. To create a new integration, select the appropriate value for Host:
    • For Jira versions 8.14 and later: Select GitLab or GitLab Self-Managed.
    • For Jira Cloud or Jira versions 8.13 and earlier: Select GitHub Enterprise.
  4. For Team or User Account, enter either:
    • For Jira versions 8.14 and later:
      • The relative path of a top-level GitLab group that the GitLab user has access to.
    • For Jira Cloud or Jira versions 8.13 and earlier:
      • The relative path of a top-level GitLab group that the GitLab user has access to.
      • The relative path of your personal namespace.
  5. In the Host URL field, enter the URI appropriate for your version of GitLab, replacing <gitlab.example.com> with your GitLab instance domain:
    • For GitLab versions 11.3 and later, use https://<gitlab.example.com>.
    • For GitLab versions 11.2 and earlier, use https://<gitlab.example.com>/-/jira.
  6. For Client ID, use the Application ID value from the previous section.
  7. For Client Secret, use the Secret value from the previous section.
  8. Ensure that the rest of the checkboxes are selected.
  9. To create the DVCS account, select Add and then Continue.
  10. Jira redirects to GitLab where you have to confirm the authorization. GitLab then redirects back to Jira where the synced projects should display in the new account.

To connect additional GitLab projects from other GitLab top-level groups or personal namespaces, repeat the previous steps with additional Jira DVCS accounts.

After you configure the integration, read more about how to test and use it.

Refresh data imported to Jira

Jira imports the commits and branches every 60 minutes for your projects. You can refresh the data manually from the Jira interface:

  1. Sign in to your Jira instance as the user you configured the integration with.
  2. Go to Settings (gear) > Applications.
  3. Select DVCS accounts.
  4. In the table, for the repository you want to refresh, in the Last Activity column, select the icon.