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Getting Started

The Helmholtz Codebase Service, based on GitLab can be used free-of-charge by anybody within Helmholtz and their partners. It is hosted by HIFIS Software entirely on HZDR servers, jointly created by UFZ and HZDR . With the general availability of the Helmholtz Cloud, the service will be available as a fully integrated Helmholtz Cloud Service and will follow the given regulations. became

Since November 11th, 2022, Helmholtz Codebase is available under the new domain The previous domain will redirect to this new domain. Nothing else changes for the users.


Available Options

Multiple options exist to sign in to the Helmholtz coding platform.

  • Helmholtz AAI: This is the recommended login method for everyone except HZDR employees.

Please note

In addition to a variety of scientific and university institutions, the Helmholtz AAI also supports the social providers Google, GitHub and ORCID.

  • HZDR LDAP: Only HZDR employees can use this method.

Switching to Helmholtz AAI from any other login method

Please open your GitLab account settings and choose “Connect Helmholtz AAI inside the Social Sign-in section. After successful login with the Helmholtz AAI, you can disconnect from GitHub by choosing “Disconnect GitHub” in the previously mentioned Social Sign-in section.

Helmholtz vs. Non-Helmholtz Users

Collaboration is a key component in software development. This is why it is most important to enable anybody to easily contribute changes to projects regardless of their affiliation. Nevertheless, it is clear that we need to pose certain differences with respect to users that do not belong to a Helmholtz organization.

  • Helmholtz employees with registered IdP in Helmholtz AAI get full access to all components.
  • All other users will become external users and need to be invited to projects. This means they cannot create projects or groups. Nevertheless, they can be invited to any group or project and will have access according to the permissions of the role you assign.

First Steps

Follow the GitLab basic guides to learn how to get started with the platform. For more in-depth questions consider contacting the HIFIS Software Consulting team.

Clone a Git Repository as a Helmholtz AAI User

GitLab, like all other Helmholtz AAI connected services, does not recognize a password from users who log in via Helmholtz AAI. Therefore, you cannot use your center password when Git asks for the credentials while running the git clone command. You have two options to interact with internal or private projects via git.

Create a Personal Access Token

  • Go to and create a personal access token.
  • Use the scopes read_repository and write_repository.
  • (Optionally, define an expiration date after which the token is considered to be invalid.)
  • Click on Create personal access token.
  • GitLab will display the token once at the top of the page.
  • Copy the token and save it in the password manager of your choice.

When Git asks for the password you can now enter the Personal Access Token you just created and interact with Git as usual.

Screenshot of the Personal Access Token Page

Screenshot of the Personal Access Token creation


More information is available in the GitLab documentation .

Use SSH to Interact With Your Repositories

Setting up SSH once might be the more convenient option for interacting with your repository. In this case you do not need to supply your username and password each time. For configuring your local Git installation to properly use SSH we invite you to have a look into the GitLab documentation. This guide will help you through the process of setting up Git and SSH.

The process looks like this:

  1. See if you have an existing SSH key pair.
  2. Generate an SSH keypair if not already present.
  3. Add an SSH public key to your GitLab account.
  4. Verify that you can connect.