Delete your old GitLab CI pipelines

Nicolas Dommanget
2 min readMay 31, 2021


No more long history of pipelines, let’s clean it all up 🧹

Unsplash: JJ Ying


Failed, passed, canceled, pending, there are a lot of chances that you have a long list of old jobs in your GitLab project.

Hopefully, GitLab provides API endpoints to list them or delete pipelines one by one. You see where I’m going with this, we will call the “list” endpoint. Save the list into an array. Then loop over the array and call the delete endpoint.

As we love automation, we will write a JS script 🤖


First, we need to read the GitLab doc to know more about these endpoints and how to call them. You can read it here.

This page documents multiple features:

  • list project pipelines
  • get a single pipeline
  • get variables of a pipeline
  • delete a pipeline

We will focus on two of them, list project pipelines and delete a pipeline.

Call the GitLab API

As you may know; you need to be authenticated when calling the GitLab API. First, you need to create an Auth Token (here) with the API rights. Then, you will have to pass the token in the headers as “PRIVATE-TOKEN”.

An example with CURL:

curl --header "PRIVATE-TOKEN: <your_access_token>" ""

As we want to write a JS script, we will use Axios to call the endpoint. You will have to configure your Axios instance as follow:

Axios configuration

List pipelines

Now that we are able to call GitLab API, we will list the project’s pipelines.

Axios — Get the list of pipelines

This bunch of calls will get the last 100 pipelines. They will be useful in the next of the article as we will loop other them to get each pipeline id and delete them one by one.

Delete a pipeline

To delete a pipeline, we will operate as follow:

Axios — Delete a pipeline

We make a delete HTTP request to the GitLab API endpoint and pass the id in the path.

Delete all pipelines

As we know how to get pipelines and delete a single pipeline, we are able to loop on our pipeline array and delete them one by one as follow:

Axios — Delete pipelines

Wrap Up & Bonus

We are now able to clean the pipeline history in our GitLab projects. Here is the full code:

Final code

As you can see, I have added some features. This code uses “dotenv” library to load an environment file like this:


GitLab Repo:

You can find my other articles and follow me here. Thanks for reading, I hope you learned something new today 🚀



Nicolas Dommanget

Software engineer @mailjet the day, side projects the night.