Skip to main content



A pre-receive hook allows you to reject commits from being pushed to a git repository if they do not validate every check. Please refer to our learning center for more information.

GitGuardian pre-receive hook is performed through our CLI application ggshield. ggshield is a wrapper around GitGuardian API for secrets detection that requires an API key to work.

Since pre-receive hooks are configured to run programmatically on the VCS instance, we recommend the use of a dedicated service account to authenticate ggshield calls. To create a service account, sign in to your GitGuardian workspace and go to the API section.

You can find ggshield's pre-receive hook samples in the doc/pre-receive.sample and doc/pre-receive-docker.sample.


pre-receive preview

Gitlab Self-Managed and Bitbucket Server

Install ggshield git pre-receive hook

The sample script can be found in pre-receive.sample.

  1. This pre-receive hook requires the host machine to have python>=3.8 and pip installed

  2. Install ggshield from pip: pip install ggshield

  3. Move pre-receive.sample to .git/hooks/pre-receive or to your provider's git hook directory

  4. Mark the script executable with chmod +x .git/hooks/pre-receive

  5. Define the GITGUARDIAN_API_KEY environment variable. Either in a machine wide configuration file or in the .git/hooks/pre-receive file, as instructed in the sample file.

Install ggshield git pre-receive hook with Docker

For the pre-receive hook to work, the directory where the repositories are stored must also be mounted on the container.

The sample script can be found in pre-receive-docker.sample

This pre-receive hook requires the host machine to have Docker installed.

  1. Download the script as .git/hooks/pre-receive:
    curl -L > .git/hooks/pre-receive
  2. Make it executable:
    chmod +x .git/hooks/pre-receive
  3. Either define GITGUARDIAN_API_KEY as a machine-wide environment variable or set it in the .git/hooks/pre-receive as instructed in the sample file.

GitHub Enterprise Server

Installing a git pre-receive hook on GitHub Enterprise Server requires 2 components:

  1. an environment to execute the script in,
  2. a script executed for each push event.

For more information, visit GitHub Enterprise Server documentation about pre-receive hook.

The pre-receive environment

A pre-receive hook environment is a Linux chroot. We provide the create-ghe-environment script to create a ready-to-upload archive of a pre-receive environment.

This script must be run on a Linux machine with Docker installed. Here is how to use it:

  1. Download the script:
    curl -LO
  2. Make it executable:
    chmod +x ./create-ghe-environment
  3. Make sure the GITGUARDIAN_API_KEY environment variable contains your API key,
  4. Run the script with your GitHub Enterprise Server version as first argument. For example to create an environment for GitHub Enterprise Server 3.11, use:
    ./create-ghe-environment 3.11

When the script is done, it should print a message like this:

create-ghe-environment: Storing chroot in ggshield-ghe-3.11.tar.gz

You can now upload this file to the GitHub Enterprise Server and add it using the following command:

ghe-hook-env-create ggshield-environment ~/ggshield-ghe-3.11.tar.gz

Or you can upload this file to a server and pass its URL to the GitHub Enterprise Server web user interface to add it.


You need to add the following script to a repository hosted in the GitHub Enterprise server:


# If you don't use the SaaS product, you need to setup your onprem public api url:
# export GITGUARDIAN_API_URL=<your onprem public api url>
export GITGUARDIAN_API_KEY=$(cat /app/api_key)
/app/.venv/bin/ggshield secret scan pre-receive

This script file should have execute permission. Since the script name appears in the pre-receive hook result, we recommend to name it

Create the pre-receive hook

You are now able to follow GitHub Enterprise documentation to create the pre-receive hook.

Skipping the pre-receive hook

ggshield's pre-receive hook can be skipped by adding -o breakglass to the git push command.

For the -o breakglass option to be taken into account, the remote repository must have the receive.advertisePushOptions git configuration option turned on.

This option can be turned on by running the following command on the server side:

git config receive.advertisePushOptions true

Some Git hosting services enable this option globally by default. Others do not.


How do I avoid getting alerts for secrets already detected on the GitGuardian dashboard?

We recommend you use the option --ignore-known-secrets on the pre-receive hook. In this case, ggshield will not trigger any alerts, after you run a git push, for secrets that are already known by the GitGuardian dashboard (detected in previous commits and pull or merge requests).

All known secrets will be ignored, in the commits pushed and the merge/pull request, including those that were hardcoded by other developers.

  • To enable this option, replace the following in the pre-receive hook
    ggshield secret scan pre-receive
    ggshield secret scan pre-receive --ignore-known-secrets

How do use a custom config for this pre-receive hook?

  • Create a gitguardian.yaml somewhere in the system. An example config file is available here.

  • Replace in the pre-receive hook

    ggshield secret scan pre-receive


    ggshield -c <INSERT path to gitguardian.yaml> secret scan pre-receive

How can I help you ?