Weird "updated at" time

Recently I see some of my projects pop up with strange update time.

For example, the last time I’ve touched this project was about a week ago.

But my profile page says it updated 12h ago:


According to that issue

[last_activity_at] references that any event for the project will update that value as well as provide a list of actions that would generate events.

So I go to this api endpoint and check that last activity on this project was at 2023-09-30T15:16:50.616Z (yup, definitely more than a week ago) which is 100% not a 12h ago.

Can someone please explain why this happening?

Hi there
Are there any CI / CD builds / jobs going on?

Nope, nothing.
Also there are no issues, no PRs, no project members requests – nothing at all.

Hmmm, very strange. Maybe reach out to gitlab support in this case

You’re the support lol

1 Like

I have the same issue. I believe the response from the API is the same thing displayed in Repository > Manage > Activity.

I hope someone drops here with explanation how “Updated …” works for projects on the homepage.

same behaviour here, no explanation

My two posts here will explain more about that: Why does a project show "Updated 4 days ago" when it hasn't been updated for three months? - #7 by iwalker

The second one with the Gitlab issue explains even more as to why it happens.

TL;DR We’ve identified the bug, here is the issue with the comment about why it’s happening: "Updated at" time incorrect in list of projects (#432410) · Issues · / GitLab · GitLab

Longer story: The “Updated” time is based on 3 different sources from our backend: “last_activity_at”, “last_repository_updated_at”, and “updated_at”. Whichever one of these is most recent will be displayed. The problem however is that the “updated_at” source is not something that should be used for this, as it also includes activities that don’t count as activity or updates, and is also related to our caching.

This did not stand out though for a long time, because of another bug causing this value not to be used for the actual caching. This was updated recently (Project's last updated time not accurately reflected in Projects Dashboard (#18279) · Issues · / GitLab · GitLab), and now that this works as expected, the other bug (that this is not the right data to use in the UI) is suddenly standing out way more.

As mentioned above, we have an issue open for that and will hopefully get to it soon, but that team is currently working on other high priority initiatives, so if anyone wants to contribute to get this done faster, there is a lot of guidance already in the issue about how this could potentially be fixed and you could ping the engineers involved in the issue for advice or the MR review.

I hope this at least explains why this is happening, even if I can’t offer a direct solution. Thanks everyone for reporting this! :pray:


Thanks @mvanremmerden !

In case it matters for evaluating the priority of this, this is part of the reason why I still give people my GitHub profile link rather than the GitLab one when I want to show them my FOSS work, despite having migrated all my work on GitLab, because it makes it impossible to have a good read on the timeline, showing archives or old projects on top, in a seemingly random order. For a bit of irony : I recently applied to GitLab, and I used my GitHub link to show them my work to be sure they can properly read the timing of it. :slight_smile:

Today it happened again during the night. For a few random old projects.