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Published: Jan 15, 2022 License: Apache-2.0 Imports: 1 Imported by: 0



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ghorg allows you to quickly clone all of an orgs, or users repos into a single directory. This can be useful in many situations including

  1. Searching an orgs/users codebase with ack, silver searcher, grep etc..
  2. Bash scripting
  3. Creating backups
  4. Onboarding new team members (cloning all team repos)
  5. Performing Audits

Ghorg performs two actions. One, will clone a repo if it doesn't exist locally. Two, if it does exist locally it will do a git pull and git clean. So when running ghorg a second time on the same org/user, all local changes in the cloned directory by default will be overwritten by what's on GitHub. If you want to work out of this directory, make sure you either rename the directory or set the --no-clean flag on all future clones to prevent losing your changes locally.

ghorg cli example

Supported Providers

  • GitHub
  • GitLab
  • Bitbucket
  • Gitea

The terminology used in ghorg is that of GitHub, mainly orgs/repos. GitLab and BitBucket use different terminology. There is a handy chart thanks to GitLab that translates terminology here. Note, some features may be different for certain providers.

Windows support

Ghorg supports windows when built with golang, however the readme and other documentation is not geared towards windows users.


Precedence for configuration is first given to the flags set on the command-line, then to what's set in your $HOME/.config/ghorg/conf.yaml. This file comes from the sample-conf.yaml. If neither of these exist, ghorg will fall back to its defaults -- cloning a GitHub org using your security token, if no security token is detected you will need to provide a token --token.

Although it's optional, it is recommended to add a $HOME/.config/ghorg/conf.yaml following the instructions in the install section.

You can have multiple configuration files which is useful if you clone from multiple SCM providers. Alternative configuration files can only be referenced as a command-line flag --config

# example using an secondary configuration file
ghorg clone kubernetes --config=$HOME/.config/ghorg/other-config.yaml


Prebuilt Binaries

See latest release to download directly


optional but recommended

mkdir -p $HOME/.config/ghorg
curl > $HOME/.config/ghorg/conf.yaml
vi $HOME/.config/ghorg/conf.yaml # To update your configuration


brew install gabrie30/utils/ghorg

optional but recommended

mkdir -p $HOME/.config/ghorg
curl > $HOME/.config/ghorg/conf.yaml
vi $HOME/.config/ghorg/conf.yaml # To update your configuration


# ensure $HOME/go/bin is in your path ($ echo $PATH | grep $HOME/go/bin)

# if using go 1.16+ locally
go install

# older go versions can run
go get


# note: to view/set all available flags/features see sample-conf.yaml
# note: for examples see ./examples
$ ghorg clone someorg
$ ghorg clone someorg --concurrency=50 --token=bGVhdmUgYSBjb21tZW50IG9uIGlzc3VlIDY2
$ ghorg clone someuser --clone-type=user --protocol=ssh --branch=develop --color=enabled
$ ghorg clone gitlab-group --scm=gitlab --base-url= --preserve-dir
$ ghorg clone gitlab-group/gitlab-subgroup --scm=gitlab --base-url=
$ ghorg clone --help
# view cloned resources
$ ghorg ls
$ ghorg ls someorg

SCM Provider Setup

Note: if you are running into issues, read the troubleshooting and known issues section below

github setup
  1. Create Personal Access Token with all repo scopes. Update GHORG_GITHUB_TOKEN in your ghorg/conf.yaml, as a cli flag, or add to your osx keychain. If your org has Saml SSO in front you will need to give your token those permissions as well, see this doc.
  2. For cloning GitHub Enterprise repos you must set --base-url e.g. ghorg clone <github_org> --base-url=
gitlab setup
  1. Create Personal Access Token with the read_api scope (or api for self-managed GitLab older than 12.10). This token can be added to your ghorg/conf.yaml, as a cli flag, or your osx keychain.
  2. Update the GitLab Specific config in your ghorg/conf.yaml or via cli flags
  3. Update GHORG_SCM_TYPE to gitlab in your ghorg/conf.yaml or via cli flags
  4. See examples/ on how to run
gitlab specific notes

ghorg works differently for hosted gitlab instances vs gitlab cloud read below for the differences

hosted gitlab instances
  1. To clone all the groups at once the keyword "all-groups". Note, all-groups requires a GitLab 13.0.1 or greater and will only clone from groups/repos your user has permissions to.

    $ ghorg clone all-groups --base-url=https://${} --scm=gitlab --token=XXXX --preserve-dir
  2. For all versions of GitLab you can clone groups or sub groups individually

    # cloning a top level group
    $ ghorg clone mygroup --base-url=https://${} --scm=gitlab --token=XXXX --preserve-dir
    # cloning a subgroup
    $ ghorg clone mygroup/mysubgroup --base-url=https://${} --scm=gitlab --token=XXXX --preserve-dir
  3. You must set --base-url which is the url to your instance. If your instance uses self signed certificates you can use the --insecure-gitlab-client flag

gitlab cloud

To clone all repos you can use the top level group name e.g. to clone fdroid on GitLab cloud

$ ghorg clone fdroid --scm=gitlab --token=XXXX --preserve-dir
gitea setup
  1. Create Access Token (Settings -> Applications -> Generate Token)
  2. Update GHORG_GITEA_TOKEN in your ghorg/conf.yaml or use the (--token, -t) flag.
  3. Update GHORG_SCM_TYPE to gitea in your ghorg/conf.yaml or via cli flags
bitbucket setup
app passwords
  1. To configure with bitbucket you will need to create a new app password and update your $HOME/.config/ghorg/conf.yaml or use the (--token, -t) and (--bitbucket-username) flags.
  2. Update SCM type to bitbucket in your ghorg/conf.yaml or via cli flags
PAT/OAuth token
  1. Create a PAT
  2. Set the token with GHORG_BITBUCKET_OAUTH_TOKEN in your $HOME/.config/ghorg/conf.yaml or using the --token flag. Make sure you do not have --bitbucket-username set.
  3. Update SCM TYPE to bitbucket in your ghorg/conf.yaml or via cli flags
osx default github/gitlab token used

NOTE: cloning via https rather than ssh is the ghorg default, this is because a token must be present to retrieve the list of repos. However, if you run into trouble cloning via https and generally clone via ssh, try switching --protocol ssh

$ security find-internet-password -s  | grep "acct" | awk -F\" '{ print $4 }'
$ security find-internet-password -s  | grep "acct" | awk -F\" '{ print $4 }'

It's recommended to store github/gitlab tokens in the osxkeychain, if this command returns anything other than your token see Troubleshooting section below. However, you can always add your token to the $HOME/.config/ghorg/conf.yaml or use the (--token, -t) flags.

Changing clone directories

  1. By default ghorg will clone the org or user repos into a directory like $HOME/ghorg/org. If you want to clone the org to a different directory use the --path flag or set GHORG_ABSOLUTE_PATH_TO_CLONE_TO in your ghorg conf. This value must be an absolute path. For example if you wanted to clone the kubernetes org to /tmp/ghorg you would run the following command.

    $ ghorg clone kubernetes --path=/tmp/ghorg

    which would create...

    └── kubernetes
        ├── apimachinery
        ├── gengo
        ├── git-sync
        ├── kubeadm
        ├── kubernetes-template-project
        ├── ...
  2. If you want to change the name of the directory the repos get cloned into, set the GHORG_OUTPUT_DIR in your ghorg conf or set the --output-dir flag. For example to clone only the repos starting with sig- from the kubernetes org into a direcotry called kubernetes-sig-only. You would run the following command.

    $ ghorg clone kubernetes --match-regex=^sig- --output-dir=kubernetes-sig-only

    which would create...

    └── kubernetes-sig-only
        ├── sig-release
        ├── sig-security
        └── sig-testing

Filtering Repos

  • To filter repos by regex use --match-regex flag

  • To filter out any archived repos while cloning use the --skip-archived flag (not bitbucket)

  • To filter out any forked repos while cloning use the --skip-forks flag

  • Filter by specific GitHub topics GHORG_TOPICS or --topics will clone only repos with a matching topic. GitHub/Gitea only

  • To ignore specific repos create a ghorgignore file inside $HOME/.config/ghorg. Each line in this file is considered a substring and will be compared against each repos clone url. If the clone url contains a substring in the ghorgignore it will be excluded from cloning. To prevent accidentally excluding a repo, you should make each line as specific as possible, eg. or depending on how you clone. This is useful for permanently ignoring certain repos.

    # Create ghorgignore
    touch $HOME/.config/ghorg/ghorgignore
    # Update file
    vi $HOME/.config/ghorg/ghorgignore

Creating Backups

When taking backups the two noteable flags are --backup and --clone-wiki. The --backup flag will clone the repo with git clone --mirror. The --clone-wiki flag will include any wiki pages the repo has.

ghorg clone kubernetes --backup --clone-wiki

This will create a kubernetes_backup directory for the org. Each folder inside will contain the .git contents for the source repo. To restore the code from the .git contents you would move all contents into a .git dir, then run git init inside the dir, then checkout branch e.g.

# inside kubernetes_backup dir, to restore kubelet source code
cd kubelet
mkdir .git
mv -f * .git # moves all contents into .git directory
git init
git checkout master

Known issues

  1. When cloning if you see something like Username for '': and the run won't finish. Make sure you have correctly set your token on the commandline, in your ghorg conf, or in your oskeychain. If this does not work, try cloning via ssh (--protocol=ssh). If this still does not resolve your issue you can try following the process below.

    1. Make sure that you can clone using SSH with no username/password using "git clone" (replace the link to the correct git file). If you can't clone or it requires a password, fix this problem first (unrelated to ghorg)
    2. In "git config", make sure that the email is correct
    3. Delete all files and folders (git repos) in the ghorg directory
    4. Run ghorg once again using -t (the gitlab personal access token, new tokens start with "glpat-"), --scm=gitlab --protocol=ssh

    If this still does not resolve your issue you will need to update your git configs to match below, be sure to update the portion

    git config --global url."".insteadOf
    git config --global url."git://".insteadOf https://
  2. If you are cloning a large org you may see Error: open /dev/null: too many open files which means you need to increase your ulimits, there are lots of docs online for this. For mac the quick and dirty is below

    # reset the soft and hard file limit boundaries
    $ sudo launchctl limit maxfiles 65536 200000
    # actually now set the ulimit boundary
    $ ulimit -n 20000

    Another solution is to decrease the number of concurrent clones. Use the --concurrency flag to set to lower than 25 (the default)


  • If you are having trouble cloning repos. Try to clone one of the repos locally e.g. manually running git clone if this does not work, ghorg will also not work. Your git client must first be setup to clone the target repos. If you normally clone using an ssh key use the --protocol=ssh flag with ghorg. This will fetch the ssh clone urls instead of the https clone urls.
  • If your GitHub org is behind SSO, you will need to authorize your token, see here
  • If your GitHub Personal Access Token is only finding public repos, give your token all the repos permissions
  • Make sure your $ git --version is >= 2.19.0
  • Check for other software, such as anti-malware, that could interfere with ghorgs ability to create large number of connections, see issue 132
Updating brew tap


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Source Files


Path Synopsis
Package cmd encapsulates the logic for all cli commands
Package cmd encapsulates the logic for all cli commands
Package colorlog has various Print functions that can be called to change the color of the text in standard out
Package colorlog has various Print functions that can be called to change the color of the text in standard out
Package configs sets up the environment.
Package configs sets up the environment.

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