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Published: May 11, 2024 License: BSD-3-Clause



go-github release (latest SemVer) GoDoc Test Status Test Coverage CII Best Practices

go-github is a Go client library for accessing the GitHub API v3.

Currently, go-github requires Go version 1.13 or greater. go-github tracks Go's version support policy. We do our best not to break older versions of Go if we don't have to, but due to tooling constraints, we don't always test older versions.

If you're interested in using the GraphQL API v4, the recommended library is shurcooL/githubv4.


go-github is compatible with modern Go releases in module mode, with Go installed:

go get github.com/google/go-github/v62

will resolve and add the package to the current development module, along with its dependencies.

Alternatively the same can be achieved if you use import in a package:

import "github.com/google/go-github/v62/github"

and run go get without parameters.

Finally, to use the top-of-trunk version of this repo, use the following command:

go get github.com/google/go-github/v62@master


import "github.com/google/go-github/v62/github"	// with go modules enabled (GO111MODULE=on or outside GOPATH)
import "github.com/google/go-github/github" // with go modules disabled

Construct a new GitHub client, then use the various services on the client to access different parts of the GitHub API. For example:

client := github.NewClient(nil)

// list all organizations for user "willnorris"
orgs, _, err := client.Organizations.List(context.Background(), "willnorris", nil)

Some API methods have optional parameters that can be passed. For example:

client := github.NewClient(nil)

// list public repositories for org "github"
opt := &github.RepositoryListByOrgOptions{Type: "public"}
repos, _, err := client.Repositories.ListByOrg(context.Background(), "github", opt)

The services of a client divide the API into logical chunks and correspond to the structure of the GitHub API documentation at https://docs.github.com/en/rest .

NOTE: Using the context package, one can easily pass cancelation signals and deadlines to various services of the client for handling a request. In case there is no context available, then context.Background() can be used as a starting point.

For more sample code snippets, head over to the example directory.


Use the WithAuthToken method to configure your client to authenticate using an OAuth token (for example, a personal access token). This is what is needed for a majority of use cases aside from GitHub Apps.

client := github.NewClient(nil).WithAuthToken("... your access token ...")

Note that when using an authenticated Client, all calls made by the client will include the specified OAuth token. Therefore, authenticated clients should almost never be shared between different users.

For API methods that require HTTP Basic Authentication, use the BasicAuthTransport.

As a GitHub App

GitHub Apps authentication can be provided by the ghinstallation package.

Note: Most endpoints (ex. GET /rate_limit) require access token authentication while a few others (ex. GET /app/hook/deliveries) require JWT authentication.

import (


func main() {
	// Wrap the shared transport for use with the integration ID 1 authenticating with installation ID 99.
	itr, err := ghinstallation.NewKeyFromFile(http.DefaultTransport, 1, 99, "2016-10-19.private-key.pem")

	// Or for endpoints that require JWT authentication
	// itr, err := ghinstallation.NewAppsTransportKeyFromFile(http.DefaultTransport, 1, "2016-10-19.private-key.pem")

	if err != nil {
		// Handle error.

	// Use installation transport with client.
	client := github.NewClient(&http.Client{Transport: itr})

	// Use client...

Note: In order to interact with certain APIs, for example writing a file to a repo, one must generate an installation token using the installation ID of the GitHub app and authenticate with the OAuth method mentioned above. See the examples.

Rate Limiting

GitHub imposes a rate limit on all API clients. Unauthenticated clients are limited to 60 requests per hour, while authenticated clients can make up to 5,000 requests per hour. The Search API has a custom rate limit. Unauthenticated clients are limited to 10 requests per minute, while authenticated clients can make up to 30 requests per minute. To receive the higher rate limit when making calls that are not issued on behalf of a user, use UnauthenticatedRateLimitedTransport.

The returned Response.Rate value contains the rate limit information from the most recent API call. If a recent enough response isn't available, you can use RateLimits to fetch the most up-to-date rate limit data for the client.

To detect an API rate limit error, you can check if its type is *github.RateLimitError:

repos, _, err := client.Repositories.List(ctx, "", nil)
if _, ok := err.(*github.RateLimitError); ok {
	log.Println("hit rate limit")

Learn more about GitHub rate limiting at https://docs.github.com/en/rest/rate-limit .

In addition to these rate limits, GitHub imposes a secondary rate limit on all API clients. This rate limit prevents clients from making too many concurrent requests.

To detect an API secondary rate limit error, you can check if its type is *github.AbuseRateLimitError:

repos, _, err := client.Repositories.List(ctx, "", nil)
if _, ok := err.(*github.AbuseRateLimitError); ok {
	log.Println("hit secondary rate limit")

Alternatively, you can block until the rate limit is reset by using the context.WithValue method:

repos, _, err := client.Repositories.List(context.WithValue(ctx, github.SleepUntilPrimaryRateLimitResetWhenRateLimited, true), "", nil)

You can use go-github-ratelimit to handle secondary rate limit sleep-and-retry for you.

Learn more about GitHub secondary rate limiting at https://docs.github.com/en/rest/using-the-rest-api/rate-limits-for-the-rest-api?apiVersion=2022-11-28#about-secondary-rate-limits .

Accepted Status

Some endpoints may return a 202 Accepted status code, meaning that the information required is not yet ready and was scheduled to be gathered on the GitHub side. Methods known to behave like this are documented specifying this behavior.

To detect this condition of error, you can check if its type is *github.AcceptedError:

stats, _, err := client.Repositories.ListContributorsStats(ctx, org, repo)
if _, ok := err.(*github.AcceptedError); ok {
	log.Println("scheduled on GitHub side")
Conditional Requests

The GitHub API has good support for conditional requests which will help prevent you from burning through your rate limit, as well as help speed up your application. go-github does not handle conditional requests directly, but is instead designed to work with a caching http.Transport. We recommend using https://github.com/gregjones/httpcache for that. For example:

import "github.com/gregjones/httpcache"

	client := github.NewClient(

Learn more about GitHub conditional requests at https://docs.github.com/en/rest/overview/resources-in-the-rest-api#conditional-requests.

Creating and Updating Resources

All structs for GitHub resources use pointer values for all non-repeated fields. This allows distinguishing between unset fields and those set to a zero-value. Helper functions have been provided to easily create these pointers for string, bool, and int values. For example:

// create a new private repository named "foo"
repo := &github.Repository{
	Name:    github.String("foo"),
	Private: github.Bool(true),
client.Repositories.Create(ctx, "", repo)

Users who have worked with protocol buffers should find this pattern familiar.


All requests for resource collections (repos, pull requests, issues, etc.) support pagination. Pagination options are described in the github.ListOptions struct and passed to the list methods directly or as an embedded type of a more specific list options struct (for example github.PullRequestListOptions). Pages information is available via the github.Response struct.

client := github.NewClient(nil)

opt := &github.RepositoryListByOrgOptions{
	ListOptions: github.ListOptions{PerPage: 10},
// get all pages of results
var allRepos []*github.Repository
for {
	repos, resp, err := client.Repositories.ListByOrg(ctx, "github", opt)
	if err != nil {
		return err
	allRepos = append(allRepos, repos...)
	if resp.NextPage == 0 {
	opt.Page = resp.NextPage

go-github provides structs for almost all GitHub webhook events as well as functions to validate them and unmarshal JSON payloads from http.Request structs.

func (s *GitHubEventMonitor) ServeHTTP(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
	payload, err := github.ValidatePayload(r, s.webhookSecretKey)
	if err != nil { ... }
	event, err := github.ParseWebHook(github.WebHookType(r), payload)
	if err != nil { ... }
	switch event := event.(type) {
	case *github.CommitCommentEvent:
	case *github.CreateEvent:

Furthermore, there are libraries like cbrgm/githubevents that build upon the example above and provide functions to subscribe callbacks to specific events.

For complete usage of go-github, see the full package docs.

Testing code that uses go-github

The repo migueleliasweb/go-github-mock provides a way to mock responses. Check the repo for more details.

Integration Tests

You can run integration tests from the test directory. See the integration tests README.


I would like to cover the entire GitHub API and contributions are of course always welcome. The calling pattern is pretty well established, so adding new methods is relatively straightforward. See CONTRIBUTING.md for details.


In general, go-github follows semver as closely as we can for tagging releases of the package. For self-contained libraries, the application of semantic versioning is relatively straightforward and generally understood. But because go-github is a client library for the GitHub API, which itself changes behavior, and because we are typically pretty aggressive about implementing preview features of the GitHub API, we've adopted the following versioning policy:

  • We increment the major version with any incompatible change to non-preview functionality, including changes to the exported Go API surface or behavior of the API.
  • We increment the minor version with any backwards-compatible changes to functionality, as well as any changes to preview functionality in the GitHub API. GitHub makes no guarantee about the stability of preview functionality, so neither do we consider it a stable part of the go-github API.
  • We increment the patch version with any backwards-compatible bug fixes.

Preview functionality may take the form of entire methods or simply additional data returned from an otherwise non-preview method. Refer to the GitHub API documentation for details on preview functionality.

Calendar Versioning

As of 2022-11-28, GitHub has announced that they are starting to version their v3 API based on "calendar-versioning".

In practice, our goal is to make per-method version overrides (at least in the core library) rare and temporary.

Our understanding of the GitHub docs is that they will be revving the entire API to each new date-based version, even if only a few methods have breaking changes. Other methods will accept the new version with their existing functionality. So when a new date-based version of the GitHub API is released, we (the repo maintainers) plan to:

  • update each method that had breaking changes, overriding their per-method API version header. This may happen in one or multiple commits and PRs, and is all done in the main branch.

  • once all of the methods with breaking changes have been updated, have a final commit that bumps the default API version, and remove all of the per-method overrides. That would now get a major version bump when the next go-github release is made.

Version Compatibility Table

The following table identifies which version of the GitHub API is supported by this (and past) versions of this repo (go-github). Versions prior to 48.2.0 are not listed.

go-github Version GitHub v3 API Version
62.0.0 2022-11-28
61.0.0 2022-11-28
60.0.0 2022-11-28
59.0.0 2022-11-28
58.0.0 2022-11-28
57.0.0 2022-11-28
56.0.0 2022-11-28
55.0.0 2022-11-28
54.0.0 2022-11-28
53.2.0 2022-11-28
53.1.0 2022-11-28
53.0.0 2022-11-28
52.0.0 2022-11-28
51.0.0 2022-11-28
50.2.0 2022-11-28
50.1.0 2022-11-28
50.0.0 2022-11-28
49.1.0 2022-11-28
49.0.0 2022-11-28
48.2.0 2022-11-28


This library is distributed under the BSD-style license found in the LICENSE file.


Path Synopsis
Package github provides a client for using the GitHub API.
Package github provides a client for using the GitHub API.
This tool tests for the JSON mappings in the go-github data types.
This tool tests for the JSON mappings in the go-github data types.
Package integration contains integration tests.
Package integration contains integration tests.

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