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Unable to clone Gists in Desktop #2886

cmrberry opened this issue Sep 26, 2017 · 9 comments

Unable to clone Gists in Desktop #2886

cmrberry opened this issue Sep 26, 2017 · 9 comments


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@cmrberry cmrberry commented Sep 26, 2017


We have this nifty little button on the top of Gists just like we do for repositories:

screen shot 2017-09-26 at 12 51 51 pm

However clicking that button does not clone the Gist as expected.


GitHub Desktop version: 1.0.1
OS version: macOS 10.12.6

Steps to Reproduce

  1. Go to any Gist, like:
  2. Click the "Download to Desktop" button that links to x-github-client://openRepo/

Expected behavior: The Gist should be cloned to my Desktop app.
Actual behavior:

  • A user reported that they were taken to after clicking that button, even though they have Desktop installed.
  • I was unable to reproduce that ☝️ but got an error every time:

screen shot 2017-09-26 at 1 00 52 pm

Note that it doesn't exist, because it won't let me clone it. It's a misleading error message in this case a well.

Reproduces how often: Every time for me.


2017-09-26T19:57:56.787Z - warn: [ui] Open Repository from URL failed, did not find repository: - payload: {"name":"open-repository-from-url","url":""}

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@j-f1 j-f1 commented Sep 26, 2017

Does changing the “Local Path’ to /Users/cmrberry/github/latency work? If so, this error occurs because the app is unable to parse a name from the repository URL.

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@shiftkey shiftkey commented Sep 26, 2017

I think this might have been fixed by #2863 which isn't in that build but I'll confirm this is reproducible on master.

EDIT: nope, still reproducible. We should auto-fill the folder name into the path but clearly that's not happening...

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@shiftkey shiftkey commented Oct 6, 2017

@cmrberry this is occurring because we don't correctly detect Gists in the app, so it won't go and create the folder correctly. I thought this was going to be a simple fix, but it looks like this touches a lot of areas - I've opened #2973 to track these tasks.

In the meantime, you can go and edit the Local Path value which will then enable you to clone the repository down.

@shiftkey shiftkey removed their assignment Oct 6, 2017
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@DixCar DixCar commented Oct 9, 2017

I have same problem but
GitHub Desktop version 1.0.3 (latest at this day)
OS Windows 10 Home

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@WiliTest WiliTest commented Aug 23, 2018

I also had a problem with this button.
● The first time it asks to install the app. I did it again (and again) and it asked me to install the app. An hour later it works. I guess it's a cash issue, the page should maybe be reloaded. If that doesn't work open the URL tab of the desktop app and write a link like that:

● then I ran into another problem: "the destination already exist". I gave up.

(I just wanted to delete the previous version of my gist... Why doing it simple when we could complicate it?)

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@ssowens ssowens commented Oct 5, 2018

Consistently getting the following error when I try to clone: "The destination already exists." If I add "latency" as stated above the error goes away. However, why is this happening? Please assist.

screen shot 2018-10-05 at 4 55 36 pm

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@aghaynes aghaynes commented Oct 26, 2018

As @shiftkey previously mentioned, changing the default local name to something meaningful/normal (rather than the long names that github assigns) seems to work.

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@theconsultant theconsultant commented Nov 29, 2018

Changing the default local name to something meaningful worked for me as well.

@shiftkey I don't know if it can be done or not.. but maybe the error message could link to here, or even just tell folks the workaround 'for now' ;-)

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@billygriffin billygriffin commented Mar 2, 2020

I'm going to roll this into #2973 because we know the experience for managing Gists in Desktop isn't particularly good in a variety of ways, but it's not something we've been able to prioritize and that'll get looked at with the remainder of the future proposals still outstanding.

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