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Pronounced [gore-guh]; similar to gorge. You can use ghorg to gorge on orgs.

Use ghorg 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

With default configuration ghorg performs two actions.

  1. Will clone a repo if its not inside the clone directory.
  2. If repo does exists locally in the clone directory it will perform a git pull and git clean on the repo.

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

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.


There are a installation methods available, please choose the one that suits your fancy:

For each installation method, optionally create a ghorg configuration file. See the configuration section for more details.

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

Prebuilt Binaries

See latest release to download directly for

  • Mac (Darwin)
  • Windows
  • Linux

If you don't know which to choose its likely going to be the x86_64 version for your operating system.


brew install gabrie30/utils/ghorg


# 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


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 and can be installed by performing the following.

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

If no configuration file is found ghorg will use its defaults and try to clone a GitHub Org, however an api token is always required.

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

If you have multiple different orgs/users/configurations to clone see the ghorg reclone command as a way to manage them.

Note: ghorg will respect the XDG_CONFIG_HOME environment variable if set.

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 or as a cli flag or place it in a file and add the path to GHORG_GITHUB_TOKEN. 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 (self hosted github instances) repos you must set --base-url e.g. ghorg clone <github_org> --base-url=
  3. See examples/ on how to run

GitHub App Authentication (Advanced)

  1. Create a GitHub App in your Organization. You only need to fill out the required fields. Make sure to give Repository Permissions -> contents -> read only permissions
  2. Install the GitHub App into your Organization
  3. Generate a a private key from the GitHub App, set the location of the key to GHORG_GITHUB_APP_PEM_PATH
  4. Locate the GitHub App ID from the GitHub App, set the value to GHORG_GITHUB_APP_ID
  5. Locate the GitHub Installation ID from the URL of the GitHub app, set the value to GHORG_GITHUB_APP_INSTALLATION_ID. NOTE: you will need to use the actual GitHub url to get this ID, go to your GitHub Organization Settings Page -> Third Party Access -> GitHub Apps -> Configure -> Get ID from 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 or as a cli flag.
  2. Update the GitLab Specific config in your ghorg/conf.yaml or via cli flags or place it in a file and add the path to GHORG_GITLAB_TOKEN
  3. Update GHORG_SCM_TYPE to gitlab in your ghorg/conf.yaml or via cli flags
  4. See examples/ on how to run

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 or place it in a file and add the path to GHORG_GITEA_TOKEN.
  3. Update GHORG_SCM_TYPE to gitea in your ghorg/conf.yaml or via cli flags
  4. See examples/ on how to run

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
  3. See examples/ on how to run

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
  4. See examples/ on how to run

How to Use

See examples directory for more SCM specific docs or use the examples command e.g. ghorg examples gitlab

$ ghorg clone kubernetes --token=bGVhdmUgYSBjb21tZW50IG9uIGlzc3VlIDY2
# Example how to use --token with a file path
$ ghorg clone kubernetes --token=~/.config/ghorg/gitlab-token.txt
$ ghorg clone davecheney --clone-type=user --token=bGVhdmUgYSBjb21tZW50IG9uIGlzc3VlIDY2
$ ghorg clone gitlab-examples --scm=gitlab --preserve-dir --token=bGVhdmUgYSBjb21tZW50IG9uIGlzc3VlIDY2
$ ghorg clone gitlab-examples/wayne-enterprises --scm=gitlab --token=bGVhdmUgYSBjb21tZW50IG9uIGlzc3VlIDY2
$ ghorg clone all-groups --scm=gitlab --base-url= --preserve-dir
$ ghorg clone --help
# view cloned resources
$ ghorg ls
$ ghorg ls someorg
$ ghorg ls someorg | xargs -I %s mv %s bar/

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...

  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...


Selective Repository Cloning

  • To only clone repos that match regex use --match-regex flag or exclude cloning repos that match regex with --exclude-match-regex
  • To only clone repos that match prefix(s) use --match-prefix flag or exclude cloning repos that match prefix(s) with --exclude-match-prefix
  • 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 repo topics GHORG_TOPICS or --topics will clone only repos with a matching topic. GitHub/GitLab/Gitea only
  • To clone a specific set of repositories, create a file listing the names of these repositories, one per line. Then, use the GHORG_TARGET_REPOS or --target-repos-path flag to specify the path to this file.
  • To exclude specific repositories from being cloned, you can create a ghorgignore file in the $HOME/.config/ghorg directory. Each line in this file should contain a unique identifier of the repository, which is considered a substring. This substring is then compared against each repository's clone URL during the cloning process. If the clone URL contains the substring listed in the ghorgignore file, that repository will be skipped and not cloned. To avoid unintentionally excluding a repository, ensure that each line in the ghorgignore file is as specific as possible. For instance, you could use or, depending on your cloning method. This feature is particularly useful for permanently excluding certain repositories from the cloning process. If you wish to use multiple ghorgignore files or store them in a different location, you can use the --ghorgignore-path flag to specify an alternative path.
    # Create ghorgignore
    touch $HOME/.config/ghorg/ghorgignore
    # Update file
    vi $HOME/.config/ghorg/ghorgignore

Creating Backups

When taking backups the notable flags are --backup, --clone-wiki, and --include-submodules. The --backup flag will clone the repo with git clone --mirror. The --clone-wiki flag will include any wiki pages the repo has. If you want to include any submodules you will need --include-submodules. Lastly, if you want to exclude any binary files use the the flag --git-filter=blob:none to prevent them from being cloned.

ghorg clone kubernetes --backup --clone-wiki --include-submodules

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

Reclone Command

The ghorg reclone command is a way to store all your ghorg clone commands in one configuration file and makes calling long or multiple ghorg clone commands easier.

Once your reclone.yaml configuration is set you can call ghorg reclone to clone each entry individually or clone all at once, see examples below.

# To clone all the entries in your reclone.yaml omit any arguments
ghorg reclone
# To run one or more entries you can pass arguments
ghorg reclone kubernetes-sig-staging kubernetes-sig
# To view all your reclone commands
# NOTE: This command prints tokens to stdout
ghorg reclone --list

ghorg reclone example


Add a reclone.yaml to your $HOME/.config/ghorg directory. You can use the following command to set it for you with examples to use as a template

curl > $HOME/.config/ghorg/reclone.yaml

Update file with the commands you wish to run.


The provided images are built for both amd64 and arm64 architectures and are available solely on Github Container Registry

# Should print help message
# You can also specify a version as the tag, such as
docker run --rm

Note: There are also tags available for the latest on trunk, such as master or master-<commit SHA 7 chars>, but these are not recommended.

The commands for ghorg are parsed as docker commands. The entrypoint is the ghorg binary, hence you only need to enter remaining arguments as follows:

docker run --rm \
    clone kubernetes --token=bGVhdmUgYSBjb21tZW50IG9uIGlzc3VlIDY2

The image ships with the following environment variables set:


These can be overriden, if necessary, by including the -e flag to the docker run comand, e.g. -e GHORG_GITHUB_TOKEN=bGVhdmUgYSBjb21tZW50IG9uIGlzc3VlIDY2.

Persisting Data on the Host

In order to store data on the host, it is required to bind mount a volume:

  • $HOME/.config/ghorg:/config: Mounts your config directory inside the container, to access config.yaml and reclone.yaml.
  • $HOME/repositories:/data: Mounts your local data directory inside the container, where repos will be downloaded by default.
docker run --rm \
        -e GHORG_GITHUB_TOKEN=bGVhdmUgYSBjb21tZW50IG9uIGlzc3VlIDY2 \
        -v $HOME/.config/ghorg:/config `# optional` \
        -v $HOME/repositories:/data \ \
        clone kubernetes --match-regex=^sig

Note: Altering GHORG_ABSOLUTE_PATH_TO_CLONE_TO will require changing the mount location from /data to the new location inside the container.

A shell alias might make this more practical:

alias ghorg="docker run --rm -v $HOME/.config/ghorg:/config -v $HOME/repositories:/data"

# Using the alias: creates and cleans up the container
ghorg clone kubernetes --match-regex=^sig

Windows support

Windows is supported when built with golang or as a prebuilt binary however, the readme and other documentation is not geared towards Windows users.

Alternatively, Windows users can also install ghorg using scoop

scoop bucket add main
scoop install ghorg


  • 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 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. Another solution is to decrease the number of concurrent clones. Use the --concurrency flag to set to lower than 25 (the default)
  • 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. You can also lower the concurrency with --concurrency=n default is 25.
  • To debug yourself you can call ghorg with the GHORG_DEBUG=true env e.g GHORG_DEBUG=true ghorg clone kubernetes. Note, when this env is set concurrency is set to a value of 1
  • If you've gotten this far and still have an issue feel free to raise an issue