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A tool to backup all of your personal git repositories from one of the following sources:

  • GitHub (either repositories or gists)
  • GitLab
  • Bitbucket

The motivation behind this is that as you acquire more git repositories, and work on different repositories across different machines over a period of time, it's less and less likely that you'll have an uptodate copy of all of your repositories stored in one place (except in the cloud with the git service). This tool makes it easy to obtain a local copy of everything you have on such services so that you can store a backup of them yourself. One use case is running the tool on a self hosted backup server as part of a cron job to maintain uptodate copies of your repositories, or alternatively you might just run it on your local machine periodically to ensure that you have access to the latest version of everything.

To use this tool, you'll need a token from the service you want to backup your repositories from (see 'Obtaining a token', below).


These examples assume that we've installed this tool to somewhere on our $PATH (see 'Installing', below).

First, we'll make our token available to git-backup (this can also be provided via the --token flag):

export GIT_TOKEN=youraccesstokenhere

Now, we can back things up by providing a source and destination, like so:

# backing up all repositories from github
# (all of the below and more are fine):
git-backup github/jsdw ~/path/to/backups
git-backup ~/path/to/backups
git-backup ~/path/to/backups

# backing up all gists from github
# (all of the below and more are fine):
git-backup gist.github/jsdw ~/path/to/backups
git-backup ~/path/to/backups

# backing up all repositories from gitlab
# (similar formats to the above are accepted):
git-backup gitlab/jsdw ~/path/to/backups

# backing up all repositories from bitbucket
# (similar formats to the above are accepted):
git-backup bitbucket/jsdw ~/path/to/backups

You can also use this via the git command (just remove the hyphen):

git backup github/jsdw ~/path/to/backups


From pre-built binaries

Prebuilt compressed binaries are available here. Download the compressed .tar.gz file for your OS/architecture and decompress it (on MacOS, this is automatic if you double-click the downloaded file).

If you like, you can download and decompress the latest release on the commandline. On MacOS, run:

curl -L | tar -xz

For Linux, run:

curl -L | tar -xz

In either case, you'll end up with a git-backup binary in your current folder. The examples assume that you have placed this into your $PATH so that it can be called from anywhere.

From Source

You must have a recent version of rust installed (see rustup) to do this.

Given this, just run:

cargo install --git --tag v0.2.0

To install the latest released binary into your PATH. You may need to add --force if you have already installed a rust binary (for example, a prior version of this tool) with the same name.

You can also install the latest master branch by cloning this repository and running cargo install --path . in its root.

Obtaining a token

You'll need a token which you can provide using --token or the environment variable GIT_TOKEN in order to use this tool. This token will be used to obtain a list of repositories to backup (including private ones) and give the git CLI tool access to your repositories to clone/sync them locally.

Here's how to get a token depending on the service you wish to backup from:


In GitLab, you'll need to create a new Personal Access Token with the api scope.

Navigate to Settings -> Access Tokens to create one, and you'll need to tick the api scope.


GitHub also has a notion of a Personal Access Token.

Navigate to Settings -> Developer Settings -> Personal Access Tokens -> Generate new token.

For standard repositories you'll need to tick the repo scope. If you want to backup all of your gists, you'll also need the gist scope (otherwise only public gists will be backed up).


Bitbucket has a concept called App passwords, which is what you'll need to provide to this backup tool.

To obtain one, navigate to Profile -> Settings -> App passwords -> Create App Password. Tick the read scope under the Repositories heading.


A tool to help you backup your git repositories from services like GitHub








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