Display Markdown formatted documents on your local web server using GitHub's Markdown rendering API and CSS to mimic the visuals of GitHub itself.
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.


GitHub Markdown render

Display Markdown formatted documents on your local development web server using GitHub's Markdown Rendering API and CSS to mimic the visual display on GitHub itself.

Handy for authoring/previewing README.md files (or any Markdown for that matter) in project repositories, hopefully avoiding noisy git push actions in commit logs due to excessive typos/errors.

Note: this is intended for local development only, probably not a good idea for production use due to GitHub API rate limits per user.


  • PHP 5.4+
  • PHP cURL extension - more than likely already part of your PHP install/compile.
  • Nginx or Apache URL rewrite support.


Markdown files are accessible from a local web server and returned in plain text, for example:


To view rendered Markdown, request same URIs with a querystring switch:


Rendered result is cached against the last modification time of each Markdown document to reduce repeated GitHub API calls for identical source content.


Configure index.php

Generate a new GitHub OAuth personal access token using either:

Note down the token generated.

Update the following constants within index.php in the GitHubMarkdownRender class:

Setting Description
GITHUB_PERSONAL_ACCESS_TOKEN Your generated GitHub personal access token. Anonymous GitHub API calls are limited to 60 per hour, providing user credentials ramps this up to a more usable 5000 requests per hour.
DOCUMENT_ROOT Web server document root location on the file system. Assumes you are serving up all your project(s) directories under a default virtual host.

Setup URL rewrite rules

  • Configure a URL rewrite for your default virtual host so all requests to /local/path/*.md?ghmd are rewritten to /path/to/ghmarkdownrender/index.php.
  • Refer to the supplied rewrite.nginx.conf & rewrite.apache.conf for examples.


  • You may wish to have requested raw Markdown files served up with a MIME type such as text/plain for convenience.
    • Nginx by default serves up unknown file types based on extension as application/octet-stream, forcing a browser download - see /etc/nginx/mime.types within your Nginx installation and modify to suit.
  • Haven't tested rewrite.apache.conf - it should do the trick, would appreciate a pull-request if it needs fixing.


You should now be able to call a Markdown document with a querystring of ?ghmd to receive a familiar GitHub style Markdown display. The page footer will also display the total/available API rate limits, or if rendering was returned from cache.

CSS style issues

Markdown display CSS has been lifted (deliberately) from GitHub.com. It's quite possible/likely there are some CSS styles missing to make this complete.

If anything missing is noted with your own markdown documents, it would be great to get any source examples or pull requests (add your example(s) to test.md) to help make things complete.