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A higher-level wrapper around the Github API. Intended for the browser.

branch: master

Merge pull request #103 from StevensonCMS/master

Adding support for updating binary files
latest commit ff5e99c5d5
Michael Aufreiter authored
Octocat-spinner-32 lib some tests added June 07, 2013
Octocat-spinner-32 test some tests added June 07, 2013
Octocat-spinner-32 .gitignore some tests added June 07, 2013
Octocat-spinner-32 .travis.yml travis.yml June 07, 2013
Octocat-spinner-32 LICENSE Added LICENSE. March 19, 2012
Octocat-spinner-32 edit auth on readme January 05, 2014
Octocat-spinner-32 github.js Adding support for updating binary files February 14, 2014
Octocat-spinner-32 package.json change package.json name to github-api July 06, 2013

browser support

Build Status


Github.js provides a minimal higher-level wrapper around git's plumbing commands, exposing an API for manipulating GitHub repositories on the file level. It is being developed in the context of Prose, a content editor for GitHub.

This repo is now officially maintained by DevelopmentSeed, the people behind


Either grab github.js from this repo or install via NPM:

npm install github-api


Create a Github instance.

var github = new Github({
  username: "YOU_USER",
  password: "YOUR_PASSWORD",
  auth: "basic"

Or if you prefer OAuth, it looks like this:

var github = new Github({
  token: "OAUTH_TOKEN",
  auth: "oauth"

You can use either:

  • Authorised App Tokens (via client/secret pairs), used for bigger applications, created in web-flows/on the fly
  • Personal Access Tokens (simpler to set up), used on command lines, scripts etc, created in GitHub web UI

See these pages for more info:

Creating an access token for command-line use

Github API OAuth Overview

Repository API

var repo = github.getRepo(username, reponame);

Show repository information, repo) {});

Get contents at a particular path in a particular branch. Set sync to true to get contents via sync method.

repo.contents(branch, "path/to/dir", function(err, contents) {}, sync);

Fork repository. This operation runs asynchronously. You may want to poll for repo.contents until the forked repo is ready.

repo.fork(function(err) {});

Create new branch for repo. You can omit oldBranchName to default to "master".

repo.branch(oldBranchName, newBranchName, function(err) {}); 

Create Pull Request.

var pull = {
  title: message,
  body: "This pull request has been automatically generated by",
  base: "gh-pages",
  head: "michael" + ":" + "prose-patch"
repo.createPullRequest(pull, function(err, pullRequest) {});

Retrieve all available branches (aka heads) of a repository.

repo.listBranches(function(err, branches) {});

Store contents at a certain path, where files that don't yet exist are created on the fly.

repo.write('master', 'path/to/file', 'YOUR_NEW_CONTENTS', 'YOUR_COMMIT_MESSAGE', function(err) {});

Not only can you can write files, you can of course read them.'master', 'path/to/file', function(err, data) {});

Move a file from A to B.

repo.move('master', 'path/to/file', 'path/to/new_file', function(err) {});

Remove a file.

repo.remove('master', 'path/to/file', function(err) {});

Exploring files of a repository is easy too by accessing the top level tree object.

repo.getTree('master', function(err, tree) {});

If you want to access all blobs and trees recursively, you can add ?recursive=true.

repo.getTree('master?recursive=true', function(err, tree) {});

Given a filepath, retrieve the reference blob or tree sha.

repo.getSha('master', '/path/to/file', function(err, sha) {});

For a given reference, get the corresponding commit sha.

repo.getRef('heads/master', function(err, sha) {});

Create a new reference.

var refSpec = {
  "ref": "refs/heads/my-new-branch-name",
  "sha": "827efc6d56897b048c772eb4087f854f46256132"
repo.createRef(refSpec, function(err) {});

Delete a reference.

repo.deleteRef('heads/gh-pages', function(err) {});

User API

var user = github.getUser();

List all repositories of the authenticated user, including private repositories and repositories in which the user is a collaborator and not an owner.

user.repos(function(err, repos) {});

List organizations the autenticated user belongs to.

user.orgs(function(err, orgs) {});

List authenticated user's gists.

user.gists(function(err, gists) {});

List unread notifications for the authenticated user.

user.notifications(function(err, notifications) {});

Show user information for a particular username. Also works for organizations., function(err, user) {});

List public repositories for a particular user.

user.userRepos(username, function(err, repos) {});

List repositories for a particular organization. Includes private repositories if you are authorized.

user.orgRepos(orgname, function(err, repos) {});

List all gists of a particular user. If username is ommitted gists of the current authenticated user are returned.

user.userGists(username, function(err, gists) {});

Gist API

var gist = github.getGist(3165654);

Read the contents of a Gist., gist) {


Updating the contents of a Git. Please consult the documentation on GitHub.

var delta = {
  "description": "the description for this gist",
  "files": {
    "file1.txt": {
      "content": "updated file contents"
    "old_name.txt": {
      "filename": "new_name.txt",
      "content": "modified contents"
    "new_file.txt": {
      "content": "a new file"
    "delete_this_file.txt": null

gist.update(delta, function(err, gist) {


Issues API

var issues = github.getIssues(username, reponame);

To read all the issues of a given repository

issues.list(options, function(err, issues) {});


Github.js is automatically™ tested by the users of Prose. Because of that, we decided to save some time by not maintaining a test suite. Yes, you heard right. :) However, you can still consider it stable since it is used in production.


Github.js has the following dependencies:

  • Underscore
  • Base64 (for basic auth). You can leave this if you are not using basic auth.

Include these before github.js :

<script src="lib/underscore-min.js">
<script src="lib/base64.js">
<script src="github.js">

Change Log


Paging (introduced at tail end of 0.8.X, note: different callbacks for success & errors now)


Fixes and tweaks, simpler auth, CI tests, node.js support, Raw+JSON, UTF8, plus: Users - follow, unfollow, get info, notifications Gists - create Issues - get Repos - createRepo, deleteRepo, createBranch, star, unstar, isStarred, getCommits, listTags, listPulls, getPull, compare Hooks - listHooks, getHook, createHook, editHook, deleteHook


Switched to a native request implementation (thanks @mattpass). Adds support for GitHub gists, forks and pull requests.


Adds support for organizations and fixes an encoding issue.


Smart caching of latest commit sha.


Added support for OAuth.


Support for Moving and removing files.


Consider commit messages.


Initial version.

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