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node library to access the GitHub API
JavaScript Smarty
Latest commit 1c9571c @mikedeboer Merge pull request #254 from smikes/spdx-license
add spdx license string

JavaScript GitHub API for Node.JS

A Node.JS module, which provides an object oriented wrapper for the GitHub v3 API.


Install with the Node.JS package manager npm NPM version:

  $ npm install github


Install via git clone:

  $ git clone git://
  $ cd node-github
  $ npm install


You can find the docs for the API of this client at

Additionally, the official Github documentation is a very useful resource.


Print all followers of the user "mikedeboer" to the console.

var GitHubApi = require("github");

var github = new GitHubApi({
    // required
    version: "3.0.0",
    // optional
    debug: true,
    protocol: "https",
    host: "", // should be for GitHub
    pathPrefix: "/api/v3", // for some GHEs; none for GitHub
    timeout: 5000,
    headers: {
        "user-agent": "My-Cool-GitHub-App" // GitHub is happy with a unique user agent
    // optional:
    // headers: {
    //     "cookie": "blahblah"
    // },
    user: "mikedeboer"
}, function(err, res) {

First the GitHubApi class is imported from the node-github module. This class provides access to all of GitHub's APIs (e.g. user, issues or repo APIs). The getFollowingFromUser method lists all followers of a given GitHub user. Is is part of the user API. It takes the user name as first argument and a callback as last argument. Once the follower list is returned from the server, the callback is called.

Like in Node.JS, callbacks are always the last argument. If the functions fails an error object is passed as first argument to the callback.


Most GitHub API calls don't require authentication. As a rule of thumb: If you can see the information by visiting the site without being logged in, you don't have to be authenticated to retrieve the same information through the API. Of course calls, which change data or read sensitive information have to be authenticated.

You need the GitHub user name and the API key for authentication. The API key can be found in the user's Account Settings page.

This example shows how to authenticate and then change location field of the account settings to Argentina:

    type: "basic",
    username: username,
    password: password
    location: "Argentina"
}, function(err) {

Note that the authenticate method is synchronous because it only stores the credentials for the next request.

Other examples for the various authentication methods:

// OAuth2
    type: "oauth",
    token: token

// OAuth2 Key/Secret
    type: "oauth",
    key: "clientID",
    secret: "clientSecret"

// Deprecated Gihub API token (seems not to be working with the v3 API)
    type: "token",
    token: token

Creating tokens for your application

Create a new authorization for your application giving it access to the wanted scopes you need instead of relying on username / password and is the way to go if you have two-factor authentication on.

For example:

  1. Use github.authenticate() to auth with GitHub using your username / password
  2. Create an application token programmatically with the scopes you need and, if you use two-factor authentication send the X-GitHub-OTP header with the one-time-password you get on your token device.
    scopes: ["user", "public_repo", "repo", "repo:status", "gist"],
    note: "what this auth is for",
    note_url: "http://url-to-this-auth-app",
    headers: {
        "X-GitHub-OTP": "two-factor-code"
}, function(err, res) {
    if (res.token) {
        //save and use res.token as in the Oauth process above from now on

Implemented GitHub APIs

  • Gists: 100%
  • Git Data: 100%
  • Issues: 100%
  • Orgs: 100%
  • Pull Requests: 100%
  • Repos: 100%
  • Users: 100%
  • Events: 100%
  • Search: 100%
  • Markdown: 100%
  • Rate Limit: 100%
  • Releases: 100%
  • Gitignore: 100%
  • Meta: 100%
  • Emojis: 100%

Running the Tests

The unit tests are based on the mocha module, which may be installed via npm. To run the tests make sure that the npm dependencies are installed by running npm install from the project directory.

Before running unit tests:

npm install mocha -g

At the moment, test classes can only be run separately. This will e.g. run the Issues Api test:

mocha api/v3.0.0/issuesTest.js

Note that a connection to the internet is required to run the tests.


MIT license. See the LICENSE file for details.

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