Skip to content


Subversion checkout URL

You can clone with
Download ZIP
Ruby interface to github API v3
Ruby Cucumber

Application icon


Gem Version Build Status Code Climate Coverage Status Inline docs Dependency Status

Website | Wiki | RDocs

A Ruby client for the official GitHub API.

Supports all the API methods. It's built in a modular way. You can either instantiate the whole API wrapper or use parts of it i.e. if working solely with repositories is your main concern. Intuitive query methods allow you easily call API endpoints.


  • Intuitive GitHub API interface navigation.
  • It's comprehensive. You can request all GitHub API resources.
  • Modular design allows for working with parts of API.
  • Fully customizable including advanced middleware stack construction.
  • Supports OAuth2 authorization.
  • Flexible argument parsing. You can write expressive and natural queries.
  • Requests pagination with convenient DSL and automatic options.
  • Easy error handling split for client and server type errors.
  • Supports multithreaded environment.
  • Custom media type specification through the 'media' parameter.
  • Request results caching
  • Fully tested with unit and feature tests hitting the live api.


Install the gem by running

gem install github_api

or put it in your Gemfile and run bundle install

gem "github_api"


1 Usage

To start using the gem, you can either perform requests directly on Github namespace:

Github.repos.list user: 'peter-murach'

or create a new client instance like so

github =

and then call api methods, for instance, to list a given user repositories do

github.repos.list user: 'peter-murach'

1.1 API Navigation

The github_api closely mirrors the GitHub API hierarchy. For example, if you want to create a new file in a repository, look up the GitHub API spec. In there you will find contents sub category underneath the repository category. This would translate to the request:

github =
github.repos.contents.create 'peter-murach', 'finite_machine', 'hello.rb',
                             path: 'hello.rb',
                             content: "puts 'hello ruby'"

The whole library reflects the same api navigation. Therefore, if you need to list releases for a repository do:

github.repos.releases.list 'peter-murach', 'finite_machine'

or to list a user's followers:

github.users.followers.list 'peter-murach'

The code base has been extensively documented with examples of how to use each method. Please refer to the documentation under the Github::Client class name.

Alternatively, you can find out which methods are supported by an api by calling actions on a class or instance. For example, in order to find out available endpoints for Github::Client::Repos::Contents api call actions method:

=> [:archive, :create, :delete, :find, :get, :readme, :update]

1.2 Modularity

The code base is modular. This means that you can work specifically with a given part of GitHub API. If you want to only work with activity starring API do the following:

starring = 'peter-murach', 'github'

Please refer to the documentation and look under Github::Client to see all available classes.

1.3 Arguments

The github_api library allows for flexible argument parsing.

Arguments can be passed directly inside the method called. The required arguments are passed in first, followed by optional parameters supplied as hash options:

issues =
issues.milestones.list 'peter-murach', 'github', state: 'open'

In the previous example, the order of arguments is important. However, each method also allows you to specify required arguments using hash symbols and thus remove the need for ordering. Therefore, the same example could be rewritten like so:

issues =
issues.milestones.list user: 'peter-murach', repo: 'github', state: 'open'

Furthermore, required arguments can be passed during instance creation:

issues = user: 'peter-murach', repo: 'github'
issues.milestones.list state: 'open'

Similarly, the required arguments for the request can be passed inside the current scope such as:

issues =
issues.milestones(user: 'peter-murach', repo: 'github').list state: 'open'

But why limit ourselves? You can mix and match arguments, for example:

issues = user: 'peter-murach'
issues.milestones(repo: 'github').list
issues.milestones(repo: 'tty').list

You can also use a bit of syntactic sugar whereby "username/repository" can be passed as well:

issues =
issues.milestones.list 'peter-murach/github'

Finally, use the with scope to clearly denote your requests

issues =
issues.milestones.with(user: 'peter-murach', repo: 'github').list

Please consult the method documentation or GitHub specification to see which arguments are required and what are the option parameters.

1.4 Response Querying

The response is of type Github::ResponseWrapper and allows traversing all the json response attributes like method calls. In addition, if the response returns more than one resource, these will be automatically yielded to the provided block one by one.

For example, when request is issued to list all the branches on a given repository, each branch will be yielded one by one:

repos =
repos.branches user: 'peter-murach', repo: 'github' do |branch|

1.4.1 Response Body

The ResponseWrapper allows you to call json attributes directly as method calls. there is no magic here, all calls are delegated to the response body. Therefore, you can directly inspect request body by calling body method on the ResponseWrapper like so:

response = repos.branches user: 'peter-murach', repo: 'github'
response.body  # => Array of branches

1.4.2 Response Headers

Each response comes packaged with methods allowing for inspection of HTTP start line and headers. For example, to check for rate limits and status codes do:

response = Github::Client::Repos.branches 'peter-murach', 'github'
response.headers.ratelimit_limit     # "5000"
response.headers.ratelimit_remaining # "4999"
response.headers.status              # "200"
response.headers.content_type        # "application/json; charset=utf-8"
response.headers.etag                # "\"2c5dfc54b3fe498779ef3a9ada9a0af9\""
response.headers.cache_control       # "public, max-age=60, s-maxage=60"

1.4.3 Response Success

If you want to verify if the response was success, namely, that the 200 code was returned call the success? like so:

response = Github::Client::Repos.branches 'peter-murach', 'github'
response.success?  # => true

1.5 Request Headers

It is possible to specify additional header information which will be added to the final request.

For example, to set etag and X-Poll_Interval headers, use the :headers hash key inside the :options hash like in the following:

events =
events.public headers: {
    'X-Poll-Interval': 60,
    'ETag': "a18c3bded88eb5dbb5c849a489412bf3"

1.5.1 Media Types

In order to set custom media types for a request use the accept header. By using the :accept key you can determine media type like in the example:

issues =
issues.get 'peter-murach', 'github', 108, accept: 'application/vnd.github.raw'

2 Configuration

The github_api provides ability to specify global configuration options. These options will be available to all api calls.

2.1 Basic

The configuration options can be set by using the configure helper

Github.configure do |c|
  c.basic_auth = "login:password"
  c.adapter    = :typheous
  c.user       = 'peter-murach'
  c.repo       = 'finite_machine'

Alternatively, you can configure the settings by passing a block to an instance like: do |c|
  c.endpoint    = ''        = ''

or simply by passing hash of options to an instance like so

github = basic_auth: 'login:password',
                    adapter: :typheous,
                    user: 'peter-murach',
                    repo: 'finite_machine'

The following is the full list of available configuration options:

adapter            # Http client used for performing requests. Default :net_http
auto_pagination    # Automatically traverse requests page links. Default false
basic_auth         # Basic authentication in form login:password.
client_id          # Oauth client id.
client_secret      # Oauth client secret.
connection_options # Hash of connection options.
endpoint           # Enterprise API endpoint. Default: ''
oauth_token        # Oauth authorization token.
org                # Global organization used in requests if none provided
per_page           # Number of items per page. Max of 100. Default 30.
repo               # Global repository used in requests in none provided
site               # enterprise API web endpoint
ssl                # SSL settings in hash form.
user               # Global user used for requests if none provided
user_agent         # Custom user agent name. Default 'Github API Ruby Gem'

2.2 Advanced

The github_api will use the default middleware stack which is exposed by calling stack on a client instance. However, this stack can be freely modified with methods such as insert, insert_after, delete and swap. For instance, to add your CustomMiddleware do:

Github.configure do |c|
  c.stack.insert_after Github::Response::Helpers, CustomMiddleware

Furthermore, you can build your entire custom stack and specify other connection options such as adapter by doing: do |c|
  c.adapter :excon

  c.stack do |builder|
    builder.use Github::Response::Helpers
    builder.use Github::Response::Jsonize

2.3 SSL

By default requests over SSL are set to OpenSSL::SSL::VERIFY_PEER. However, you can turn off peer verification by

github = ssl: { verify: false }

If your client fails to find CA certs, you can pass other SSL options to specify exactly how the information is sourced

ssl: {
  client_cert: "/usr/local/"
  client_key:  "/user/local/"
  ca_file:     ""
  ca_path:     "/etc/ssl/"

For instance, download CA root certificates from Mozilla cacert and point ca_file at your certificate bundle location. This will allow the client to verify the ssl certificate as authentic.

2.4 Caching

Caching is supported through the faraday-http-cache gem.

Add the gem to your Gemfile:

gem 'faraday-http-cache'

You can now configure cache parameters as follows

Github.configure do |config|
  config.stack do |builder|
    builder.use Faraday::HttpCache, store: Rails.cache

More details on the available options can be found in the gem's own documentation:

3 Authentication

3.1 Basic

To start making requests as authenticated user you can use your GitHub username and password like so basic_auth: 'login:password'

Though this method is convenient you should strongly consider using OAuth for improved security reasons.

3.2 Authorizations API

3.2.1 For an User

To create an access token through the GitHub Authrizations API, you are required to pass your basic credentials and scopes you wish to have for the authentication token.

github = basic_auth: 'login:password'
github.oauth.create scopes: ['repo']

You can add more than one scope from the user, public_repo, repo, gist or leave the scopes parameter out, in which case, the default read-only access will be assumed (includes public user profile info, public repo info, and gists).

3.2.2 For an App

Furthermore, to create auth token for an application you need to pass :app argument together with :client_id and :client_secret parameters.

github = basic_auth: 'login:password' 'client-id', scopes: ['repo']

In order to revoke auth token(s) for an application you must use basic authentication with client_id as login and client_secret as password.

github = basic_auth: "client_id:client_secret" 'client-id'

Revoke a specific app token. 'client-id', 'access-token'

3.3 Scopes

You can check OAuth scopes you have by:

github = oauth_token: 'token'
github.scopes.list    # => ['repo']

To list the scopes that the particular GitHub API action checks for do:

repos =
response = repos.list user: 'peter-murach'
response.headers.accepted_oauth_scopes  # => ['delete_repo', 'repo', 'public_repo']

To understand what each scope means refer to documentation

3.4 Application OAuth

In order to authenticate your app through OAuth2 on GitHub you need to

You can use convenience methods to help you achieve this using GithubAPI gem:

github = client_id: '...', client_secret: '...'
github.authorize_url redirect_uri: 'http://localhost', scope: 'repo'
# => "'...'&redirect_uri=http%3A%2F%2Flocalhost"

After you get your authorization code, call to receive your access_token

token = github.get_token( authorization_code )

Once you have your access token, configure your github instance following instructions under Configuration.

Note: If you are working locally (i.e. your app URL and callback URL are localhost), do not specify a :redirect_uri otherwise you will get a redirect_uri_mismatch error.

3.5 Two-Factor

In order to use Two-Factor authentication you need provide X-GitHub-OTP: required; :2fa-type header.

You can add headers during initialization: do |config|
  config.basic_auth         = "user:password"
  config.connection_options = {headers: {"X-GitHub-OTP" => '2fa token'}}

or per request:

github = basic_auth: 'login:password'
github.oauth.create scopes: ["public_repo"],
                    headers: {"X-GitHub-OTP" => "2fa token"}

4 Pagination

Any request that returns multiple items will be paginated to 30 items by default. You can specify custom page and per_page query parameters to alter default behavior. For instance:

repos    =
response = repos.list user: 'wycats', per_page: 10, page: 5

Then you can query the pagination information included in the link header by:

response.links.first  # Shows the URL of the first page of results.   # Shows the URL of the immediate next page of results.
response.links.prev   # Shows the URL of the immediate previous page of results.
response.links.last   # Shows the URL of the last page of results.

In order to iterate through the entire result set page by page, you can use convenience methods:

response.each_page do |page|
  page.each do |repo|

or use has_next_page? and next_page helper methods like in the following:

while response.has_next_page?
  ... process response ...

One can also navigate straight to the specific page by:

res.count_pages  # Number of pages 5       # Requests given page if it exists, nil otherwise
res.first_page   # Get first page
res.next_page    # Get next page
res.prev_page    # Get previous page
res.last_page    # Get last page

4.1 Auto pagination

You can retrieve all pages in one invocation by passing the auto_pagination option like so:

github = auto_pagination: true

Depending at what stage you pass the auto_pagination it will affect all or only a single request. For example, in order to auto paginate all Repository API methods do: auto_pagination: true

However, to only auto paginate results for a single request do: user: '...', auto_pagination: true

5 Error Handling

The generic error class Github::Error::GithubError will handle both the client (Github::Error::ClientError) and service (Github::Error::ServiceError) side errors. For instance in your code you can catch errors like

  # Do something with github_api gem
rescue Github::Error::GithubError => e
  puts e.message

  if e.is_a? Github::Error::ServiceError
    # handle GitHub service errors such as 404
  elsif e.is_a? Github::Error::ClientError
    # handle client errors e.i. missing required parameter in request

6 Examples

6.1 Rails

A Rails controller that allows a user to authorize their GitHub account and then performs a request.

class GithubController < ApplicationController

  def authorize
    address = github.authorize_url redirect_uri: 'http://...', scope: 'repo'
    redirect_to address

  def callback
    authorization_code = params[:code]
    access_token = github.get_token authorization_code
    access_token.token   # => returns token value


   def github
    @github ||= client_id: '...', client_secret: '...'

6.2 Manipulating Files

In order to be able to create/update/remove files you need to use Contents API like so:

contents = oauth_token: '...'

Having instantiated the contents, to create a file do:

contents.create 'username', 'repo_name', 'full_path_to/file.ext',
  path: 'full_path_to/file.ext',
  message: 'Your commit message',
  content: 'The contents of your file'

Content is all Base64 encoded to/from the API, and when you create a file it encodes it automatically for you.

To update a file, first you need to find the file so you can get the SHA you're updating off of:

file = contents.find path: 'full_path_to/file.ext'

Then update the file just like you do with creating:

contents.update 'username', 'repo_name', 'full_path_to/file.ext',
  path: 'full_path_to/file.ext'
  message: 'Your commit message',
  content: 'The contens to be updated',
  sha: file.sha

Finally to remove a file, find the file so you can get the SHA you're removing:

file = contents.find path: 'full_path_to/file.ext'

Then delete the file like so:

github.delete 'username', 'tome-of-knowledge', 'full_path_to/file.ext',
  path: 'full_path_to/file.ext',
  message: 'Your Commit Message',
  sha: file.sha

7 Testing

The test suite is split into two groups, live and mock.

The live tests are the ones in features folder and they simply exercise the GitHub API by making live requests and then being cached with VCR in directory named features\cassettes. For details on how to get set up, please navigate to the features folder.

The mock tests are in the spec directory and their primary concern is to test the gem internals without the hindrance of external calls.


Questions or problems? Please post them on the issue tracker. You can contribute changes by forking the project and submitting a pull request. You can ensure the tests are passing by running bundle and rake.


Copyright (c) 2011-2014 Piotr Murach. See LICENSE.txt for further details.

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.