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Minimalistic GitHub API client in R


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R-CMD-check Codecov test coverage CRAN Posit mirror downloads R-CMD-check

Minimalistic client to access GitHub’s REST and GraphQL APIs.

Installation and setup

Install the package from CRAN as usual:


Install the development version from GitHub:



The value returned by gh::gh_token() is used as Personal Access Token (PAT). A token is needed for some requests, and to help with rate limiting. gh can use your regular git credentials in the git credential store, via the gitcreds package. Use gitcreds::gitcreds_set() to put a PAT into the git credential store. If you cannot use the credential store, set the GITHUB_PAT environment variable to your PAT. See the details in the ?gh::gh_token manual page and the manual of the gitcreds package.


  • The GITHUB_API_URL environment variable, if set, is used for the default github api url.



Use the gh() function to access all API endpoints. The endpoints are listed in the documentation.

The first argument of gh() is the endpoint. You can just copy and paste the API endpoints from the documentation. Note that the leading slash must be included as well.

From you can copy and paste GET /users/{username}/repos into your gh() call. E.g.

my_repos <- gh("GET /users/{username}/repos", username = "gaborcsardi")
vapply(my_repos, "[[", "", "name")
#>  [1] "after"                "alexr"                "all.primer.tutorials"
#>  [4] "altlist"              "argufy"               "ask"                 
#>  [7] "async"                "autobrew-bundler"     "BCEA"                
#> [10] "BH"                   "bigrquerystorage"     "brew-big-sur"        
#> [13] "brokenPackage"        "butcher"              "checkinstall"        
#> [16] "cli"                  "covrlabs"             "csg"                 
#> [19] "css"                  "curl"                 "cv"                  
#> [22] "cyclocomp"            "cynkrablog"           "DBItest"             
#> [25] "debian-repo"          "disposables"          "dotenv"              
#> [28] "falsy"                "finmix"               "foobar"

The JSON result sent by the API is converted to an R object.

Parameters can be passed as extra arguments. E.g.

my_repos <- gh(
  username = "gaborcsardi",
  sort = "created")
vapply(my_repos, "[[", "", "name")
#>  [1] "nanonext"              "winget-pkgs"           "gon"                  
#>  [4] "PlotR"                 "miniparquet"           "LDAvis"               
#>  [7] "ragg"                  "TreeDist"              "mmrm"                 
#> [10] "SKFCPD"                "RSiena2"               "rsiena"               
#> [13] "ReadStat"              "libxls"                "covrlabs"             
#> [16] "nanodbc"               "odbc"                  "r-dev-web"            
#> [19] "homebrew-core-big-sur" "brew-big-sur"          "scripts"              
#> [22] "format"                "bigrquerystorage"      "autobrew-bundler"     
#> [25] "homebrew-cran"         "cv"                    "playground3"          
#> [28] "cynkrablog"            "usethis"               "minimaxApprox"

POST, PATCH, PUT and DELETE requests

POST, PATCH, PUT, and DELETE requests can be sent by including the HTTP verb before the endpoint, in the first argument. E.g. to create a repository:

new_repo <- gh("POST /user/repos", name = "my-new-repo-for-gh-testing")

and then delete it:

gh("DELETE /repos/{owner}/{repo}", owner = "gaborcsardi",
   repo = "my-new-repo-for-gh-testing")


By default the GITHUB_PAT environment variable is used. Alternatively, one can set the .token argument of gh().


Supply the page parameter to get subsequent pages:

my_repos2 <- gh("GET /orgs/{org}/repos", org = "r-lib", page = 2)
vapply(my_repos2, "[[", "", "name")
#>  [1] "sodium"      "gargle"      "remotes"     "jose"        "backports"  
#>  [6] "rcmdcheck"   "vdiffr"      "callr"       "mockery"     "here"       
#> [11] "revdepcheck" "processx"    "vctrs"       "debugme"     "usethis"    
#> [16] "rlang"       "pkgload"     "httrmock"    "pkgbuild"    "prettycode" 
#> [21] "roxygen2md"  "pkgapi"      "zeallot"     "liteq"       "keyring"    
#> [26] "sloop"       "styler"      "ansistrings" "archive"     "later"

Environment Variables

  • The GITHUB_API_URL environment variable is used for the default github api url.
  • The GITHUB_PAT and GITHUB_TOKEN environment variables are used, if set, in this order, as default token. Consider using the git credential store instead, see ?gh::gh_token.

Code of Conduct

Please note that the gh project is released with a Contributor Code of Conduct. By contributing to this project, you agree to abide by its terms.


MIT © Gábor Csárdi, Jennifer Bryan, Hadley Wickham