Automatically generate change log from your tags, issues, labels and pull requests on GitHub.
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GitHub Changelog Generator GitHub Logo

Changelog generation has never been so easy:

Fully automate changelog generation - This gem generates change log file based on tags, issues and merged pull requests (and splits them into separate lists according labels) from :octocat: GitHub Issue Tracker.

Since now you don't have to fill your manually: just run the script, relax and take a cup of ☕️ before your next release! 🎉

What’s the point of a change log?

To make it easier for users and contributors to see precisely what notable changes have been made between each release (or version) of the project.

Why should I care?

Because software tools are for people. If you don’t care, why are you contributing to open source? Surely, there must be a kernel (ha!) of care somewhere in that lovely little brain of yours.



[sudo] gem install github_changelog_generator

Output example

1.2.5 (2015-01-15)

Full Changelog

Implemented enhancements:

  • Use milestone to specify in which version bug was fixed #22

Fixed bugs:

  • Error when trying to generate log for repo without tags #32

Merged pull requests:

  • PrettyPrint class is included using lowercase 'pp' #43 (schwing)

  • support enterprise github via command line options #42 (glenlovett)


It's really simple:

  • If your git remote origin refers to your GitHub repo, then just go to your project folder and run:

  • or from anywhere:

    • github_changelog_generator -u github_username -p github_project
    • github_changelog_generator github_username/github_project

As output you will get file with pretty Markdown-formatted changelog.


Type github_changelog_generator --help for detailed usage.

Usage: changelog_generator [options]
-u, --user [USER]                Username of the owner of target GitHub repo
-p, --project [PROJECT]          Name of project on GitHub
-t, --token [TOKEN]              To make more than 50 requests per hour your GitHub token required. You can generate it here:
-f, --date-format [FORMAT]       Date format. Default is %d/%m/%y
-o, --output [NAME]              Output file. Default is
    --[no-]verbose               Run verbosely. Default is true
    --[no-]issues                Include closed issues to changelog. Default is true
    --[no-]issues-wo-labels      Include closed issues without labels to changelog. Default is true
    --[no-]pr-wo-labels          Include pull requests without labels to changelog. Default is true
    --[no-]pull-requests         Include pull-requests to changelog. Default is true
    --[no-]filter-by-milestone   Use milestone to detect when issue was resolved. Default is true
    --[no-]author                Add author of pull-request in the end. Default is true
    --unreleased-only            Generate log from unreleased closed issues only.
    --[no-]unreleased            Add to log unreleased closed issues. Default is true
    --[no-]compare-link          Include compare link between older version and newer version. Default is true
    --include-labels  x,y,z      Issues only with that labels will be included to changelog. Default is 'bug,enhancement'
    --exclude-labels  x,y,z      Issues with that labels will be always excluded from changelog. Default is 'duplicate,question,invalid,wontfix'
    --max-issues [NUMBER]        Max number of issues to fetch from GitHub. Default is unlimited.
    --github-site [URL]          The Enterprise Github site on which your project is hosted.
    --github-api [URL]           The enterprise endpoint to use for your Github API.
-v, --version                    Print version number
-h, --help                       Displays Help

GitHub token

Since GitHub allows you to make only 50 requests without authentication it's recommended to run this script with a token (-t, --token option)

You can easily generate it here.


  • Run with key -t [your-16-digit-token]

  • Or set environment variable CHANGELOG_GITHUB_TOKEN and specify there your token.

    i.e. add to your ~/.bash_profile or ~/.zshrc or any other place to load ENV variables string :

      export CHANGELOG_GITHUB_TOKEN="your-40-digit-github-token"

So, if you got error like this:

! /Library/Ruby/Gems/2.0.0/gems/github_api-0.12.2/lib/github_api/response/raise_error.rb:14:in `on_complete'

It's time to create this token or wait for 1 hour before GitHub reset the counter for your IP.

##Features and advantages of this project

  • Generate canonical, neat change log file, followed by basic change log guidlines 💎

  • Possible to generate Unreleased changes (closed issues that have not released yet) 💫

  • GitHub Enterprise support via command line options! 🏭

  • Flexible format customisation:

    • Customize issues, that should be added to changelog ✳️
    • Custom date format supported (but get in mind ISO 8601 ) 📅
    • Ability to manually specify in which version issue was fixed (in case, when closed date is not match) by setting milestone of issue the same name as tag of required version 📌
    • Automatically exclude specific issues, not-related to change log (any issue, that has label question duplicate invalid wontfixby default) ✂️
  • Distinguish issues according labels. 🔎

    • Merged pull requests (all merged pull-requests) 🔀
    • Bug fixes (by label bug in issue) 🐞
    • Enhancements (by label enhancement in issue) 🌟
    • Issues (closed issues w/o any labels) 🚱
  • You can manually set which labels should be included/excluded. 🔧

  • Apply a lot of other customisations, to fit changelog for your personal style 🎩 (look github_changelog_generator --help for details)

###Alternatives Here is a wikipage list of alternatives, that I found. But none satisfied my requirements.

If you know other projects - feel free to edit this Wiki page!

Projects using this library

Wikipage with list of projects

If you are using github_changelog_generator for generation change log in your project or know another project that uses it, please add it to [this] ( list.

Am I missing some essential feature?

  • Nothing is impossible!

  • Open an issue and let's make generator better together!

  • Bug reports, feature requests, patches, well-wishes are always welcome ❗️


  • I already use GitHub Releases. Why do I need this?

GitHub Releases is a very good thing. And it's very good practice to maintain it (not so much people using it yet)! ㊗️

BDW: I would like to support GitHub Releases in next releases ;)

I'm not try to compare quality of auto-generated and manually generated logs.. but:

The auto generated Changelog really helps even if you manually fill Releases notes!

For example:

When I found a closed bug - it's very useful to understand, in which release it was fixed. In that case you can easily find this issue by # in

  • it's not so quite easy to find it in manually filled Releases notes.
  • this file can also help you to build your Release note and not miss features in manually-filled list.

In the end:

I think, that GitHub Releases is more for end-users. But could stay in the repo for developers with detailed list of changes. And it's nothing bad to combine GitHub Releases and file together in that manner.

  • I received a warning: GitHub API rate limit exceed, what does this mean?

GitHub limits the number of API requests you can make in an hour. You can make up to 5,000 requests per hour. For unauthenticated requests, the rate limit allows you to make up to 60 requests per hour. Unauthenticated requests are associated with your IP address, and not the user making requests.

If you're seeing this warning:

  1. Make sure you're providing an OAuth token so you're not anonymously making requests. This will increase the number of requests from 60 to 5000 per hour.
  2. You probably have a large repo with lots of issues/PRs. You can use the --max-issues NUM argument to limit the number of issues that are pulled back. For example: --max-issues 1000


  1. Create an issue to discuss about your idea
  2. [Fork it] (
  3. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  4. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  5. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  6. Create a new Pull Request
  7. Profit!


Github Changelog Generator is released under the MIT License.