Ruby toolkit for the GitHub API.


Octokit 2.0 is out, check the Upgrade Guide before upgrading from 1.x.


API wrappers should reflect the idioms of the language in which they were written. Octokit.rb wraps the GitHub API in a flat API client that follows Ruby conventions and requires little knowledge of REST. Most methods have positional arguments for required input and an options hash for optional parameters, headers, or other options:

# Fetch a README with Accept header for HTML format
Octokit.readme 'al3x/sovereign', :accept => 'application/vnd.github.html'

Quick start

Install via Rubygems

gem install octokit

... or add to your Gemfile

gem "octokit", "~> 2.0"

Making requests

API methods are available as module methods (consuming module-level configuration) or as client instance methods.

# Provide authentication credentials
Octokit.configure do |c|
  c. = 'defunkt'
  c.password = 'c0d3b4ssssss!'

# Fetch the current user


# Provide authentication credentials
client = Octokit::Client.new :login => 'defunkt', :password => 'c0d3b4ssssss!'
# Fetch the current user

Consuming resources

Most methods return a Resource object which provides dot notation and [] access for fields returned in the API response.

# Fetch a user
user = Octokit.user 'jbarnette'
puts user.name
# => "John Barnette"
puts user.fields
# => <Set: {:login, :id, :gravatar_id, :type, :name, :company, :blog, :location, :email, :hireable, :bio, :public_repos, :followers, :following, :created_at, :updated_at, :public_gists}>
puts user[:company]
# => "GitHub"
# => "https://api.github.com/users/jbarnette/gists"

Note: URL fields are culled into a separate .rels collection for easier Hypermedia support.

Accessing HTTP responses

While most methods return a Resource object or a Boolean, sometimes you may need access to the raw HTTP response headers. You can access the last HTTP response with Client#last_response:

user      = Octokit.user 'andrewpthorp'
response  = Octokit.last_response
etag      = response.headers[:etag]


Octokit supports the various authentication methods supported by the GitHub API:

Basic Authentication

Using your GitHub username and password is the easiest way to get started making authenticated requests:

client = Octokit::Client.new \
  :login    => 'defunkt',
  :password => 'c0d3b4ssssss!'

user = client.user
# => "defunkt"

While Basic Authentication makes it easy to get started quickly, OAuth access tokens are the preferred way to authenticate on behalf of users.

OAuth access tokens

OAuth access tokens provide two main benefits over using your username and password:

  • Revokable access. Access tokens can be revoked, removing access for just that token without having to change your password everywhere.
  • Limited access. Access tokens have access scopes which allow for more granular access to API resources. For instance, you can grant a third party access to your gists but not your private repositories.

To use an access token with the Octokit client, just pass it in lieu of your username and password:

client = Octokit::Client.new :access_token => "<your 40 char token>"

user = client.user
# => "defunkt"

You can use .create_authorization to create a token using Basic Authorization that you can use for subsequent calls.

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-Factor Authentication brings added security to the account by requiring more information to login.

Using two-factor authentication for API calls is as simple as adding the required header as an option:

client = Octokit::Client.new \
  :login    => 'defunkt',
  :password => 'c0d3b4ssssss!'

user = client.user("defunkt", :headers => { "X-GitHub-OTP" => "<your 2FA token>" })

As you can imagine, this gets annoying quick since two-factor auth tokens are very short lived. So it is recommended to create an oauth token for the user to communicate with the API:

client = Octokit::Client.new \
  :login    => 'defunkt',
  :password => 'c0d3b4ssssss!'

client.create_authorization(:scopes => ["user"], :headers => { "X-GitHub-OTP" => "<your 2FA token>" })
# => <your new oauth token>

Using a .netrc file

Octokit supports reading credentials from a netrc file (defaulting to ~/.netrc). Given these lines in your netrc:

machine api.github.com
  password c0d3b4ssssss!

You can now create a client with those credentials:

client = Octokit::Client.new :netrc => true
# => "defunkt"

But I want to use OAuth you say. Since the GitHub API supports using an OAuth token as a Basic password, you totally can:

machine api.github.com
  login defunkt
  password <your 40 char token>

Note: Support for netrc requires adding the netrc gem to your Gemfile or .gemspec.

Application authentication

Octokit also supports application-only authentication using OAuth application client credentials. Using application credentials will result in making anonymous API calls on behalf of an application in order to take advantage of the higher rate limit.

client = Octokit::Client.new \
  :client_id     => "<your 20 char id>",
  :client_secret => "<your 40 char secret>"

user = client.user 'defunkt'


Many GitHub API resources are paginated. While you may be tempted to start adding :page parameters to your calls, the API returns links to the next, previous, and last pages for you in the Link response header as Hypermedia link relations.

issues = Octokit.issues 'rails/rails', :per_page => 100
issues.concat Octokit.last_response.rels[:next].get.data

Auto pagination

For smallish resource lists, Octokit provides auto pagination. When this is enabled, calls for paginated resources will fetch and concatenate the results from every page into a single array:

Octokit.auto_paginate = true
issues = Octokit.issues 'rails/rails'

# => 702

Note: While Octokit auto pagination will set the page size to the maximum 100, and seek to not overstep your rate limit, you probably want to use a custom pattern for traversing large lists.

Configuration and defaults

While Octokit::Client accepts a range of options when creating a new client instance, Octokit's configuration API allows you to set your configuration options at the module level. This is particularly handy if you're creating a number of client instances based on some shared defaults.

Configuring module defaults

Every writable attribute in Octokit::Configurable can be set one at a time:

Octokit.api_endpoint = 'http://api.github.dev'
Octokit.web_endpoint = 'http://github.dev'

or in batch:

Octokit.configure do |c|
  c.api_endpoint = 'http://api.github.dev'
  c.web_endpoint = 'http://github.dev'

Using ENV variables

Default configuration values are specified in Octokit::Default. Many attributes will look for a default value from the ENV before returning Octokit's default.

# Given $OCTOKIT_API_ENDPOINT is "http://api.github.dev"

# => "http://api.github.dev"

Hypermedia agent

Starting in version 2.0, Octokit is hypermedia-enabled. Under the hood, Octokit::Client uses Sawyer, a hypermedia client built on Faraday.

Hypermedia in Octokit

Resources returned by Octokit methods contain not only data but hypermedia link relations:

user = Octokit.user 'technoweenie'

# Get the repos rel, returned from the API
# as repos_url in the resource
# => "https://api.github.com/users/technoweenie/repos"

repos = user.rels[:repos].get.data
# => "faraday-zeromq"

When processing API responses, all *_url attributes are culled in to the link relations collection. Any url attribute becomes .rels[:self].

URI templates

You might notice many link relations have variable placeholders. Octokit supports URI Templates for parameterized URI expansion:

repo = Octokit.repo 'pengwynn/pingwynn'
rel = repo.rels[:issues]
# => #<Sawyer::Relation: issues: get https://api.github.com/repos/pengwynn/pingwynn/issues{/number}>

# Get a page of issues

# Get issue #2
repo.rels[:issues].get(:uri => {:number => 2}).data

The Full Hypermedia Experience™

If you want to use Octokit as a pure hypermedia API client, you can start at the API root and follow link relations from there:

root = Octokit.root
root.rels[:repository].get :uri => {:owner => "octokit", :repo => "octokit.rb" }

Octokit 3.0 aims to be hypermedia-driven, removing the internal URL construction currently used throughout the client.

Upgrading guide

Version 2.0 includes a completely rewritten Client factory that now memoizes client instances based on unique configuration options. Breaking changes also include:

  • :oauth_token is now :access_token
  • :auto_traversal is now :auto_paginate
  • Hashie::Mash has been removed. Responses now return a Sawyer::Resource object. This new type behaves mostly like a Ruby Hash, but does not fully support the Hashie::Mash API.
  • Two new client error types are raised where appropriate: Octokit::TooManyRequests and Octokit::TooManyLoginAttempts
  • The search_* methods from v1.x are now found at legacy_search_*
  • Support for netrc requires including the netrc gem in your Gemfile or gemspec.
  • DateTime fields are now proper DateTime objects. Previous versions outputted DateTime fields as 'String' objects.

Advanced usage

Since Octokit employs Faraday under the hood, some behavior can be extended via middleware.


Often, it helps to know what Octokit is doing under the hood. Faraday makes it easy to peek into the underlying HTTP traffic:

stack = Faraday::Builder.new do |builder|
  builder.response :logger
  builder.use Octokit::Response::RaiseError
  builder.adapter Faraday.default_adapter
Octokit.middleware = stack
Octokit.user 'pengwynn'
I, [2013-08-22T15:54:38.583300 #88227]  INFO -- : get https://api.github.com/users/pengwynn
D, [2013-08-22T15:54:38.583401 #88227] DEBUG -- request: Accept: "application/vnd.github.beta+json"
User-Agent: "Octokit Ruby Gem 2.0.0.rc4"
I, [2013-08-22T15:54:38.843313 #88227]  INFO -- Status: 200
D, [2013-08-22T15:54:38.843459 #88227] DEBUG -- response: server: "GitHub.com"
date: "Thu, 22 Aug 2013 20:54:40 GMT"
content-type: "application/json; charset=utf-8"
transfer-encoding: "chunked"
connection: "close"
status: "200 OK"
x-ratelimit-limit: "60"
x-ratelimit-remaining: "39"
x-ratelimit-reset: "1377205443"

See the Faraday README for more middleware magic.


If you want to boost performance, stretch your API rate limit, or avoid paying the hypermedia tax, you can use Faraday Http Cache.

Add the gem to your Gemfile

gem 'faraday-http-cache'

Next, construct your own Faraday middleware:

stack = Faraday::Builder.new do |builder|
  builder.use Faraday::HttpCache
  builder.use Octokit::Response::RaiseError
  builder.adapter Faraday.default_adapter
Octokit.middleware = stack

Once configured, the middleware will store responses in cache based on ETag fingerprint and serve those back up for future 304 responses for the same resource. See the project README for advanced usage.

Hacking on Octokit.rb

If you want to hack on Octokit locally, we try to make bootstrapping the project as painless as possible. Just clone and run:


This will install project dependencies and get you up and running. If you want to run a Ruby console to poke on Octokit, you can crank one up with:


Using the scripts in ./scripts instead of bundle exec rspec, bundle console, etc. ensures your dependencies are up-to-date.

Running and writing new tests

Octokit uses VCR for recording and playing back API fixtures during test runs. These fixtures are part of the Git project in the spec/cassettes folder. For the most part, tests use an authenticated client, using a token stored in ENV['OCTOKIT_TEST_GITHUB_TOKEN']. If you're not recording new cassettes, you don't need to have this set. If you do need to record new cassettes, this token can be any GitHub API token because the test suite strips the actual token from the cassette output before storing to disk.

Since we periodically refresh our cassettes, please keep some points in mind when writing new specs.

  • Specs should be idempotent. The HTTP calls made during a spec should be able to be run over and over. This means deleting a known resource prior to creating it if the name has to be unique.
  • Specs should be able to be run in random order. If a spec depends on another resource as a fixture, make sure that's created in the scope of the spec and not depend on a previous spec to create the data needed.
  • Do not depend on authenticated user info. Instead of asserting actual values in resources, try to assert the existence of a key or that a response is an Array. We're testing the client, not the API.

Supported Ruby Versions

This library aims to support and is tested against the following Ruby implementations:

  • Ruby 1.9.2
  • Ruby 1.9.3
  • Ruby 2.0.0

If something doesn't work on one of these Ruby versions, it's a bug.

This library may inadvertently work (or seem to work) on other Ruby implementations, however support will only be provided for the versions listed above.

If you would like this library to support another Ruby version, you may volunteer to be a maintainer. Being a maintainer entails making sure all tests run and pass on that implementation. When something breaks on your implementation, you will be responsible for providing patches in a timely fashion. If critical issues for a particular implementation exist at the time of a major release, support for that Ruby version may be dropped.


This library aims to adhere to Semantic Versioning 2.0.0. Violations of this scheme should be reported as bugs. Specifically, if a minor or patch version is released that breaks backward compatibility, that version should be immediately yanked and/or a new version should be immediately released that restores compatibility. Breaking changes to the public API will only be introduced with new major versions. As a result of this policy, you can (and should) specify a dependency on this gem using the Pessimistic Version Constraint with two digits of precision. For example:

spec.add_dependency 'octokit', '~> 2.0'