Ruby toolkit for the GitHub API.


Upgrading? Check the Upgrade Guide before bumping to a new major version.

Table of Contents

  1. Philosophy
  2. Quick start
  3. Making requests
  4. Consuming resources
  5. Accessing HTTP responses
  6. Authentication
    1. Basic Authentication
    2. OAuth access tokens
    3. Two-Factor Authentication
    4. Using a .netrc file
    5. Application authentication
  7. Pagination
    1. Auto pagination
  8. Working with GitHub Enterprise
    1. Interacting with the GitHub.com APIs in GitHub Enterprise
    2. Interacting with the GitHub Enterprise Admin APIs
    3. Interacting with the GitHub Enterprise Management Console APIs
  9. SSL Connection Errors
  10. Configuration and defaults
    1. Configuring module defaults
    2. Using ENV variables
  11. Hypermedia agent
    1. Hypermedia in Octokit
    2. URI templates
    3. The Full Hypermedia Experience™
  12. Upgrading guide
    1. Upgrading from 1.x.x
  13. Advanced usage
    1. Debugging
    2. Caching
  14. Hacking on Octokit.rb
    1. Running and writing new tests
  15. Supported Ruby Versions
  16. Versioning
  17. License


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:

“by client = Octokit::Client.new

Fetch a README with Accept header for HTML format

client.readme ‘al3x/sovereign’, :accept => ‘application/vnd.github.html’

Quick start

Install via Rubygems

gem install octokit

… or add to your Gemfile

gem "octokit", "~> 4.0"

Access the library in Ruby:

require 'octokit'

Making requests

API methods are available as client instance methods.


Provide authentication credentials

client = Octokit::Client.new(:login => ‘defunkt’, :password => ‘c0d3b4ssssss!’)

Set access_token instead of login and password if you use personal access token

client = Octokit::Client.new(:access_token => ‘[personal_access_token]!’)

Fetch the current user


Additional Query Parameters

When passing additional parameters to GET based request use the following syntax:

“by # query: { parameter_name: ‘value’ } # Example: Get repository listing by owner in ascending order client.repos({}, query: ‘owner’, sort: ‘asc’)

# Example: Get contents of a repository by ref # https://api.github.com/repos/octokit/octokit.rb/contents/path/to/file.rb?ref=some-other-branch client.contents(‘octokit/octokit.rb’, path: ‘path/to/file.rb’, query: ‘some-other-branch’)

Consuming resources

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

“by client = Octokit::Client.new

Fetch a user

user = client.user ‘jbarnette’ puts user.name

=> “John Barnette”

puts user.fields

=> Set: :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:

“by user = client.user ‘andrewpthorp’ response = client.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:

“by client = Octokit::Client.new(:login => ‘defunkt’, :password => ‘c0d3b4ssssss!’)

user = client.user user.login

=> “defunkt”

“hile Basic Authentication allows you 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 only 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, pass your token in the :access_token options parameter in lieu of your username and password:

“by client = Octokit::Client.new(:access_token => “

Maruku could not parse this XML/HTML: 
<your 40 char token>")

user = client.user user.login

=> “defunkt”

You can create access tokens through your GitHub Account Settings or with a basic authenticated Octokit client:

“by client = Octokit::Client.new(:login => ‘defunkt’, :password => ‘c0d3b4ssssss!’)

client.create_authorization(:scopes => [user], :note => “Name of token”)

Maruku could not parse this XML/HTML: 
<your new oauth token>

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” => “

Maruku could not parse this XML/HTML: 
<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], :note => “Name of token”, :headers => { “X-GitHub-OTP” => “

Maruku could not parse this XML/HTML: 
<your 2FA token>" })

Maruku could not parse this XML/HTML: 
<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:

“achine api.github.com login defunkt password c0d3b4ssssss!

“ou can now create a client with those credentials:

“by client = Octokit::Client.new(:netrc => true) client.login

=> “defunkt”

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

“achine api.github.com login defunkt password

Maruku could not parse this XML/HTML: 
<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 => “
Maruku could not parse this XML/HTML: 
<your 20 char id>",
client_secret => “
Maruku could not parse this XML/HTML: 
<your 40 char secret>"

user = client.user ‘defunkt’

Default results per_page

Default results from the GitHub API are 30, if you wish to add more you must do so during Octokit configuration.

“by Octokit::Client.new(access_token: “

Maruku could not parse this XML/HTML: 
<your 40 char token>", per_page: 100)


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.

“by issues = client.issues ‘rails/rails’ issues.concat client.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:

“by client.auto_paginate = true issues = client.issues ‘rails/rails’ issues.length

=> 702

You can also enable auto pagination for all Octokit client instances:

“by Octokit.configure do |c| c.auto_paginate = true end

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.

Working with GitHub Enterprise

With a bit of setup, you can also use Octokit with your Github Enterprise instance.

Interacting with the GitHub.com APIs in GitHub Enterprise

To interact with the “regular” GitHub.com APIs in GitHub Enterprise, simply configure the api_endpoint to match your hostname. For example:

“uby Octokit.configure do |c| c.api_endpoint = “https://

Maruku could not parse this XML/HTML: 

client = Octokit::Client.new(:access_token => “

Maruku could not parse this XML/HTML: 
<your 40 char token>")

Interacting with the GitHub Enterprise Admin APIs

The GitHub Enterprise Admin APIs are under a different client: EnterpriseAdminClient. You’ll need to have an administrator account in order to use these APIs.

admin_client = Octokit::EnterpriseAdminClient.new(
access_token => “
Maruku could not parse this XML/HTML: 
<your 40 char token>",
api_endpoint => “https://
Maruku could not parse this XML/HTML: 


Octokit.configure do |c| c.api_endpoint = “https://

Maruku could not parse this XML/HTML: 
  c.access_token = "<your 40 char token>"

admin_client = Octokit.enterprise_admin_client.new

Interacting with the GitHub Enterprise Management Console APIs

The GitHub Enterprise Management Console APIs are also under a separate client: EnterpriseManagementConsoleClient. In order to use it, you’ll need to provide both your management console password as well as the endpoint to your management console. This is different than the API endpoint provided above.

management_console_client = Octokit::EnterpriseManagementConsoleClient.new(
management_console_password => “secret”,
management_console_endpoint = “https://hostname:8633” )


Octokit.configure do |c| c.management_console_endpoint = “https://hostname:8633” c.management_console_password = “secret” end

management_console_client = Octokit.enterprise_management_console_client.new

SSL Connection Errors

You may need to disable SSL temporarily while first setting up your GitHub Enterprise install. You can do that with the following configuration:

“uby client.connection_options[:ssl] = { :verify => false }

Do remember to turn :verify back to true, as it’s important for secure communication.

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. Changing options affects new instances only and will not modify existing Octokit::Client instances created with previous options.

Configuring module defaults

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

“by Octokit.api_endpoint = ‘http://api.github.dev’ Octokit.web_endpoint = ‘http://github.dev’

or in batch:

“by Octokit.configure do |c| c.api_endpoint = ‘http://api.github.dev’ c.web_endpoint = ‘http://github.dev’ end

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”

Deprecation warnings and API endpoints in development preview warnings are printed to STDOUT by default, these can be disabled by setting the ENV OCTOKIT_SILENT=true.

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:

“by user = client.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 repos.last.name

=> “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:

“by repo = client.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

rel.get(:uri => ).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:

“by root = client.root root.rels[:repository].get :uri => root.rels[:user_repositories].get :uri => { :user => “octokit” }, :query => { :type => “owner” }

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

Upgrading guide

Version 4.0

Version 3.0 includes a couple breaking changes when upgrading from v2.x.x:

The default media type is now v3 instead of beta. If you need to request the older media type, you can set the default media type for the client:

“by Octokit.default_media_type = “application/vnd.github.beta+json”

“r per-request

“by client.emails(:accept => “application/vnd.github.beta+json”)

The long-deprecated Octokit::Client#create_download method has been removed.

Upgrading from 1.x.x

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. You can add a logger to the middleware that enables you to peek into the underlying HTTP traffic:

“by stack = Faraday::RackBuilder.new do |builder| builder.use Faraday::Request::Retry, exceptions: [Octokit::ServerError] builder.use Octokit::Middleware::FollowRedirects builder.use Octokit::Response::RaiseError builder.use Octokit::Response::FeedParser builder.response :logger builder.adapter Faraday.default_adapter end Octokit.middleware = stack

client = Octokit::Client.new client.user ‘pengwynn’

“, [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:

“by stack = Faraday::RackBuilder.new do |builder| builder.use Faraday::HttpCache, serializer: Marshal, shared_cache: false builder.use Octokit::Response::RaiseError builder.adapter Faraday.default_adapter end 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. To start hacking, 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 cassettes (fixtures) are part of the Git project in the spec/cassettes folder. If you’re not recording new cassettes you can run the specs with existing cassettes with:


Octokit uses environmental variables for storing credentials used in testing. If you are testing an API endpoint that doesn’t require authentication, you can get away without any additional configuration. For the most part, tests use an authenticated client, using a token stored in ENV['OCTOKIT_TEST_GITHUB_TOKEN']. There are several different authenticating method’s used across the api. Here is the full list of configurable environmental variables for testing Octokit:

ENV VariableDescription
OCTOKIT_TEST_GITHUB_LOGINGitHub login name (preferably one created specifically for testing against).
OCTOKIT_TEST_GITHUB_PASSWORDPassword for the test GitHub login.
OCTOKIT_TEST_GITHUB_TOKENPersonal Access Token for the test GitHub login.
OCTOKIT_TEST_GITHUB_CLIENT_IDTest OAuth application client id.
OCTOKIT_TEST_GITHUB_CLIENT_SECRETTest OAuth application client secret.
OCTOKIT_TEST_GITHUB_REPOSITORYTest repository to perform destructive actions against, this should not be set to any repository of importance. Automatically created by the test suite if nonexistent Default: api-sandbox
OCTOKIT_TEST_GITHUB_INTEGRATIONGitHub Integration owned by your test organization.
OCTOKIT_TEST_GITHUB_INTEGRATION_INSTALLATIONInstallation of the GitHub Integration specified above.
OCTOKIT_TEST_INTEGRATION_PEM_KEYFile path to the private key generated from your integration.

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 2.0
  • Ruby 2.1
  • Ruby 2.2
  • Ruby 2.3
  • Ruby 2.4
  • Ruby 2.5

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, but 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', '~> 3.0'

The changes made between versions can be seen on the project releases page.


Copyright (c) 2009-2014 Wynn Netherland, Adam Stacoviak, Erik Michaels-Ober

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.