Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
GitHub, Inc.
GitHub Invertocat logo
Type of businessSubsidiary
Type of site
Collaborative version control
Available inEnglish
FoundedFebruary 8, 2008; 15 years ago (2008-02-08) (as Logical Awesome LLC)
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California, U.S.
Area servedWorldwide
Key people
  • Thomas Dohmke (CEO)
  • Mike Taylor (CFO)
  • Erica Brescia (COO)
Package repository (NPM)
RevenueIncrease $1 billion (2022)[1]
RegistrationOptional (required for creating and joining repositories)
Users100 million (as of January 2023)
LaunchedApril 10, 2008; 15 years ago (2008-04-10)
Current statusActive
Written inRuby

GitHub, Inc. (/ˈɡɪthʌb/[a]) is a platform and cloud-based service for software development and version control using Git, allowing developers to store and manage their code. It provides the distributed version control of Git plus access control, bug tracking, software feature requests, task management, continuous integration, and wikis for every project.[6] Headquartered in California, it has been a subsidiary of Microsoft since 2018.[7]

It is commonly used to host open source software development projects.[8] As of January 2023, GitHub reported having over 100 million developers[9] and more than 372 million repositories,[10] including at least 28 million public repositories.[11] It is the world's largest source code host as of June 2023.


GitHub at AWS Summit


Development of the GitHub platform began on October 19, 2007.[12][13][14] The site was launched in April 2008 by Tom Preston-Werner, Chris Wanstrath, P. J. Hyett and Scott Chacon after it had been available for a few months as a beta release.[15] GitHub has an annual keynote called GitHub Universe.[16]

Organizational structure

GitHub, Inc. was originally a flat organization with no middle managers; in other words, "everyone is a manager" (self-management).[17] Employees could choose to work on projects that interested them (open allocation), but the chief executive set salaries. (i.e. Individual or groups of company executive leaders decides on project aims and development, including funding)[18]

In 2014, GitHub, Inc. added a layer of middle management in response to serious harassment allegations against its senior leadership. As a result of the scandal, Tom Preston-Werner resigned from his position as CEO.[19]


GitHub was a

series B round. Investors were Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive Capital, and other venture capital funds.[21] As of 2023, GitHub was estimated to be generating $1 billion in Annual Recurring Revenue.[1]
The GitHub service was developed by Chris Wanstrath, P. J. Hyett, Tom Preston-Werner, and Scott Chacon using Ruby on Rails, and started in February 2008. The company, GitHub, Inc., has existed as of 2007 and is located in San Francisco.[22]

Internet population
. The circular charts surrounding the two hemispheres depict the total number of GitHub users (left) and commits (right) per country.

On February 24, 2009, GitHub announced that within the first year of being online, GitHub had accumulated over 46,000 public repositories, 17,000 of which were formed in the previous month. At that time, about 6,200 repositories had been forked at least once, and 4,600 had been merged.

That same year, the site was used by over 100,000 users, according to GitHub, and had grown to host 90,000 unique public repositories, 12,000 having been forked at least once, for a total of 135,000 repositories.[23]

In 2010, GitHub was hosting 1 million repositories.

Google Code in total number of commits for the period of January to May 2011.[26] On January 16, 2013, GitHub passed the 3 million users mark and was then hosting more than 5 million repositories.[27] By the end of the year, the number of repositories was twice as great, reaching 10 million repositories.[28]

In 2012, GitHub raised $100 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz with a $750 million valuation.[29] On July 29, 2015, GitHub stated it had raised $250 million (~$283 million in 2021) in funding in a round led by Sequoia Capital. Other investors of that round included Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive Capital, and IVP (Institutional Venture Partners).[30] The round valued the company at approximately $2 billion.[31]

In 2015, GitHub opened an office in Japan, its first outside of the U.S.[32] In 2016, GitHub was ranked No. 14 on the Forbes Cloud 100 list.[33] It was not featured on 2018, 2019, and 2020 lists.[34]

On February 28, 2018, GitHub fell victim to the third-largest

distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack in history, with incoming traffic reaching a peak of about 1.35 terabits per second.[35]

On June 19, 2018, GitHub expanded its GitHub Education by offering free education bundles to all schools.[36][37]

Acquisition by Microsoft

Microsoft was on top of the list of the ten organizations with the most open-source contributors on GitHub in 2016[38]

From 2012,

Microsoft Docs).[39][40]

On June 4, 2018, Microsoft announced its intent to acquire GitHub for US$7.5 billion (~$8.05 billion in 2021). The deal closed on October 26, 2018.[41] GitHub continued to operate independently as a community, platform and business.[42] Under Microsoft, the service was led by Xamarin's Nat Friedman, reporting to Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft Cloud and AI. Nat Friedman resigned November 3, 2021; he was replaced by Thomas Dohmke.[43]

There have been concerns from developers Kyle Simpson, JavaScript trainer and author, and Rafael Laguna, CEO at Open-Xchange over Microsoft's purchase, citing uneasiness over Microsoft's handling of previous acquisitions, such as Nokia's mobile business and Skype.[44][45]

This acquisition was in line with Microsoft's business strategy under CEO Satya Nadella, which has seen a larger focus on cloud computing services, alongside the development of and contributions to open-source software.[7][40][46] Harvard Business Review argued that Microsoft was intending to acquire GitHub to get access to its user base, so it can be used as a loss leader to encourage the use of its other development products and services.[47]

Concerns over the sale bolstered interest in competitors: Bitbucket (owned by Atlassian), GitLab and SourceForge (owned by BIZX, LLC) reported that they had seen spikes in new users intending to migrate projects from GitHub to their respective services.[48][49][50][51][52]

In September 2019, GitHub acquired Semmle, a code analysis tool.

npm, a JavaScript packaging vendor, for an undisclosed sum of money.[55] The deal was closed on April 15, 2020.[56]

In early July 2020, the GitHub Archive Program was established to archive its open-source code in perpetuity.[57]



anthropomorphized "octocat" with five octopus-like arms.[58][59] The character was created by graphic designer Simon Oxley as clip art to sell on iStock,[60] a website that enables designers to market royalty-free digital images. The illustration GitHub chose was a character that Oxley had named Octopuss.[60] Since GitHub wanted Octopuss for their logo (a use that the iStock license disallows), they negotiated with Oxley to buy exclusive rights to the image.[60]

GitHub renamed Octopuss to Octocat,[60] and trademarked the character along with the new name.[58] Later, GitHub hired illustrator Cameron McEfee to adapt Octocat for different purposes on the website and promotional materials; McEfee and various GitHub users have since created hundreds of variations of the character, which are available on The Octodex.[61][62]


Projects on can be accessed and managed using the standard

Gollum), and a social network graph to display how developers work on their versions ("forks
") of a repository and what fork (and branch within that fork) is newest.

Anyone can browse and download public repositories, but only registered users can contribute content to repositories. With a registered user account, users can have discussions, manage repositories, submit contributions to others' repositories, and review changes to code. began offering limited private repositories at no cost in January 2019 (limited to three contributors per project). Previously, only public repositories were free.[63][64][65] On April 14, 2020, GitHub made "all of the core GitHub features" free for everyone, including "private repositories with unlimited collaborators."[66]

The fundamental software that underpins GitHub is Git itself, written by Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux. The additional software that provides the GitHub user interface was written using Ruby on Rails and Erlang by GitHub, Inc. developers Wanstrath,[67] Hyett, and Preston-Werner.


The primary purpose of GitHub is to facilitate the

pull requests
to propose changes to the source code. Users who can review the proposed changes can see a diff between the requested changes and approve them. In Git terminology, this action is called "committing" and one instance of it is a "commit." A history of all commits is kept and can be viewed at a later time.

In addition, GitHub supports the following formats and features:

  • Documentation,[68] including automatically rendered README files in a variety of Markdown-like file formats (see README § On GitHub)
  • Wikis,[69] with some repositories consisting solely of wiki content. These include curated lists of recommended software which have become known as awesome lists.[70][71]
  • GitHub Actions,[72] which allows building continuous integration and continuous deployment pipelines for testing, releasing and deploying software without the use of third-party websites/platforms
  • GitHub Codespaces, providing users with a virtual machine intended to be a work environment to build and test code[73][74][75]
  • Graphs: pulse, contributors, commits, code frequency, punch card, network, members
  • Integrations Directory[76]
  • Email notifications[77]
  • Discussions[78]
  • Option to subscribe someone to notifications by @ mentioning them.[79]
  • Emojis[80]
  • Nested
    within files
  • Visualization of
  • 3D render files can be previewed using a new integrated STL file viewer that displays the files on a "3D canvas."[81] The viewer is powered by WebGL and Three.js.
  • Support for previewing many common image formats, including Photoshop's PSD files
  • PDF document viewer
  • Security Alerts of known Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures in different packages

GitHub's Terms of Service do not require public software projects hosted on GitHub to meet the

Open Source Definition. The terms of service state, "By setting your repositories to be viewed publicly, you agree to allow others to view and fork your repositories."[82]

GitHub Enterprise

GitHub Enterprise is a self-managed version of GitHub with similar functionality. It can be run on an organization's hardware or a cloud provider and has been available as of November 2011[update].[83] In November 2020, source code for GitHub Enterprise Server was leaked online in an apparent protest against DMCA takedown of youtube-dl. According to GitHub, the source code came from GitHub accidentally sharing the code with Enterprise customers themselves, not from an attack on GitHub servers.[84][85]

GitHub Pages

As of 2008, GitHub has offered GitHub Pages, a static web hosting service for blogs, project documentation,[86][87] and books.[88]

All GitHub Pages content is stored in a Git repository as files served to visitors verbatim or in

Markdown format. GitHub is integrated with Jekyll static website and blog generator and GitHub continuous integration pipelines. Each time the content source is updated, Jekyll regenerates the website and automatically serves it via GitHub Pages infrastructure.[89]

Like the rest of GitHub, it includes free and paid service tiers. Websites generated through this service are hosted either as subdomains of the domain or can be connected to custom domains bought through a third-party domain name registrar.[90] GitHub Pages supports HTTPS encryption.[91][92]


GitHub also operates a pastebin-style site called Gist,[15] which is for code snippets, as opposed to GitHub proper, which is for larger projects.[citation needed] Tom Preston-Werner débuted the feature at a Ruby conference in 2008.[93]

Gist builds on the traditional simple concept of a pastebin by adding version control for code snippets, easy forking, and TLS encryption for private pastes. Because each "gist" is its own Git repository, multiple code snippets can be contained in a single page, and they can be pushed and pulled using Git.[94]

Unregistered users could upload Gists until March 19, 2018, when uploading Gists was restricted to logged-in users, reportedly to mitigate spamming on the page of recent Gists.[95]

Gists' URLs use hexadecimal IDs, and edits to Gists are recorded in a revision history, which can show the text difference of thirty revisions per page with an option between a "split" and "unified" view. Like repositories, Gists can be forked, "starred", i.e., publicly bookmarked, and commented on. The count of revisions, stars, and forks is indicated on the gist page.[96]

Education program

GitHub launched a new program called the GitHub Student Developer Pack to give students over 13 free access to popular development tools and services. GitHub partnered with

Stripe, Travis CI, and Unreal Engine to launch the program.[97]

In 2016, GitHub announced the launch of the GitHub Campus Experts program[98] to train and encourage students to grow technology communities at their universities. The Campus Experts program is open to university students 18 years and older worldwide.[99] GitHub Campus Experts are one of the primary ways that GitHub funds student-oriented events and communities, Campus Experts are given access to training, funding, and additional resources to run events and grow their communities. To become a Campus Expert, applicants must complete an online training course with multiple modules to develop community leadership skills.

GitHub Marketplace service

GitHub also provides some software as a service ("SaaS") integrations for adding extra features to projects. Those services include:

  • Project management for software teams. Automatically see pull requests, automated builds, reviews, and deployments across all of your repositories in GitHub.[100]
  • Rollbar: Integrate with GitHub to provide real-time debugging tools and full-stack exception reporting. It is compatible with all popular code languages, such as JavaScript, Python, .NET, Ruby, PHP, Node.js, Android, iOS, Go, Java, and C#.[101][102]
  • Codebeat: For automated code analysis specialized in web and mobile developers. The supported languages for this software are Elixir, Go, Java, Swift, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, Kotlin, Objective-C, and TypeScript.
  • Travis CI: To provide confidence for your apps while doing test and ship. It also gives full control over the build environment to adapt to the code. Supported languages: Go, Java, JavaScript, Objective-C, Python, PHP, Ruby, and Swift.
  • GitLocalize: Developed for teams that are translating their content from one point to another. GitLocalize automatically syncs with your repository so you can keep your workflow on GitHub. It also keeps you updated on what needs to be translated.

GitHub Sponsors

GitHub Sponsors allows users to make monthly money donations to projects hosted on GitHub.[103] The public beta was announced on May 23, 2019, and the project accepts waitlist registrations. The Verge said that GitHub Sponsors "works exactly like Patreon" because "developers can offer various funding tiers that come with different perks, and they'll receive recurring payments from supporters who want to access them and encourage their work" except with "zero fees to use the program." Furthermore, GitHub offers incentives for early adopters during the first year: it pledges to cover payment processing costs and match sponsorship payments up to $5,000 per developer. Furthermore, users can still use similar services like Patreon and Open Collective and link to their websites.[104][105]

GitHub Archive Program

In July 2020, GitHub stored a February archive of the site

TB of data was stored on piqlFilm archival film reels as matrix (2D) barcode (Boxing barcode), and is expected to last 500–1,000 years.[106][107][108][109]

The GitHub Archive Program is also working with partners on Project Silica, in an attempt to store all public repositories for 10,000 years. It aims to write archives into the molecular structure of

quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) times per second.[109]


Harassment allegations

In March 2014, GitHub programmer Julie Ann Horvath alleged that founder and CEO Tom Preston-Werner and his wife, Theresa, engaged in a pattern of harassment against her that led to her leaving the company.[110] In April 2014, GitHub released a statement denying Horvath's allegations.[111][112][113] However, following an internal investigation, GitHub confirmed the claims. GitHub's CEO Chris Wanstrath wrote on the company blog, "The investigation found Tom Preston-Werner in his capacity as GitHub's CEO acted inappropriately, including confrontational conduct, disregard of workplace complaints, insensitivity to the impact of his spouse's presence in the workplace, and failure to enforce an agreement that his spouse should not work in the office."[114] Preston-Werner subsequently resigned from the company.[115] The firm then announced it would implement new initiatives and trainings "to make sure employee concerns and conflicts are taken seriously and dealt with appropriately."[115]


On July 25, 2019, a developer based in Iran wrote on Medium that GitHub had blocked his private repositories and prohibited access to GitHub pages.[116] Soon after, GitHub confirmed that it was now blocking developers in Iran, Crimea, Cuba, North Korea, and Syria from accessing private repositories.[117] However, GitHub reopened access to GitHub Pages days later, for public repositories regardless of location. It was also revealed that using GitHub while visiting sanctioned countries could result in similar actions occurring on a user's account. GitHub responded to complaints and the media through a spokesperson, saying:

GitHub is subject to US trade control laws, and is committed to full compliance with applicable law. At the same time, GitHub's vision is to be the global platform for

developer collaboration, no matter where developers reside. As a result, we take seriously our responsibility to examine government mandates thoroughly to be certain that users and customers are not impacted beyond what is required by law. This includes keeping public repositories services, including those for open source projects, available and accessible to support personal communications involving developers in sanctioned regions.[118][119]

Developers who feel that they should not have restrictions can appeal for the removal of said restrictions, including those who only travel to, and do not reside in, those countries. GitHub has forbidden the use of VPNs and IP proxies to access the site from sanctioned countries, as purchase history and IP addresses are how they flag users, among other sources.[120]


This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article: GitHub. Articles is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.Privacy Policy