Unlimited Private Repositories for All GitHub Users

I came across a nice surprise a few days ago when I found out that GitHub, my favorite place for developers to share, track, and version-control their code and collaborate on projects, is now offering unlimited private repositories to all users, including free ones (like myself). Previously users that chose not to subscribe to GitHub could have as many public repositories as they wanted, but these would all be completely visible to everyone on the internet, which is not always optimal.

This is very useful for anyone who has projects that they want to be able to work on independently or with a small team using GitHub’s powerful issue tracker and comments system1 without them being visible to the whole world. Secret projects or anything that you want to keep hidden until it is finished (or simply not reveal the source code) are a great reason to use private repositories.

Public repositories can also be converted to private ones now. Private repositories for free users are still limited to three collaborators, but in most cases, this should be fine, as you probably won’t need too many collaborators on one project if you want it to be private.

This change could give GitHub an advantage over some other services; such as GitLab, which provided unlimited private repositories to free users as well as paid ones before GitHub did. It probably won’t make a huge difference to professional users who’s companies are subscribed to GitHub Enterprise, but it is a welcome improvement for hobbyists such as myself. You can read GitHub’s blog post about the update here.


(Yes, I finally have a profile picture. Thanks to Andrew Wang‑Hoyer‘s Chaos Game demo.)

GitHub has also added a status feature2, which you can use to share where you are, what you are doing, and notify others if you are not immediately available to respond to comments and pull requests.

You can find me on GitHub at github.com/generic-github-user (more information here). I hope everyone’s having a fantastic new year. I’m working on all kinds of cool projects that I’ll post about in the coming weeks. Thanks for reading!

  1. Which I sometimes use as a sort of development journal, causing me to look like I’m talking to myself.
  2. I didn’t feel that this warranted writing a whole other post.