GitHub announces free private repositories



Today GitHub announced that they are now including private repositories in their free pricing tier. There is a limit on the number of collaborators and access to code review tools but this is a welcome change (although maybe not for BitBucket).

  • GitHub Free now includes unlimited private repositories. For the first time, developers can use GitHub for their private projects with up to three collaborators per repository for free. Many developers want to use private repos to apply for a job, work on a side project, or try something out in private before releasing it publicly. Starting today, those scenarios, and many more, are possible on GitHub at no cost. Public repositories are still free (of course—no changes there) and include unlimited collaborators.
  • GitHub Enterprise is the new unified product for Enterprise Cloud (formerly GitHub Business Cloud) and Enterprise Server (formerly GitHub Enterprise). Organizations that want the flexibility to use GitHub in a cloud or self-hosted configuration can now access both at one per-seat price. And with GitHub Connect, these products can be securely linked, providing a hybrid option so developers can work seamlessly across both environments.


Thanks for informing.


I wonder how many people (like me) will save 7$ per month by going back to Free Tier.


Don’t forget people also use GitLab, like me.


Exactly. Gitlab forced Github to review its pricing in order to keep its monopoly.


And Gitlab is open source, I can host it on my own server if want to.


IMO this only benefits to free users or single developers who paid just for private repositories. Pro tier has two important benefits, unlimited collaborators (having just 3 collaborators is very limiting), and code review tools.

It is a great change, however, I do not like the “Pro” badge for paid accounts, it sounds like a very enterprise thing for an open source community.


I run two companies where I am the only developer. Both were paying $7 per month. The biggest advantage of switching to free plans for them is that I save time entering the invoices into my accounting system each month rather than the cost saving.

However free private repositories are really useful for developers who might eventually release open-source code but want to initially work on it in private or where people just want to work privately on their own hobby projects.


Only partially open source, you are lacking a rather surprising amount of features with the open source version…


I’ll stick with Gitlab for private repos because Gitlab CI is also free and it’s a great experience.

Private repos is only half of the story, a quality CI environment is pretty essential IMO, and with a private repo on Github, you cannot use Travis CI anymore for free, which means you’ll need to look into other third party solutions (all of which are worse than Gitlab CI).

Maybe Github actions will be Github’s answer to that, but it’s still unclear if it’ll be a free service (they didn’t mention it will be). The only details they have now is it’s an opt-in limited beta feature.


I’ve heard you can use Gitlab-CI for github repositories since summer '18, but I’m not sure if that works for private repos though…


I am avoiding using gitlab for github repos mainly because according to their documentation that ability will go away in the future for free plans. That is documented at:

So, for the next year we are making the GitLab CI/CD for GitHub feature a part of our Free tier.

I don’t know if that was written last year or in the last week or so. In either case, I’m not taking my chances (unless they decide to keep that feature around forever, in which case it would be a no brainer for open source projects at least).