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InfoQ Homepage News GitHub Launches Free Private Repos with up to Three Collaborators

GitHub Launches Free Private Repos with up to Three Collaborators

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GitHub has just announced it will allow developers to create private repositories with up to three collaborators at no cost. Additionally, GitHub has introduced a new product for enterprise customers operating both in the cloud and on-premises.

GitHub has long offered free user accounts under the premise they were used for public repositories. This was a great match for open source projects and allowed GitHub to attract millions of open source projects and deserve the label of the world's encyclopedia of open source software. Now, with GitHub Free, developers will be allowed to create private repositories and share them with two more collaborators. Other than that, GitHub describes GitHub Free as providing unlimited access to private repositories at no cost.

GitHub Free includes collaboration tools such as issue tracking and project management, while advanced code review tools in private repos remain exclusive to paid accounts, starting from GitHub Pro.

Along with GitHub Free, which redefines GitHub's offering at its low end of scale, GitHub also announced a new paid tier which targets enterprises that requires both a cloud and an on-premise presence. The new GitHub Enterprise unifies Enterprise Cloud (formerly GitHub Business Cloud) and Enterprise Server (formerly GitHub Enterprise).

InfoQ has taken the opportunity to speak with Kathy Simpson, senior director of product at GitHub, to learn more.

What are the rationale and goals for the introduction of GitHub Free?

We want to make sure we are growing and scaling with the needs of developers -- as they move through their career, learning new technologies, working on different projects, and for different companies. Today's announcements are a big investment in the future of GitHub, strengthening the community that we are building together.

Could, for example, a small startup use GitHub Free?

If you're working on a project that you'd like to keep private, we want to make it possible for you to do just that. And often, developers are collaborating on projects together with friends or colleagues, so we want to make it possible for them to continue to work together regardless of where they're at with their project. If their project grows, we want GitHub to scale with them.

Which scenario does the new GitHub Enterprise address? When would an organization benefit from this new product?

We continue to see innovation happening in the cloud, and as our customers' needs grow, these organizations want more flexibility. So, we're giving them that flexibility with GitHub Enterprise. For example, we often see customers in the financial services industry operating their business in the cloud and on premises. With GitHub Enterprise, we're making it possible for companies who are doing this to more seamlessly manage their account.

Also, this past October at GitHub Universe we released GitHub Connect, which lets companies securely link Enterprise Cloud and Enterprise Server together so that their development teams can take advantage of unified search and unified contribution graph capabilities.

Founded in 2008 by Tom Preston-Werner, Chris Wanstrath, P. J. Hyett, and Scott Chacon, GitHub was acquired by Microsoft last year. The Microsoft acquisition of GitHub sparked strong reactions. Microsoft CEO Nadella made clear at the time that "GitHub will remain an open platform, which any developer can plug into and extend".

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Community comments

  • Title could be renamed

    by John M /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    The title makes me think that GitHub is only providing free private repositories to "up to three" members of the GitHub community.

    I would recommend something like, "GitHub Includes Private Repositories for the Free Plan". Then in the content of the article explain that each private repository allows for up to three collaborators.

  • Re: Title could be renamed

    by Sergio De Simone /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Thanks, John, great catch!

    I amended the title into "GitHub Launches Free Private Repos With Up To Three Collaborators", which should remove any ambiguities.

  • A really big deal

    by pubple . /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Terrific! This is such a great deal for any developer and small startup!

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