ID:23136 Section: Website

Updated:Wednesday 25th February 2015 Definition

(Wikipedia) - GitHub   (Redirected from GitHub, Inc. Type Headquarters Area served Founder(s) Key people Industry Employees Slogan(s) Website Written in Alexa rank Registration Available in Launched Current status
San Francisco, California, United States
Tom Preston-Werner Chris Wanstrath PJ Hyett
Chris Wanstrath (CEO) PJ Hyett (COO)
241 (2015)
Build software better, together.
100 (January 2015)
Optional (required for creating and joining projects)
10 April 2008

GitHub is a web-based Git repository hosting service, which offers all of the distributed revision control and source code management (SCM) functionality of Git as well as adding its own features. Unlike Git, which is strictly a command-line tool, GitHub provides a web-based graphical interface and desktop as well as mobile integration. It also provides access control and several collaboration features such as wikis, task management, and bug tracking and feature requests for every project.

GitHub offers both paid plans for private repositories and free accounts, which are usually used to host open-source software projects. As of 2014, GitHub reports having over 3.4 million users and with 16.7 million repositories making it the largest code host in the world.

  • 1 Services
    • 1.1 GitHub
      • 1.1.1 Scope
      • 1.1.2 Licensing of repositories
    • 1.2 GitHub Enterprise
    • 1.3 Gist
    • 1.4 Jobs
  • 2 Popularity
  • 3 Company
    • 3.1 Organizational structure
    • 3.2 Finance
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

Services GitHub

Development of the GitHub platform began on 1 October 2007. The site was launched in April 2008 by Tom Preston-Werner, Chris Wanstrath, and PJ Hyett after it had been made available for a few months prior as a beta period.

Projects on GitHub can be accessed and manipulated using the standard git command-line interface and all of the standard git commands work with it. GitHub also allows registered and non-registered users to browse public repositories on the site. Multiple desktop clients and git plugins have also been created by GitHub and other third parties which integrate with the platform.

The site provides social networking-like functions such as feeds, followers, wikis (using wiki software called gollum) and a social network graph to display how developers work on their versions ("forks") of a repository and which fork (and branch within that fork) is newest.

A user must create an account in order to contribute content to the site, but public repositories can be browsed and downloaded by anyone. With a registered user account, users are able to discuss, manage, create repositories, submit contributions to others'' repositories, and review changes to code.

GitHub also operates other services: a pastebin-style site called Gist which is for hosting code snippets (GitHub proper is for hosting larger projects), and a slide hosting service called Speaker Deck.

The software that runs GitHub was written using Ruby on Rails and Erlang by GitHub, Inc. developers Chris Wanstrath, PJ Hyett, and Tom Preston-Werner.

GitHub launched a new program to give students free access to their tools on 7 October 2014. It is called the GitHub Student Developer Pack. GitHub will partner with Bitnami, Crowdflower, DigitalOcean, DNSimple, HackHands, Namecheap, Orchestrate, Screenhero, SendGrid, Stripe, Travis CI and Unreal Engine to launch the program.


GitHub is mostly used for code, but is also sometimes used for non-code types of files like Final Cut or Word documents. GitHub is not solely for programmers: in their educational videos, GitHub states that any "knowledge worker" (defined as almost any professional who makes use of a computer) can benefit.

In addition to source code, GitHub supports the following formats and features:

  • Documentation, including automatically-rendered README files in a variety of Markdown-like file formats (see README files on GitHub)
  • Issue tracking (including feature requests)
  • Wikis
  • Small websites can be hosted from public repositories on GitHub. The URL format is
  • Nested task-lists within files
  • Visualization of geospatial data
  • Gantt charts
  • 3D render files which can be previewed using a new integrated STL file viewer which displays the files on a 3D canvas. The viewer is powered by WebGL and Three.js.
  • Photoshop''s native PSD format can be previewed and compared to previous versions of the same file.
Licensing of repositories

GitHub''s Terms of Service does not require public software projects hosted on GitHub to meet the Open Source Definition. Therefore (and in any case) it is advisable for users and developers intending to use a piece of software found on GitHub to read the software license in the repository (usually found in a top-level file called "LICENSE", "LICENSE.txt", or similar) to determine if it meets their needs.

GitHub Enterprise

GitHub Enterprise is similar to GitHub''s public service but is designed for use by large-scale enterprise software development teams where the enterprise wishes to host their repositories behind a corporate firewall.


Tom Preston-Werner presented the then-new Gist feature at a punk rock Ruby conference in 2008. Gist builds on the traditional simple concept of a pastebin by adding version control for code snippets, easy forking, and SSL encryption for private pastes. Because each "gist" has its own Git repository, multiple code snippets can be contained in a single paste and they can be pushed and pulled using Git. Further, forked code can be pushed back to the original author in the form of a patch, so gists (pastes) can become more like mini-projects.


One of GitHub''s primary revenue streams is GitHub Jobs where employers can post job offers for $450/listing.

PopularityThe shading of the map illustrates the number of users as a proportion of each country’s Internet population. The circular charts surrounding the two hemispheres depict the total number of GitHub users (left) and commits (right) per country.
  • 24 February 2009: GitHub team members announced in a talk at Yahoo! headquarters that during the first year that GitHub was online, it accumulated 46,000 public repositories, 17,000 of them in the previous month alone. At that time, about 6,200 repositories had been forked at least once, and 4,600 merged.
  • 5 July 2009: a GitHub Blog post announced that they had reached the 100,000 users mark.
  • 27 July 2009: In another talk delivered at Yahoo!, Tom Preston-Werner announced that GitHub had grown to host 90,000 unique public repositories, 12,000 having been forked at least once, for a total of 135,000 repositories.
  • 25 July 2010: GitHub announced that it hosts 1 million repositories.
  • 20 April 2011: GitHub announced that it is hosting 2 million repositories.
  • 9 July 2012: Peter Levine, general partner at GitHub''s investor Andreessen Horowitz, stated that GitHub had been growing revenue at 300% annually since 2008 "profitably nearly the entire way".
  • 16 January 2013: GitHub announced it had passed the 3 million users mark and was then hosting more than 5 million repositories.
  • 23 December 2013: GitHub announced it had reached 10 million repositories.
  • 3 December 2014: GitHub becomes blocked in Russia due to content that refers to suicide.
  • 31 December 2014: GitHub becomes blocked in India (along with 31 other websites) due to git repositories from ISIS. However, on 10 January 2015, GitHub, along with some other websites, was unblocked in India.

GitHub, Inc. was originally known as Logical Awesome.

In 2014, GitHub''s former CEO Tom Preston-Werner resigned from the company after GitHub confirmed harassment allegations.

GitHub''s salespeople are not paid on a commission basis.

Organizational structure

As of December 2012, GitHub, Inc. was a flat organization with no middle managers; in other words, "everyone is a manager" (self-management). Employees can choose to work on projects that interest them (open allocation). However, salaries are set by the chief executive.

In 2014, GitHub, Inc. introduced a layer of middle management.

Finance is a start-up business, which in its first years provided enough revenue to be funded solely by its three founders and start taking on employees. In July 2012, four years after the company was founded, Andreessen Horowitz invested $100M in venture capital.

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