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Announcing unlimited free private repos (blog.github.com)
2867 points by razer6 3 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 684 comments

Microsoft just gave me $84/yr. Thanks, Microsoft. Almost as much as I'm paying them for Office and 1TB of SkyDrive in fact.

Just for context. Microsoft already offers free private repos, hosted builds, etc for Visusl Studio Team Services aka Azure Devops....

I do not want to depend on any proprietary platform, it doesn't matter if it's friendly or not.

I favor a distributed model as much as possible, that means for now having personal/projects classic websites, mirrored for instance on ZeroNet&c and source code exchanged as much as possible only P2P. It's not comfortable now but that's the sole possible free evolution path we have and only investing in it now can ease situation tomorrow.

Git is a Distributed Version Control System. Just add another remote...

Of course, like the trend "hey if it does not work for you write down your code"...

On git only: what is another remote? A GitHub concurrent company? A personal dyndns from a single developer with a fable ADSL?

On GitHub: many use it's proprietary characteristics like PR, wikies, pages etc. That's not "portable" to any other remote if you do not count site-scraping...

No, we need to focus on distributed/decentralized solution now.

In the past at least we use tons of different hosting most of them offered by ISP that actually use hosted projects, universities that actually participate in many FOSS project so while not distributed we are decentralized on "friendly" systems. Not nearly all FOSS project is on a super-big-corp server. Without any viable alternative ready to use.

> On git only: what is another remote?

A remote is a URL location of a repository. A local git repo can point to multiple remotes by using the git remote <opts> functionality. For instance, you can point your local repo to GitHub, GitLab, and BitBucket and choose which to push to using the command git push <branch> <remote>.

Hem, no perhaps is my poor English but you do not understand: I know what a git remote is. My point is what kind of "other remote" a typical FOSS project have these days?

In the past we have tons of hosters so we can easily spread our code in many "mirror", now there is GitHub and few others, mostly on the very same "cloud".

I mean you have no damn viable remote. Single devs can share code P2P but nothing that can work instantly out of the box.

> My point is what kind of "other remote" a typical FOSS project have these days?

In the context of the original comment, think: "setup a /second/ remote" as the meaning. If the first 'remote' is github, the second remote could be gitlab, and so forth.

Ah ok, so you change Microsoft cloud for Google cloud... UAU... And what about PRs&c?

Sorry for being rude but for me is unacceptable to depend on tons of proprietary stuff from a handful of vendors. Even personal websites that use Google Fonts, some JS framework directly from the "project" CDN (too hard to keep it on your disk, up to date) etc...

We need to be interdependent or independent not dependent of few subjects that make money on us for witch us are puppets. How can we say "it's FOSS" if so? How can we have FOSS as the tip of a proprietary iceberg?

You do realize that git itself is vendor independent, right?

One can, if one chooses, setup a git repository on a spare PC in ones basement and have a "git repository" into which one or more collaborators can "git push" and "git pull" to/from.

In the context of the original post, to which you asked "what is another remote", the second (or third, or fourth) 'remote' can be "any git repository to which the individual has access".

Having a second remote does not, in an of itself, require that that second remote be one of the proprietary git hosting systems, nor require that it be one of the semi-proprietary or open source hosting systems. It could just as well be plain git running in repository serving mode on an old PC.

See the documentation for the "git http-backend" and "git daemon" commands that are built into the git distribution.

Yes, git, however host a repo for anyone it's another story. In the past most FOSS projects was mirrored by tons of different participants, mostly universities, ISPs, companies with reasonable resource and being part of the project itself they can be considered friendly.

now with GitHub&c excluding Savannah the sole friendly option is buy a domain, a VPS and host there the project...

That's the problem, not technical but "political" to a certain extent.

In the past someone try GitTorrent to solve this problem a bit (opening the door for "personal hosting at home" but it's a dead project now ad it was never completed. Mostly because newcomers think GitHub&c as a free space by nature, something guarantee to work always and been always free without any other "occult" cost.

Get a VPS and setup git?

Good. On witch cloud? Google? Amazon? Microsoft?

When I was a bit younger I read that "internet" was a fantastic decentralized infrastructure explicitly design to being fault-tolerant and unlockable as possible to survive any critical scenario... Now it seems more a deep substrate of a modern mainframe... So deep that only few subject can really access it, all others are in their own hand...

I'm wondering if there's any chance that people that paid for the Pro plan a few days ago, get a refund.

Also I wonder if they will get a lot of accounts continuing to pay because they missed this announcement. Perhaps most!

I notice that "wikis" for private repos isn't supported. What happens to these wikis when I downgrade?

Now I'm just waiting for GitHub CI. :)

Maybe Github Actions qualify? https://github.com/features/actions I must say it looks almost like Gitlab's pipeline system, but somewhat more flexible. If Github's free plan allows you to use pipelines I might just have to test it to compare.

It does. I'm using them now, but they might still be only available to beta users right now.

Nice, It looks pretty good!

GitHub Actions is going to be GitHub CI for me: https://github.com/features/actions

I'm pretty sure it will be paid feature in near future.

Not for public pipelines. I don't think it will be for personal private repos either. I'm sure they will add pricing plans that allow you to execute more pipelines in parallel, etc though. What makes you so sure it will be a paid feature?

I always got unlimited repos, i have unlimited email accounts. it's just good opsec to run multiple accounts.

Cool, immediately downgraded to free account. Any chance of refunds for the last 6 months I was forced to pay?

Nice. I wonder though whether in 5 years they won't discover it costs them money and decide to take it back.

Are the "PRO" badges that have been showing up on Github profiles today in any way related to this?

Yes, they indicate paying customers.

Ah! I’d forgotten that I had a “paying account” through some educational promotion.

Gitlab's entire business model has just been attacked. We are unlikely to shift over because we us CI.

I only have github base level membership for private repos

Does this mean I no longer have to pay for these services?

One of the few online services I saw enough value in to pay for. I guess I can stop now. Sweet deal.

Does anyone know if they are “auto downgrading accounts” if you currently pay for private repos?

I don't believe they are. It's pretty easy to go downgrade if you want to, though.

Not as far as I can tell. As it comes with a loss of Pages and wikis for private repos.

No they don't.

Still amazed that anyone uses this site for more than trivial work, given that this language exists in their TOS:

"GitHub has the right to suspend or terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately. GitHub reserves the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason at any time."

Not agreeing or anything, but it seems a pretty standard TOS clause.

That would have been cool before I moved all my private stuff to gitlab.com. Ah well, too late.

Thanks Microsoft, you just saved me $84 dollars a year. I just cancelled my paid account.

This was the main reason I moved away from github. It's late, but still a welcome move.

That was the reason I moved to bitbucket, now i don’t see a reason to go back to github.

That sucks. I just bought a 1yr subscription last week...will they issue refunds?

I canceled my subscription, $7 for a UI to a git server. It was kind of lazy tax on individuals.

What bothers me is that this move didn't seem as well planned and prepared for than previous changes, not a good sign. github has a certain flow, hope MS doesn't destroy that.

Well, if true -- I'll be canceling my subscription :D

Thank you Github / Microsoft!

> Due to a scheduling error, we published this story one day before the embargo lifted. This feature isn’t live yet, but Github will formally unveil it tomorrow. When that happens, we’ll update this post with a link to the official announcement.

Also... kinda unfair to others.

> Well, if true -- I'll be canceling my subscription :D > Thank you Github / Microsoft!

What a weird way to thank a company. I get it, but still.

Microsoft doesn’t need thanking. It’s not a mom and pop shop.

GitHub also doesn’t live in a vacuum and this is likely not puuuurely done out of the goodness of MS’s heart. There may have been some strategy wrt gitlab and bitbucket taken into consideration. Dare I say... competition?

I don’t doubt their goodwill, but let’s not pretend the market is about that for MS.

Edit—ah I now see the “thank you” in parent’s post. Ok disregard this, then. Totally fair. I’m dumb. :)

Did they just cut off a significant source of revenue, or do companies that subscribe to Enterprise make them so much more money that it doesn’t matter?

Now that they belong to Microsoft, direct revenue is no longer as important. GitHub will probably be treated as a loss leader for the time being, with the long term goal of making it an Enterprise leader.

Microsoft will be more than happy to use GitHub for analytics, AI/ML research and to drive developers to their other offerings, especially their cloud ones.

Edit: Updated error from "lost" to "loss"

Just FYI - its "loss leader" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_leader), although "lost leader" made me chuckle: I thought, for a second, maybe you are talking about Apple instead of Microsoft.

Github was never profitable, private repos were a way to squeeze out a bit of money when they could, but it would never support the service.

Now that they're part of Microsoft, Github's corporate goal isn't to be financially solvent anymore, it is to be a loss-leader for Microsoft's other products. Hook people with github, and then get money from them by offering integrations with Azure, Office, Windows, Sharepoint, etc.

Github was always profitable, that's why they only took VC money in 2015, after around 7 years of existence. With VC funding they started looking more at enterprise customers.

I believe individual paid accounts were a tiny fraction of total revenue.

Github allows Microsoft to grab the attention of every software developer on the planet. And, as we know, most software developers are early adopters and enjoy sharing technology with others.

With AWS’s quality of service going downhill, and Google’s apparent inability to execute, this gives MS a huge advantage. Remember, AWS is pretty much how Amazon stays profitable.

It’s about getting as much visibility and usage as possible from developers in hopes that you would recommend Github in your organisation. Also provides a strong platform to reach a very targeted audience as well as gauge developer trends.

Microsoft's other git hosting offering, Azure DevOps, has had free, unlimited, private repos for a long time now so it's not really anything new for Microsoft; it's just extending that to more users.

I currently am on the $7/mo plan for myself (5 private repos I think) - I presume for users this benefits, there's no need to cancel anything.

I think you have unlimited private repos with that plan.

That’s the one I have too

Yep, but intented this way.

I don't thank for profit companies. They should thank me.

Ideally, both parties act out of self-interest and both benefit. Thanks, while nice, are not required of either side.

In this day and age, I dare say both sides of any exchange could benefit from cultivating sincere gratitude for the non-monetary contributions resulting from the exchange.

Thankless business is killing us culturally.


Yup, this will mean that there's no reason for me to keep my subscription as well.

This will also make me a little more cautious as a consumer, since they're voluntarily removing the incentive for me to pay for their services upfront.

    > there's no reason for me to keep my subscription...
Perhaps, we'll see. Github hasn't actually announced the details yet. All we got is a story from a journalist who accidentally spilled the beans early.

Could be totally wrong, but I expect there may be some incentive to induce folks to keep their paid plan.

It'll be interesting to see how aggressive they are in trying to gain market share by putting off profitability improvements for the Github business. $40b in operating income and $135b in cash, they can certainly afford to play the long game if it makes sense competitively.

thank you gitlab for providing market competition forcing github to consider this!

You're very welcome. Also see my comment https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18848267

This was the reason I chose gitlab over GitHub.

But now that I'm on gitlab, I'm finding I like it better mainly because of the docker-based continuous integration feature. Managing contributors and 2FA without all that "organization" cruft is handy too.

"Oops" we got a big industry exclusive. Our bad guys!

This genuinely seems like an accident judging by the authors Tweets: https://twitter.com/matthewhughes

So why don't they hide or pull the post down until tomorrow?

I’m guessing the post had already gone viral.

Wouldn’t it be great though if you could kill content from the internet by simply removing the source. Privacy concerns would probably become less of an issue.

You pull the content down not to try to put the cat back in the bag. You pull the content down to show your source that it was an honest mistake and you aren't trying to capitalize on the "scoop".

If I could ever get over the fact that they are using Wordpress, I still wouldn't be able to explain how a single person can set dates and publish stories on their own?!

I don't work for TNW and have never written for them, but web editing often works like this:

1.) Author submits an article often as a word file.

2.) Editor starts working on the word file.

3.) Author and editor do 1-5 rounds of edits using track changes.

4.) Editor says "Great, post it to run at xx:xx on mm-dd."

5.) The author actually logs in and makes the post.

If you're thinking that technology we use every day could solve this problem, you're right! Alas, it's harder to fix years of habits than the technical issues behind the habits.

I worked on a project to replace a Wordpress content site. The tech team selected React + Redux + NoSQL + microservices + all the other hip words. It took 12 months and cost 1.2 million dollars to build, and turned out to be feature equivalent to the original Wordpress site that was built in under a month. Sometimes Wordpress is the right answer.

WordPress is used a lot more commonly in the news industry than you think.

At some point, it's one persons responsibility to enter that date into a computer in some fashion.. is he supposed to share the keyboard with someone?

You require someone to verify the date. Then the verifier accepts them without looking because they've never been wrong before, and then we're right back where we started, except with more people to blame.

It’s better than using WordPress to run ecommerce. News content types are close enough to blogs.

On the other hand, it's also "Oops, GitHub will never give us an embargoed announcement again, and a lot of other companies will probably follow suit."

Are there usually ramifications for leaking stories early like this?

Would GitHub be peeved if another source published this before their official PR statement?

They won't get any more early news, so everyone else will get it before them. That's the usual way news embargo's work anyhow.

Accidental breaches do happen; they're embarrassing, but not critical. Deliberately or repeatedly breaching embargos will quickly put you on a blacklist. Nobody is going to provide you with embargoed press releases if they don't trust you.

"embargo" means Github gave this news to this outlet (and others) early, to be able to work on quotes and stuff. By breaking the embargo, accidentally or not, a possible ramification is getting fewer embargos in the future, if an outlet proves they can't be trusted.

I wonder if they reached out to GitHub to see if they felt it was alright to keep this up? Might be good if the author could clarify! Either way, really cool news.

Definitely cool news, even if it is a max of 3 contributors. I'd have liked to seen that a little higher, but they surely know what they're basing that number on.

It's not enough to pull me from GitLab just yet, but if I keep having 10MB+ issues there, I'll switch.

What issue are you having on GitLab? Do you mean the attachment limit? https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/support-forum/issues/2654 How large is it on GitHub and BitBucket?

Don't know what it is exactly. But definitely within the last year, I'll occasionally add a >10MB pdf or something and can't push that commit up, broken socket everytime. Same thing occasionally happens with a coworker. I 'fix' it by having someone else push the file, then delete the offending commit.

Happens with bash in windows or GitHub Desktop. No one has ever been able to fix it. I have just tried to not use large files.

That sounds annoying to deal with, I'm sorry this happens. I'm not sure what the best next step is.

Yea, IDK. I’ll watch for it again, but in the meantime; it’s very nice to have the CEO of gitlab ask me about my silly large file problem :) If I ever consider leaving Gitlab I’ll weight this exchange against that.

I've been transferring everything over to others for a while now, so this could be in response to a general trend in that direction.

One fear that has come to mind: Microsoft pulls a Google and tries to force Github and LinkedIn to work together somehow - like requiring a login from one to use the other. I hope they have the presence of mind to not poison Github with LinkedIn in any way.

Uh oh, my dear bitbucket

ok, for my $84 a year I'm now on "Github pro". What does "pro" get me beyond private repositories? Anything a solo developer would want?

I'm sticking with Bitbucket. It works just fine for me.

So, Microsoft cares more about capturing the complete social graph of the software community than it does about direct revenue from an already not-very profitable (or perhaps not at all profitable?) acquisition.

Got it.

Microsoft has both linkedin and github, meaning they have the social graph of the government, business and the technology spheres. That social graph is arguably even more valuable in terms of revenue opportunities than facebook's. Direct revenue of linkedin and github might as well be irrelevant.

Yeah, that's exactly what I'm thinking.

So, what's their social graph play?

I don't think this is a "social graph play". I think it's about them realizing that the small amount of revenue they get from individual subscriptions is worth less than the free advertising/marketing they get by making it free for individuals, and then letting developers advocate for GH inside organizations which end up buying Enterprise licenses.

This is more about getting people to use (or keep using) GitHub for their personal projects so that it seems like a natural/obvious/default choice for a bigger-budget project, and that's where the revenue is.

And Microsoft is in good relationship with the government and agencies. Guess how valuable is that data for them :)

And guess what they want... "Private code to know what people are working on."

And I just got Gitea working on my ARM mini-server.

It's funny to think people trust 3rd party to hold their proprietary source code which could be your biggest IP. I'm hosting my own Gitea for business related codes.

This seems like a negative for Open-Source.

well there goes 90% of the reason I still had a BitBucket account. brb migrating my private repos to Github.

Gotta put your hands on that juicy data.

whew! so many future and present half-finished projects should start disappearing (including mine)! woohoo!

Has anyone here used AWS CodeCommit?

If only the code was open source

Weehoo, free private repos!!!

Hm... not working for me :(


> Everything Github does is great!

> (I say this -- because last time I said something negative they banned me).

> https://imgur.com/a/WvC3qpM

I have the impression that they banned your GitHub account because of your username [1].

[1] https://github.com/ransom1538

Seriously? Can you elaborate?

Just by the nature of the comment, dropping such an inflammatory claim with 0 context or evidence, you can tell they were probably flagged with good reason.

They banned you for a negative comment on HN?

Remember SourceForge?

YES! * runs off to finally push that Hello World app into a private repo :D

Best part of my day!



Great News

Wow. So now it is as good as GitLab!

no longer need bitbucket

I like the last two paragraphs :p

I think it is great for users that private repos are now free up to three users. This is especially great if you're starting to program and don't want to feel ashamed of your code but don't have a paid account.

I like to think that increased competition from us (GitLab) contributed to this change, we recently passed 10m repositories on GitLab.com

At GitLab we think that repositories will become a commodity and we're focussing on making a single application for the entire DevOps lifecycle.

I think Microsoft will try to generate revenue with people using Azure more instead of paying for repos.

Also see our blog post https://about.gitlab.com/2019/01/07/github-offering-free-pri...

Are people really ashamed of their code? How are they even able to assess the quality of their code especially when they are just getting started? It feels sort of a Catch-22. Also, how does making private repos free help here?

I think a more encouraging move would be to have people with all experiences share as much of their progress as possible so that people who are getting started can find inspiration and learn to overcome their "imposter" feelings.

just microsoft being evil here. clearly.

About time.

Nobody has mentioned the official GitHub announcement yet?


That was just posted (in response to this embargo break)

"private" in the sense that only you and Microsoft can access it :)

Is this the ultimate evernote killer? I feel like every note hosting platform for technical notes will be second to this.

Sure, theNextWeb had a "scheduling error", and this has nothing to do with being the first to put this news out.

Look at the URL. The datestamp is set to the 5th instead of the 8th, when the embargo for the news lifts. The only reason this post was published early was because a stupid typo when scheduling it.

And, on a numeric keypad, the 5 is directly below the 8, supporting the typo hypothesis. Tweets from the author:

> Oh fuck me.

> I just accidentally published a major piece of news one day early because I've got butterfingers and typed the wrong number in the scheduler.

> Is it too early to start drinking?

> Wordpress is fucking stupid. If you schedule something for \in the past\* it should say "er, are you sure?" instead of just immediately publishing the post.*

What I find most interesting about the fiasco is that TheNextWeb.com's editorial process consists of the stock Wordpress "Schedule a post" function [1] which includes this lovely tidbit:

> Tip: Always double check the date at the top of this calendar before clicking publish, and verify that it correctly says AM or PM

Trying it out in a test instance of Wordpress, he's correct: The initial status of a new post is "publish immediately." [2] Clicking "Edit" brings up a date editor. [3] And "OK" doesn't warn you if your date is in the past. [4] Finally, clicking the "Publish" (which could read "Schedule") generates a post with the URL /01/05/ that's visible immediately with no warning. [5]

Note the visibility and status options above the date: Wordpress does support some options for "draft" or "pending review" options with private/password-only visibility, but apparently TNW - a business that draws $15 million in revenue, is among the top 20,000 websites, and has dozens of employees - didn't use them before this oops.

I somehow assumed that there would be a red-tape process involving legal, editorial, and managerial oversight before you could get any content to the front page of a site like this. Not sure after seeing this if TNW is just playing fast and loose, or if everyone is...

[1] https://en.support.wordpress.com/schedule-a-post/

[2] https://i.imgur.com/0CxPYhS.png

[3] https://i.imgur.com/qa7emUd.png

[4] https://i.imgur.com/svyNS6K.png

[5] https://i.imgur.com/dPyURfD.png

You actually responded to the author (matthewjhughes), which also supports the typo hypothesis.

It's TNW, the Sun or BILD of tech news. Expected behavior.

never heard of them. I'm sure they're hungry for a big break.

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