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About authentication for your enterprise

You can choose how people authenticate to access your enterprise's resources on GitHub Enterprise Cloud.

About authentication for your enterprise

Enterprise owners on GitHub Enterprise Cloud can control the requirements for authentication and access to the enterprise's resources.

You can choose to allow members to create and manage user accounts, or your enterprise can create and manage accounts for members with 企业托管用户. If you allow members to manage their own accounts, you can also configure SAML authentication to both increase security and centralize identity and access for the web applications that your team uses.

After learning more about these options, to determine which method is best for your enterprise, see "Identifying the best authentication method for your enterprise."

Authentication methods for GitHub Enterprise Cloud

The following options are available for account management and authentication on GitHub Enterprise Cloud.

Authentication through

By default, each member must create a personal account on You grant access to your enterprise, and the member can access your enterprise's resources after signing into the account on The member manages the account, and can contribute to other enterprises, organizations, and repositories on

Authentication through with additional SAML access restriction

If you configure additional SAML access restriction, each member must create and manage a personal account on You grant access to your enterprise, and the member can access your enterprise's resources after both signing into the account on and successfully authenticating with your SAML identity provider (IdP). The member can contribute to other enterprises, organizations, and repositories on using their personal account. For more information about requiring SAML authentication for all access your enterprise's resources, see "About SAML for enterprise IAM."

If you use a standalone organization with GitHub Enterprise Cloud, or if you don't want to use SAML authentication for every organization in your enterprise, you can configure SAML for an individual organization. For more information, see "About identity and access management with SAML single sign-on."

Authentication with 企业托管用户 and federation

If you need more control of the accounts for your enterprise members on, you can use 企业托管用户. With 企业托管用户, you provision and manage accounts for your enterprise members on using your IdP. Each member signs into an account that you create, and your enterprise manages the account. Contributions to the rest of are restricted. For more information, see "About 企业托管用户."

Identifying the best authentication method for your enterprise

Both SAML SSO and 企业托管用户 increase security for your enterprise's resources. 企业托管用户 additionally allows you to control the user accounts for your enterprise members and restricts what the accounts are able to do. However, those restrictions may be unacceptable for your enterprise if they obstruct your developers' workflows.

To determine whether your enterprise would benefit more from SAML SSO or 企业托管用户, ask yourself these questions.

Do you want to control the user accounts for your users?

企业托管用户 may be right for your enterprise if you don't want enterprise members to use their own personal accounts on to access your enterprise's resources.

With SAML SSO, developers create and manage their own personal accounts, and each account is linked to a SAML identity in your IdP. 企业托管用户 functions more like other familiar SSO solutions, as you will provision the accounts for your users. You can also ensure user accounts conform with your company identity, by controlling usernames and the email addresses associated with the accounts.

If you currently require your users to create a new account on to use with your enterprise only, 企业托管用户 might be right for you. However, SAML SSO may be a better option if using your IdP as the source of truth for your user and access management would add too much complexity. For example, perhaps your enterprise does not have an established process for onboarding new users in your IdP.

Which identity provider does your enterprise use?

企业托管用户 is supported for a limited number of IdPs, while SAML SSO offers full support for a larger number of IdPs, plus limited support for all IdPs that implement the SAML 2.0 standard. For the list of supported IdPs for each option, see "About 企业托管用户" and "About SAML for enterprise IAM."

You can use 企业托管用户 with an unsupported IdP only if you federate the unsupported IdP to a supported IdP to use as an integration point. If you wish to avoid this extra complexity, SAML SSO may be a better solution for you.

Do your developers work in public repositories, gists, or GitHub Pages sites?

To prevent enterprise members from accidentally leaking corporate-owned content to the public on, 企业托管用户 imposes strong restrictions on what users can do. For example, 托管用户帐户 cannot create public repositories, gists of any visibility, or GitHub Pages sites that are visible outside the enterprise. For a full list of restrictions, see "Abilities and restrictions of 托管用户帐户."

These restrictions are unacceptable for some enterprises. To determine whether 企业托管用户 will work for you, review the restrictions with your developers, and confirm whether any of the restrictions will hinder your existing workflows. If so, SAML SSO may be a better choice for your enterprise.

Do your developers rely on collaboration outside of your enterprise?

托管用户帐户 can only contribute to repositories within your enterprise. If your developers need to collaborate in repositories outside your enterprise, even private repositories, to complete their work, 企业托管用户 may not be right for your enterprise, and SAML SSO may be a better solution.

Does your enterprise rely on outside collaborators?

With SAML SSO, you can give access to specific repositories to people who are not members of your IdP's directory, by using the outside collaborator role. This can be especially useful for collaborators that are external to your business, such as contractors. For more information, see "Adding outside collaborators to repositories in your organization."

With 企业托管用户, the outside collaborator role does not exist. Your enterprise's resources can only be accessed by 托管用户帐户, which are always provisioned by your IdP. To give external collaborators access to your enterprise, you would have to use guest accounts in your IdP. If you're interested in 企业托管用户, confirm with your developers whether this will hinder any of their existing workflows. If so, SAML SSO may be a better solution.

Can your enterprise tolerate migration costs?

If your enterprise is new to, SAML SSO and 企业托管用户 are equally easy to adopt.

If you're already using with developers managing their own user accounts, adopting 企业托管用户 requires migrating to a new enterprise account. For more information, see "About enterprises with 托管用户帐户."

Although 企业托管用户 is free, the migration process may require time or cost from your team. Confirm that this migration process is acceptable to your business and your developers. If not, SAML SSO may be the better choice for you.

Further reading