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Using GitHub Copilot in the CLI

You can use gh, the GitHub command line interface, to work with GitHub Copilot in the CLI.

Who can use this feature?

GitHub Copilot in the CLI is currently in public beta, and is subject to change.

Owners of organizations or enterprises with a GitHub Copilot Business subscription can decide whether to grant access to the GitHub Copilot in the CLI beta for users in their organization or enterprise.

If you have a GitHub Copilot Individual subscription, you now have access to the GitHub Copilot in the CLI beta.

About using GitHub Copilot in the CLI

GitHub CLI is an open source tool for using GitHub from your computer's command line. When you're working from the command line, you can use the GitHub CLI to save time and avoid switching context. For more information, see "About GitHub CLI."

GitHub Copilot in the CLI is an extension for GitHub CLI which provides a chat-like interface in the terminal that allows you to ask questions about the command line. You can ask Copilot in the CLI to suggest a command for your use case, with gh copilot suggest, or to explain a command you're curious about, with gh copilot explain.

Prerequisites

  • To use Copilot in the CLI you must have an active GitHub Copilot subscription. For more information, see "About billing for GitHub Copilot."
  • To use Copilot in the CLI you must have GitHub CLI installed. For installation instructions for GitHub CLI, see the GitHub CLI repository.

Installing Copilot in the CLI

If you have not already done so, run gh auth login to authenticate with your GitHub account.

To install the Copilot in the CLI extension, run gh extension install github/gh-copilot.

To update Copilot in the CLI, run gh extension upgrade gh-copilot.

Using Copilot in the CLI

To use gh to work with GitHub Copilot, type gh copilot SUBCOMMAND. Additionally, you can use gh copilot --help for general help or gh copilot SUBCOMMAND --help for help with a specific subcommand.

Asking Copilot in the CLI to explain a command

You can ask Copilot in the CLI to explain a command for you by running:

gh copilot explain

Alternatively, you can add the command you want explained directly to the prompt:

gh copilot explain "sudo apt-get"

Copilot in the CLI can help by explaining what a command does in plain language. This makes it easier for you to understand the command's purpose and how it works for a specific example. You don't need to go through the command's documentation because the explanation includes information about what the command takes as input and produces as output, and provides practical examples.

Asking Copilot in the CLI to suggest a command

You can ask Copilot in the CLI to suggest a command for you by running:

gh copilot suggest

This will start an interactive experience to get the command you need. Copilot in the CLI aims to suggest commands that help you perform the tasks you’re trying to complete. To help Copilot in the CLI provide better suggestions, you can specify the type of command you are looking for (generic, git or gh).

If you already know what command you need, you can also include that in the prompt. For example, if you want to install Git, you can ask Copilot in the CLI to suggest a command for you:

gh copilot suggest "Install git"

If the result isn’t quite what you’re looking for, you can keep revising your question until the returned command meets your expectations. You can do this by selecting the Revise command option.

Once you’ve generated the perfect command for your task, you can easily copy it to your clipboard to run it wherever you need by selecting the Copy to clipboard option.

Sharing feedback about Copilot in the CLI

If you encounter any issues or limitations with Copilot in the CLI, you can provide feedback by selecting the Rate response option in Copilot in the CLI.