Many REST API endpoints require authentication or return additional information if you are authenticated. Additionally, you can make more requests per hour when you are authenticated.
You can authenticate your request by sending a token in the
Authorization header of your request. In the following example, replace
YOUR-TOKEN with a reference to your token:
curl --request GET \ --url "https://api.github.com/octocat" \ --header "Authorization: Bearer YOUR-TOKEN" \ --header "X-GitHub-Api-Version: 2022-11-28"
Note: In most cases, you can use
Authorization: Bearer or
Authorization: token to pass a token. However, if you are passing a JSON web token (JWT), you must use
If you try to use a REST API endpoint without a token or with a token that has insufficient permissions, you will receive a
404 Not Found or
403 Forbidden response.
Authenticating with a personal access token
If you want to use the GitHub REST API for personal use, you can create a personal access token. If possible, GitHub recommends that you use a fine-grained personal access token instead of a personal access token (classic). For more information about creating a personal access token, see "Creating a personal access token."
If you use a personal access token (classic) to access an organization that enforces SAML single sign-on (SSO) for authentication, you will need to authorize your token after creation. Fine-grained personal access tokens are authorized during token creation, before access to the organization is granted. For more information, see "Authorizing a personal access token for use with SAML single sign-on."
If you do not authorize your personal access token (classic) for SAML SSO before you try to use it to access an organization that enforces SAML SSO, you may receive a
404 Not Found or a
403 Forbidden error. If you receive a
403 Forbidden error, you can follow the URL in the
X-GitHub-SSO header to authorize your token. The URL expires after one hour. If you requested data that could come from multiple organizations, the API will not return results from the organizations that require SAML SSO. The
X-GitHub-SSO header will indicate the ID of the organizations that require SAML SSO authorization of your personal access token (classic). For example:
X-GitHub-SSO: partial-results; organizations=21955855,20582480.
Authenticating with a token generated by an app
If you want to use the API for an organization or on behalf of another user, GitHub recommends that you use a GitHub App. For more information, see "About authentication with a GitHub App."
You can also create an OAuth token with an OAuth App to access the REST API. However, GitHub recommends that you use a GitHub App instead. GitHub Apps allow more control over the access and permission that the app has.
Access tokens created by apps are automatically authorized for SAML SSO.
Using basic authentication
Some REST API endpoints for GitHub Apps and OAuth Apps require you to use basic authentication to access the endpoint. You will use the app's client ID as the username and the app's client secret as the password.
curl --request POST \ --url "https://api.github.com/authorizations" \ --user "
: " \ --header "X-GitHub-Api-Version: 2022-11-28"
You can find the client ID and generate a client secret on the settings page for your app. For user-owned GitHub Apps, the settings page is
https://github.com/settings/apps/APP-SLUG. For organization-owned GitHub Apps, the settings page is
APP-SLUG with the sluggified name of your app and
ORGANIZATION with the sluggified name of your organization. For example,
Authenticating in a GitHub Actions workflow
If you want to use the API in a GitHub Actions workflow, GitHub recommends that you authenticate with the built-in
GITHUB_TOKEN instead of creating a token. You can grant permissions to the
GITHUB_TOKEN with the
permissions key. For more information, see "Automatic token authentication."
Authenticating with username and password
Authentication with username and password is not supported. If you try to authenticate with user name and password, you will receive a 4xx error.