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The REST API is now versioned. For more information, see "About API versioning."

REST API endpoints for repository contents

Use the REST API to create, modify, and delete Base64 encoded content in a repository.

Get repository content

Gets the contents of a file or directory in a repository. Specify the file path or directory with the path parameter. If you omit the path parameter, you will receive the contents of the repository's root directory.

This endpoint supports the following custom media types. For more information, see "Media types."

  • application/vnd.github.raw+json: Returns the raw file contents for files and symlinks.
  • application/vnd.github.html+json: Returns the file contents in HTML. Markup languages are rendered to HTML using GitHub's open-source Markup library.
  • application/vnd.github.object+json: Returns the contents in a consistent object format regardless of the content type. For example, instead of an array of objects for a directory, the response will be an object with an entries attribute containing the array of objects.

If the content is a directory, the response will be an array of objects, one object for each item in the directory. When listing the contents of a directory, submodules have their "type" specified as "file". Logically, the value should be "submodule". This behavior exists for backwards compatibility purposes. In the next major version of the API, the type will be returned as "submodule".

If the content is a symlink and the symlink's target is a normal file in the repository, then the API responds with the content of the file. Otherwise, the API responds with an object describing the symlink itself.

If the content is a submodule, the submodule_git_url field identifies the location of the submodule repository, and the sha identifies a specific commit within the submodule repository. Git uses the given URL when cloning the submodule repository, and checks out the submodule at that specific commit. If the submodule repository is not hosted on github.com, the Git URLs (git_url and _links["git"]) and the github.com URLs (html_url and _links["html"]) will have null values.

Notes:

  • To get a repository's contents recursively, you can recursively get the tree.
  • This API has an upper limit of 1,000 files for a directory. If you need to retrieve more files, use the Git Trees API.
  • Download URLs expire and are meant to be used just once. To ensure the download URL does not expire, please use the contents API to obtain a fresh download URL for each download.
  • If the requested file's size is:
    • 1 MB or smaller: All features of this endpoint are supported.
    • Between 1-100 MB: Only the raw or object custom media types are supported. Both will work as normal, except that when using the object media type, the content field will be an empty string and the encoding field will be "none". To get the contents of these larger files, use the raw media type.
    • Greater than 100 MB: This endpoint is not supported.

Fine-grained access tokens for "Get repository content"

This endpoint works with the following fine-grained token types:

The fine-grained token must have the following permission set:

  • "Contents" repository permissions (read)

This endpoint can be used without authentication or the aforementioned permissions if only public resources are requested.

Parameters for "Get repository content"

Headers
Name, Type, Description
accept string

Setting to application/vnd.github+json is recommended.

Path parameters
Name, Type, Description
owner string Required

The account owner of the repository. The name is not case sensitive.

repo string Required

The name of the repository without the .git extension. The name is not case sensitive.

path string Required

path parameter

Query parameters
Name, Type, Description
ref string

The name of the commit/branch/tag. Default: the repository’s default branch.

HTTP response status codes for "Get repository content"

Status codeDescription
200

OK

302

Found

304

Not modified

403

Forbidden

404

Resource not found

Code samples for "Get repository content"

Request examples

get/repos/{owner}/{repo}/contents/{path}
curl -L \ -H "Accept: application/vnd.github+json" \ -H "Authorization: Bearer <YOUR-TOKEN>" \ -H "X-GitHub-Api-Version: 2022-11-28" \ https://api.github.com/repos/OWNER/REPO/contents/PATH

Response if content is a file

Status: 200
{ "type": "file", "encoding": "base64", "size": 5362, "name": "README.md", "path": "README.md", "content": "IyBZb2dhIEJvmsgaW4gcHJvZ3Jlc3MhIEZlZWwgdAoKOndhcm5pbmc6IFdvc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\\nIHdvcmtmbG93Lgo=\\n", "sha": "3d21ec53a331a6f037a91c368710b99387d012c1", "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octokit/octokit.rb/contents/README.md", "git_url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octokit/octokit.rb/git/blobs/3d21ec53a331a6f037a91c368710b99387d012c1", "html_url": "https://github.com/octokit/octokit.rb/blob/master/README.md", "download_url": "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/octokit/octokit.rb/master/README.md", "_links": { "git": "https://api.github.com/repos/octokit/octokit.rb/git/blobs/3d21ec53a331a6f037a91c368710b99387d012c1", "self": "https://api.github.com/repos/octokit/octokit.rb/contents/README.md", "html": "https://github.com/octokit/octokit.rb/blob/master/README.md" } }

Create or update file contents

Creates a new file or replaces an existing file in a repository.

Note: If you use this endpoint and the "Delete a file" endpoint in parallel, the concurrent requests will conflict and you will receive errors. You must use these endpoints serially instead.

OAuth app tokens and personal access tokens (classic) need the repo scope to use this endpoint. The workflow scope is also required in order to modify files in the .github/workflows directory.

Fine-grained access tokens for "Create or update file contents"

This endpoint works with the following fine-grained token types:

The fine-grained token must have the following permission set:

  • "Contents" repository permissions (write)

Parameters for "Create or update file contents"

Headers
Name, Type, Description
accept string

Setting to application/vnd.github+json is recommended.

Path parameters
Name, Type, Description
owner string Required

The account owner of the repository. The name is not case sensitive.

repo string Required

The name of the repository without the .git extension. The name is not case sensitive.

path string Required

path parameter

Body parameters
Name, Type, Description
message string Required

The commit message.

content string Required

The new file content, using Base64 encoding.

sha string

Required if you are updating a file. The blob SHA of the file being replaced.

branch string

The branch name. Default: the repository’s default branch.

committer object

The person that committed the file. Default: the authenticated user.

Name, Type, Description
name string Required

The name of the author or committer of the commit. You'll receive a 422 status code if name is omitted.

email string Required

The email of the author or committer of the commit. You'll receive a 422 status code if email is omitted.

date string
author object

The author of the file. Default: The committer or the authenticated user if you omit committer.

Name, Type, Description
name string Required

The name of the author or committer of the commit. You'll receive a 422 status code if name is omitted.

email string Required

The email of the author or committer of the commit. You'll receive a 422 status code if email is omitted.

date string

HTTP response status codes for "Create or update file contents"

Status codeDescription
200

OK

201

Created

404

Resource not found

409

Conflict

422

Validation failed, or the endpoint has been spammed.

Code samples for "Create or update file contents"

Request examples

put/repos/{owner}/{repo}/contents/{path}
curl -L \ -X PUT \ -H "Accept: application/vnd.github+json" \ -H "Authorization: Bearer <YOUR-TOKEN>" \ -H "X-GitHub-Api-Version: 2022-11-28" \ https://api.github.com/repos/OWNER/REPO/contents/PATH \ -d '{"message":"my commit message","committer":{"name":"Monalisa Octocat","email":"octocat@github.com"},"content":"bXkgbmV3IGZpbGUgY29udGVudHM="}'

Response

Status: 201
{ "content": { "name": "hello.txt", "path": "notes/hello.txt", "sha": "95b966ae1c166bd92f8ae7d1c313e738c731dfc3", "size": 9, "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/contents/notes/hello.txt", "html_url": "https://github.com/octocat/Hello-World/blob/master/notes/hello.txt", "git_url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/blobs/95b966ae1c166bd92f8ae7d1c313e738c731dfc3", "download_url": "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/octocat/HelloWorld/master/notes/hello.txt", "type": "file", "_links": { "self": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/contents/notes/hello.txt", "git": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/blobs/95b966ae1c166bd92f8ae7d1c313e738c731dfc3", "html": "https://github.com/octocat/Hello-World/blob/master/notes/hello.txt" } }, "commit": { "sha": "7638417db6d59f3c431d3e1f261cc637155684cd", "node_id": "MDY6Q29tbWl0NzYzODQxN2RiNmQ1OWYzYzQzMWQzZTFmMjYxY2M2MzcxNTU2ODRjZA==", "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/commits/7638417db6d59f3c431d3e1f261cc637155684cd", "html_url": "https://github.com/octocat/Hello-World/git/commit/7638417db6d59f3c431d3e1f261cc637155684cd", "author": { "date": "2014-11-07T22:01:45Z", "name": "Monalisa Octocat", "email": "octocat@github.com" }, "committer": { "date": "2014-11-07T22:01:45Z", "name": "Monalisa Octocat", "email": "octocat@github.com" }, "message": "my commit message", "tree": { "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/trees/691272480426f78a0138979dd3ce63b77f706feb", "sha": "691272480426f78a0138979dd3ce63b77f706feb" }, "parents": [ { "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/commits/1acc419d4d6a9ce985db7be48c6349a0475975b5", "html_url": "https://github.com/octocat/Hello-World/git/commit/1acc419d4d6a9ce985db7be48c6349a0475975b5", "sha": "1acc419d4d6a9ce985db7be48c6349a0475975b5" } ], "verification": { "verified": false, "reason": "unsigned", "signature": null, "payload": null } } }

Delete a file

Deletes a file in a repository.

You can provide an additional committer parameter, which is an object containing information about the committer. Or, you can provide an author parameter, which is an object containing information about the author.

The author section is optional and is filled in with the committer information if omitted. If the committer information is omitted, the authenticated user's information is used.

You must provide values for both name and email, whether you choose to use author or committer. Otherwise, you'll receive a 422 status code.

Note: If you use this endpoint and the "Create or update file contents" endpoint in parallel, the concurrent requests will conflict and you will receive errors. You must use these endpoints serially instead.

Fine-grained access tokens for "Delete a file"

This endpoint works with the following fine-grained token types:

The fine-grained token must have the following permission set:

  • "Contents" repository permissions (write)

Parameters for "Delete a file"

Headers
Name, Type, Description
accept string

Setting to application/vnd.github+json is recommended.

Path parameters
Name, Type, Description
owner string Required

The account owner of the repository. The name is not case sensitive.

repo string Required

The name of the repository without the .git extension. The name is not case sensitive.

path string Required

path parameter

Body parameters
Name, Type, Description
message string Required

The commit message.

sha string Required

The blob SHA of the file being deleted.

branch string

The branch name. Default: the repository’s default branch

committer object

object containing information about the committer.

Name, Type, Description
name string

The name of the author (or committer) of the commit

email string

The email of the author (or committer) of the commit

author object

object containing information about the author.

Name, Type, Description
name string

The name of the author (or committer) of the commit

email string

The email of the author (or committer) of the commit

HTTP response status codes for "Delete a file"

Status codeDescription
200

OK

404

Resource not found

409

Conflict

422

Validation failed, or the endpoint has been spammed.

503

Service unavailable

Code samples for "Delete a file"

Request example

delete/repos/{owner}/{repo}/contents/{path}
curl -L \ -X DELETE \ -H "Accept: application/vnd.github+json" \ -H "Authorization: Bearer <YOUR-TOKEN>" \ -H "X-GitHub-Api-Version: 2022-11-28" \ https://api.github.com/repos/OWNER/REPO/contents/PATH \ -d '{"message":"my commit message","committer":{"name":"Monalisa Octocat","email":"octocat@github.com"},"sha":"329688480d39049927147c162b9d2deaf885005f"}'

Response

Status: 200
{ "content": null, "commit": { "sha": "7638417db6d59f3c431d3e1f261cc637155684cd", "node_id": "MDY6Q29tbWl0NzYzODQxN2RiNmQ1OWYzYzQzMWQzZTFmMjYxY2M2MzcxNTU2ODRjZA==", "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/commits/7638417db6d59f3c431d3e1f261cc637155684cd", "html_url": "https://github.com/octocat/Hello-World/git/commit/7638417db6d59f3c431d3e1f261cc637155684cd", "author": { "date": "2014-11-07T22:01:45Z", "name": "Monalisa Octocat", "email": "octocat@github.com" }, "committer": { "date": "2014-11-07T22:01:45Z", "name": "Monalisa Octocat", "email": "octocat@github.com" }, "message": "my commit message", "tree": { "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/trees/691272480426f78a0138979dd3ce63b77f706feb", "sha": "691272480426f78a0138979dd3ce63b77f706feb" }, "parents": [ { "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/commits/1acc419d4d6a9ce985db7be48c6349a0475975b5", "html_url": "https://github.com/octocat/Hello-World/git/commit/1acc419d4d6a9ce985db7be48c6349a0475975b5", "sha": "1acc419d4d6a9ce985db7be48c6349a0475975b5" } ], "verification": { "verified": false, "reason": "unsigned", "signature": null, "payload": null } } }

Get a repository README

Gets the preferred README for a repository.

This endpoint supports the following custom media types. For more information, see "Media types."

  • application/vnd.github.raw+json: Returns the raw file contents. This is the default if you do not specify a media type.
  • application/vnd.github.html+json: Returns the README in HTML. Markup languages are rendered to HTML using GitHub's open-source Markup library.

Parameters for "Get a repository README"

Headers
Name, Type, Description
accept string

Setting to application/vnd.github+json is recommended.

Path parameters
Name, Type, Description
owner string Required

The account owner of the repository. The name is not case sensitive.

repo string Required

The name of the repository without the .git extension. The name is not case sensitive.

Query parameters
Name, Type, Description
ref string

The name of the commit/branch/tag. Default: the repository’s default branch.

HTTP response status codes for "Get a repository README"

Status codeDescription
200

OK

404

Resource not found

422

Validation failed, or the endpoint has been spammed.

Code samples for "Get a repository README"

Request example

get/repos/{owner}/{repo}/readme
curl -L \ -H "Accept: application/vnd.github+json" \ -H "Authorization: Bearer <YOUR-TOKEN>" \ -H "X-GitHub-Api-Version: 2022-11-28" \ https://api.github.com/repos/OWNER/REPO/readme

Response

Status: 200
{ "type": "file", "encoding": "base64", "size": 5362, "name": "README.md", "path": "README.md", "content": "encoded content ...", "sha": "3d21ec53a331a6f037a91c368710b99387d012c1", "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octokit/octokit.rb/contents/README.md", "git_url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octokit/octokit.rb/git/blobs/3d21ec53a331a6f037a91c368710b99387d012c1", "html_url": "https://github.com/octokit/octokit.rb/blob/master/README.md", "download_url": "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/octokit/octokit.rb/master/README.md", "_links": { "git": "https://api.github.com/repos/octokit/octokit.rb/git/blobs/3d21ec53a331a6f037a91c368710b99387d012c1", "self": "https://api.github.com/repos/octokit/octokit.rb/contents/README.md", "html": "https://github.com/octokit/octokit.rb/blob/master/README.md" } }

Get a repository README for a directory

Gets the README from a repository directory.

This endpoint supports the following custom media types. For more information, see "Media types."

  • application/vnd.github.raw+json: Returns the raw file contents. This is the default if you do not specify a media type.
  • application/vnd.github.html+json: Returns the README in HTML. Markup languages are rendered to HTML using GitHub's open-source Markup library.

Parameters for "Get a repository README for a directory"

Headers
Name, Type, Description
accept string

Setting to application/vnd.github+json is recommended.

Path parameters
Name, Type, Description
owner string Required

The account owner of the repository. The name is not case sensitive.

repo string Required

The name of the repository without the .git extension. The name is not case sensitive.

dir string Required

The alternate path to look for a README file

Query parameters
Name, Type, Description
ref string

The name of the commit/branch/tag. Default: the repository’s default branch.

HTTP response status codes for "Get a repository README for a directory"

Status codeDescription
200

OK

404

Resource not found

422

Validation failed, or the endpoint has been spammed.

Code samples for "Get a repository README for a directory"

Request example

get/repos/{owner}/{repo}/readme/{dir}
curl -L \ -H "Accept: application/vnd.github+json" \ -H "Authorization: Bearer <YOUR-TOKEN>" \ -H "X-GitHub-Api-Version: 2022-11-28" \ https://api.github.com/repos/OWNER/REPO/readme/DIR

Response

Status: 200
{ "type": "file", "encoding": "base64", "size": 5362, "name": "README.md", "path": "README.md", "content": "encoded content ...", "sha": "3d21ec53a331a6f037a91c368710b99387d012c1", "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octokit/octokit.rb/contents/README.md", "git_url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octokit/octokit.rb/git/blobs/3d21ec53a331a6f037a91c368710b99387d012c1", "html_url": "https://github.com/octokit/octokit.rb/blob/master/README.md", "download_url": "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/octokit/octokit.rb/master/README.md", "_links": { "git": "https://api.github.com/repos/octokit/octokit.rb/git/blobs/3d21ec53a331a6f037a91c368710b99387d012c1", "self": "https://api.github.com/repos/octokit/octokit.rb/contents/README.md", "html": "https://github.com/octokit/octokit.rb/blob/master/README.md" } }

Download a repository archive (tar)

Gets a redirect URL to download a tar archive for a repository. If you omit :ref, the repository’s default branch (usually main) will be used. Please make sure your HTTP framework is configured to follow redirects or you will need to use the Location header to make a second GET request. Note: For private repositories, these links are temporary and expire after five minutes.

Fine-grained access tokens for "Download a repository archive (tar)"

This endpoint works with the following fine-grained token types:

The fine-grained token must have the following permission set:

  • "Contents" repository permissions (read)

This endpoint can be used without authentication or the aforementioned permissions if only public resources are requested.

Parameters for "Download a repository archive (tar)"

Headers
Name, Type, Description
accept string

Setting to application/vnd.github+json is recommended.

Path parameters
Name, Type, Description
owner string Required

The account owner of the repository. The name is not case sensitive.

repo string Required

The name of the repository without the .git extension. The name is not case sensitive.

ref string Required

HTTP response status codes for "Download a repository archive (tar)"

Status codeDescription
302

Found

Code samples for "Download a repository archive (tar)"

Request example

get/repos/{owner}/{repo}/tarball/{ref}
curl -L \ -H "Accept: application/vnd.github+json" \ -H "Authorization: Bearer <YOUR-TOKEN>" \ -H "X-GitHub-Api-Version: 2022-11-28" \ https://api.github.com/repos/OWNER/REPO/tarball/REF

Response

Status: 302

Download a repository archive (zip)

Gets a redirect URL to download a zip archive for a repository. If you omit :ref, the repository’s default branch (usually main) will be used. Please make sure your HTTP framework is configured to follow redirects or you will need to use the Location header to make a second GET request.

Note: For private repositories, these links are temporary and expire after five minutes. If the repository is empty, you will receive a 404 when you follow the redirect.

Fine-grained access tokens for "Download a repository archive (zip)"

This endpoint works with the following fine-grained token types:

The fine-grained token must have the following permission set:

  • "Contents" repository permissions (read)

This endpoint can be used without authentication or the aforementioned permissions if only public resources are requested.

Parameters for "Download a repository archive (zip)"

Headers
Name, Type, Description
accept string

Setting to application/vnd.github+json is recommended.

Path parameters
Name, Type, Description
owner string Required

The account owner of the repository. The name is not case sensitive.

repo string Required

The name of the repository without the .git extension. The name is not case sensitive.

ref string Required

HTTP response status codes for "Download a repository archive (zip)"

Status codeDescription
302

Found

Code samples for "Download a repository archive (zip)"

Request example

get/repos/{owner}/{repo}/zipball/{ref}
curl -L \ -H "Accept: application/vnd.github+json" \ -H "Authorization: Bearer <YOUR-TOKEN>" \ -H "X-GitHub-Api-Version: 2022-11-28" \ https://api.github.com/repos/OWNER/REPO/zipball/REF

Response

Status: 302