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This version of GitHub Enterprise Server will be discontinued on 2024-06-29. No patch releases will be made, even for critical security issues. For better performance, improved security, and new features, upgrade to the latest version of GitHub Enterprise Server. For help with the upgrade, contact GitHub Enterprise support.

Creating a repository from a template

You can generate a new repository with the same directory structure and files as an existing repository.

Who can use this feature?

Anyone with read access to a template repository can create a repository from that template.

About repository templates

You can create a template from an existing repository. Anyone with access to the template repository can create a new repository based on the template with the same directory structure, branches, and files. For more information about creation of a repository template, see "Creating a template repository."

Tip: You can also create a repository from a template using the GitHub CLI. For more information, see "gh repo create" in the GitHub CLI documentation.

You can choose to include the directory structure and files from only the default branch of the template repository or to include all branches. Branches created from a template have unrelated histories, which means you cannot create pull requests or merge between the branches.

Creating a repository from a template is similar to forking a repository, but there are important differences:

  • A new fork includes the entire commit history of the parent repository, while a repository created from a template starts with a single commit.
  • Commits to a fork don't appear in your contributions graph, while commits to a repository created from a template do appear in your contribution graph.
  • A fork can be a temporary way to contribute code to an existing project, while creating a repository from a template starts a new project quickly.

For more information about forks, see "About forks."

Creating a repository from a template

  1. On your GitHub Enterprise Server instance, navigate to the main page of the repository.

  2. Above the file list, click Use this template.

  3. Use the Owner dropdown menu to select the account you want to own the repository. Screenshot of the owner menu for a new GitHub repository. The menu shows two options, octocat and github.

  4. Type a name for your repository, and an optional description.

    Screenshot of a the first step in creating a GitHub repository. The "Repository name" field contains the text "hello-world" and is outlined in dark orange.

  5. Choose a repository visibility. For more information, see "About repositories."

  6. Optionally, to include the directory structure and files from all branches in the template, and not just the default branch, select Include all branches.

  7. Click Create repository from template.