Getting started with GitHub Enterprise Cloud

Get started with setting up and managing your GitHub Enterprise Cloud organization or enterprise account

In this article

This guide will walk you through setting up, configuring and managing your GitHub Enterprise Cloud account as an organization or enterprise owner.

Part 1: Choosing your account type

GitHub provides two types of Enterprise products:

  • GitHub Enterprise Cloud
  • GitHub Enterprise Server

The main difference between the products is that GitHub Enterprise Cloud is hosted by GitHub, while GitHub Enterprise Server is self-hosted.

Within the GitHub Enterprise Cloud product, there are two different types of account that you can use:

  • A single organization account
  • An enterprise account that contains multiple organizations

In either scenario, your users will use their own self-created user account and you'll invite them to join.

1. Understanding the differences between an organization account and enterprise account

Both organization and enterprise accounts are available with GitHub Enterprise Cloud. An organization is a shared account where groups of people can collaborate across many projects at once, and owners and administrators can manage access to data and projects. An enterprise account enables collaboration between multiple organizations, and allows owners to centrally manage policy, billing and security for these organizations. For more information on the differences, see "Organizations and enterprise accounts."

If you choose an enterprise account, keep in mind that some policies can be set only at an organization level, while others can be enforced for all organizations in an enterprise.

Once you choose the account type you would like, you can proceed to setting up your account. In each of the sections in this guide, proceed to either the single organization or enterprise account section based on your account type.

Part 2: Setting up your account

To get started with GitHub Enterprise Cloud, you will want to create your organization or enterprise account and set up and view billing settings, subscriptions and usage.

Setting up a single organization account with GitHub Enterprise Cloud

1. About organizations

Organizations are shared accounts where groups of people can collaborate across many projects at once. With GitHub Enterprise Cloud, owners and administrators can manage their organization with sophisticated user authentication and management, as well as escalated support and security options. For more information, see "About organizations."

2. Creating or upgrading an organization account

To use an organization account with GitHub Enterprise Cloud, you will first need to create an organization. When prompted to choose a plan, select "Enterprise". For more information, see "Creating a new organization from scratch."

Alternatively, if you have an existing organization account that you would like to upgrade, follow the steps in "Upgrading your GitHub subscription."

3. Setting up and managing billing

When you choose to use an organization account with GitHub Enterprise Cloud, you'll first have access to a 14-day trial. If you don't purchase GitHub Enterprise or GitHub Team before your trial ends, your organization will be downgraded to GitHub Free and lose access to any advanced tooling and features that are only included with paid products. For more information, see "Finishing your trial."

Your organization's billing settings page allows you to manage settings like your payment method and billing cycle, view information about your subscription, and upgrade your storage and GitHub Actions minutes. For more information on managing your billing settings, see "Managing your GitHub billing settings."

Only organization members with the owner or billing manager role can access or change billing settings for your organization. A billing manager is a user who manages the billing settings for your organization and does not use a paid license in your organization's subscription. For more information on adding a billing manager to your organization, see "Adding a billing manager to your organization."

Setting up an enterprise account with GitHub Enterprise Cloud

To get an enterprise account created for you, contact GitHub's Sales team.

1. About enterprise accounts

An enterprise account allows you to centrally manage policy and settings for multiple GitHub organizations, including member access, billing and usage and security. For more information, see "About enterprise accounts."

2. Adding organizations to your enterprise account

You can create new organizations to manage within your enterprise account. For more information, see "Adding organizations to your enterprise."

Contact your GitHub sales account representative if you want to transfer an existing organization to your enterprise account.

3. Viewing the subscription and usage for your enterprise account

You can view your current subscription, license usage, invoices, payment history, and other billing information for your enterprise account at any time. Both enterprise owners and billing managers can access and manage billing settings for enterprise accounts. For more information, see "Viewing the subscription and usage for your enterprise account."

Part 3: Managing your organization or enterprise members and teams with GitHub Enterprise Cloud

Managing members and teams in your organization

You can set permissions and member roles, create and manage teams, and give people access to repositories in your organization.

1. Managing members of your organization

You can invite anyone to be a member of your organization, as long as they have a personal account on GitHub. You can also remove members and reinstate former members. For more information, see "Managing membership in your organization."

2. Organization permissions and roles

Each person in your organization has a role that defines their level of access to the organization. The member role is the default, and you can assign owner and billing manager roles as well as "team maintainer" permissions. For more information, see "Permission levels for an organization."

3. About and creating teams

Teams are groups of organization members that you can create to reflect your company or group's structure with cascading access permissions and mentions. Organization members can send notifications to a team or request reviews, and teams can be visible or secret. For more information, see "About teams."

You can create independent teams or have multiple levels of nested teams to reflect your group or company's hierarchy. For more information, see "Creating a team."

4. Managing team settings

You can designate a "team maintainer" to manage team settings and discussions, among other privileges. For more information, see "Giving "team maintainer" permissions to an organization member."

You can manage code review assignments for your team, change team visibility, manage scheduled reminders for your team, and more in your team's settings. For more information, see "Organizing members into teams."

5. Giving people and teams access to repositories, project boards and apps

You can give organization members, teams, and outside collaborators different levels of access to repositories owned by your organization with granular permission levels. For more information, see "Repository permission levels for an organization."

You can also customize access to your organization's project boards and allow individual organization members to manage your organization's GitHub Apps. For more information, see "Managing access to your organization's project boards" and "Managing access to your organization's apps."

Managing members of an enterprise account

Managing members of an enterprise is separate from managing members or teams in an organization. It is important to note that enterprise owners or administrators cannot access organization-level settings or manage members for organizations in their enterprise unless they are made an organization owner. For more information, see the above section, "Managing members and teams in your organization."

1. Assigning roles in an enterprise

By default, everyone in an enterprise is a member of the enterprise. There are also administrative roles, including enterprise owner and billing manager, that have different levels of access to enterprise settings and data. For more information, see "Roles in an enterprise."

2. Inviting people to manage your enterprise

You can invite people to manage your enterprise as enterprise owners or billing managers, as well as remove those who no longer need access. For more information, see "Inviting people to manage your enterprise."

You can also grant enterprise members the ability to manage support tickets in the support portal. For more information, see "Managing support entitlements for your enterprise."

3. Viewing people in your enterprise

To audit access to enterprise-owned resources or user license usage, you can view every enterprise administrator, enterprise member, and outside collaborator in your enterprise. You can see the organizations that a member belongs to and the specific repositories that an outside collaborator has access to. For more information, see "Viewing people in your enterprise."

Part 4: Managing security with GitHub Enterprise Cloud

Managing security for a single organization

You can help keep your organization secure by requiring two-factor authentication, configuring security features, reviewing your organization's audit log and integrations, and enabling SAML single sign-on and team synchronization.

1. Requiring two-factor authentication

You can view whether your organization members have two-factor authentication enabled and choose to require two-factor authentication in your organization. For more information, see "Requiring two-factor authentication in your organization."

2. Configuring security features for your organization

To keep your organization secure, you can use a variety of GitHub security features, including security policies, dependency graphs, secret scanning and Dependabot security and version updates. For more information, see "Securing your organization" and "Managing security and analysis settings for your organization."

3. Reviewing your organization's audit log and integrations

The audit log for your organization allows you, as an organization owner, to review the actions performed by members of the organization within the last 90 days. For more information, see "Reviewing the audit log for your organization."

You can also review and configure the permission levels for your organization's installed integrations. For more information, see "Reviewing your organization's installed integrations."

4. Enabling and enforcing SAML single sign-on for your organization

If you manage your applications and the identities of your organization members with an identity provider (IdP), you can configure SAML single-sign-on (SSO) to control and secure access to organization resources like repositories, issues and pull requests. When members of your organization access organization resources that use SAML SSO, GitHub will redirect them to your IdP to authenticate. For more information, see "About identity and access management with SAML single sign-on."

Organization owners can choose to disable, enable but not enforce, or enable and enforce SAML SSO. For more information, see "Enabling and testing SAML single sign-on for your organization" and "Enforcing SAML single sign-on for your organization."

5. Managing team synchronization for your organization

Organization owners can enable team synchronization between your identity provider (IdP) and GitHub to allow organization owners and team maintainers to connect teams in your organization with IdP groups. For more information, see "Managing team synchronization for your organization."

Managing security for an enterprise account with multiple organizations

To manage security for your enterprise, you can require two-factor authentication, manage allowed IP addresses, enable SAML single sign-on and team synchronization at an enterprise level, and sign up for and enforce GitHub Advanced Security features.

1. Requiring two-factor authentication and managing allowed IP addresses for organizations in your enterprise account

Enterprise owners can require that organization members, billing managers, and outside collaborators in all organizations owned by an enterprise account use two-factor authentication to secure their personal accounts. Before doing so, we recommend notifying all who have access to organizations in your enterprise. You can also configure an allow list for specific IP addresses to restrict access to assets owned by organizations in your enterprise account.

For more information on enforcing two-factor authentication and allowed IP address lists, see "Enforcing security settings in your enterprise account."

2. Enabling and enforcing SAML single sign-on for organizations in your enterprise account

You can centrally manage access to your enterprise's resources, organization membership and team membership using your IdP and SAM single sign-on (SSO). Enterprise owners can enable SAML SSO across all organizations owned by an enterprise account. For more information, see "About identity and access management for your enterprise account."

3. Managing team synchronization

You can enable and manage team sychronization between an identity provider (IdP) and GitHub to allow organizations owned by your enterprise account to manage team membership with IdP groups. For more information, see "Managing team synchronization for organizations in your enterprise account."

4. Enforcing policies for Advanced Security features in your enterprise account

If you have a GitHub Advanced Security license for your enterprise account, you can enforce policies to manage GitHub Advanced Security features for organizations owned by an enterprise account. For more information, see "Enforcing policies for Advanced Security in your enterprise account."

Part 5: Managing organization and enterprise level policies and settings

Managing settings for a single organization

To manage and moderate your organization, you can set organization policies, manage permissions for repository changes, and use organization-level community health files.

1. Managing organization policies

You can manage permissions and policies for a number of different actions and features in your organization.

For example, to protect your organization's data and number of paid licenses, you can choose to allow only organization owners to invite outside collaborators to organization repositories. You can also choose to allow or prevent the forking of private repositories owned by your organization. For more information, see "Setting permissions for adding outside collaborators" and "Managing the forking policy for your organization."

For the full list of settings you can configure for your organization, see "Managing organization settings."

2. Managing repository changes

You can configure permissions for creating, transferring and deleting repositories in your organization, including which types members can create. For more information, see "Restricting repository creation in your organization" and "Setting permissions for deleting or transferring repositories."

You can also restrict or grant the ability to change repository visibility. For more information, see "Restricting repository visibility changes in your organization."

3. Using organization-level community health files and moderation tools

You can create default community health files, such as a CONTRIBUTING.md file, a CODE_OF_CONDUCT.md file, or even issue and pull request templates, for your organization. These default files will be used for any repository owned by your organization that does not contain its own file of that type. For more information, see "Creating a default community health file."

GitHub offers multiple tools for moderating and managing your community. For more information, see "Tools for moderating your community."

Managing settings for an enterprise account

To manage and moderate your enterprise, you can set policies for organizations within the enterprise, view audit logs, configure webhooks, and restrict email notifications.

1. Managing policies for organizations in your enterprise account

You can choose to enforce a number of policies for all organizations owned by your enterprise, or choose to allow these policies to be set in each organization. Types of policies you can enforce include repository management, project board, and team policies. For more information, see "Set organization policies."

2. Viewing audit logs, configuring webhooks, and restricting email notifications for your enterprise

You can view actions from all of the organizations owned by your enterprise account in the enterprise audit log. You can also configure webhooks to receive events from organizations owned by your enterprise account. For more information, see "Viewing the audit logs for organizations in your enterprise account" and "Configuring webooks for organization events in your enterprise."

You can also restrict email notifications for your enterprise account so that enterprise members can only use an email address in a verified or approved domain to receive notifications. For more information, see "Restricting email notifications for your enterprise account."

Part 6: Customizing and automating your organization or enterprise's work on GitHub

Members of your organization or enterprise can use tools from the GitHub Marketplace, the GitHub API, and existing GitHub features to customize and automate your work.

1. Using GitHub Marketplace

GitHub Marketplace contains integrations that add functionality and improve your workflow. You can discover, browse, and install free and paid tools, including GitHub Apps, OAuth Apps, and GitHub Actions, in GitHub Marketplace. For more information, see "About GitHub Marketplace."

2. Using the GitHub API

There are two versions of the GitHub API: the REST API and the GraphQL API. You can use the GitHub APIs to automate common tasks, back up your data, or create integrations that extend GitHub. For more information, see "About GitHub's APIs."

3. Building GitHub Actions

With GitHub Actions, you can automate and customize GitHub's development workflow on GitHub. You can create your own actions, and use and customize actions shared by the GitHub community. For more information, see "Learn GitHub Actions."

4. Publishing and managing GitHub Packages

GitHub Packages is a software package hosting service that allows you to host your software packages privately or publicly and use packages as dependencies in your projects. For more information, see “Introduction to GitHub Packages."

5. Using GitHub Pages

GitHub Pages is a static site hosting service that takes HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files straight from a repository and publishes a website. You can manage the publication of GitHub Pages sites at the organization level. For more information, see "Managing the publication of GitHub Pages sites for your organization" and "About GitHub Pages."

Part 7: Participating in GitHub's community

Members of your organization or enterprise can use GitHub's learning and support resources to get the help they need. You can also support the open source community.

1. Learning with GitHub Learning Lab

Members of your organization or enterprise can learn new skills by completing fun, realistic projects in your very own GitHub repository with GitHub Learning Lab. Each course is a hands-on lesson created by the GitHub community and taught by the friendly Learning Lab bot.

For more information, see "Git and GitHub learning resources."

2. Supporting the open source community

GitHub Sponsors allows you to make a monthly recurring payment to a developer or organization who designs, creates, or maintains open source projects you depend on. For more information, see “About GitHub Sponsors."

3. Contacting GitHub Support

GitHub Support can help you troubleshoot issues you run into while using GitHub. For more information, see “About GitHub Support."

GitHub Enterprise Cloud allows you to submit priority support requests with a target eight-hour response time. For more information, see "GitHub Enterprise Cloud support."

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