About licensing for GitHub Advanced Security

If you want to use GitHub Advanced Security features in a private or internal repository, you need a license. These features are available free of charge for public repositories.

GitHub Advanced Security licenses are available for enterprise accounts on GitHub Enterprise Cloud and GitHub Enterprise Server. GitHub Advanced Security is also included in all public repositories on GitHub.com. For more information, see "About GitHub's products."

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About licensing for GitHub Advanced Security

If you want to use GitHub Advanced Security features on any repository apart from a public repository on GitHub.com, you will need a license. For more information about GitHub Advanced Security, see "About GitHub Advanced Security."

Each license for GitHub Advanced Security specifies a maximum number of accounts, or seats, that can use these features. Each active committer to at least one repository with the feature enabled uses one seat. An active committer is someone who authored at least one commit that was pushed to the repository in the last 90 days.

To discuss licensing GitHub Advanced Security for your enterprise account, contact GitHub's Sales team.

About committer numbers for GitHub Advanced Security

We record and display two numbers of committers for GitHub Advanced Security on GitHub.com:

  • Committers is the number of committers who contributed to at least one private repository in an organization and who use a seat in your license. That is, they are also an organization member, an external collaborator, or have a pending invitation to join an organization in your enterprise.
  • Unique to this repository/organization is the number of committers who contributed only to this repository, or to repositories in this organization. This number shows how many license seats you can free up by disabling GitHub Advanced Security for that repository or organization.

If there are no unique committers, this means that all active committers also contribute to other repositories or organizations that use GitHub Advanced Security. Disabling the feature for that repository or organization would not free any seats on your license.

Note: The total number of seats used in your license is not the sum of either the committers or the unique committers to each repository or organization. This is because there are people who contribute to multiple repositories or organizations. The number of seats used is measured across the whole enterprise account to ensure that each person is counted only once regardless of how many repositories or organizations they contribute to.

Managing your license usage for GitHub Advanced Security

When you enable GitHub Advanced Security for a single repository, or for all repositories in an organization, GitHub shows how many extra seats this will use and prompts you for confirmation. If you disable access to GitHub Advanced Security, any seats used by "unique" committers are freed up. This makes it easy to understand the impact of your changes on the use of your license.

If you are over your license limit, GitHub Advanced Security continues to work on all repositories where it is already enabled. However, in organizations where GitHub Advanced Security is enabled for new repositories, repositories will be created with the feature disabled. In addition, the option to enable GitHub Advanced Security for existing repositories will not be available. If you change the visibility of a public repository to private then GitHub Advanced Security will be disabled for that repository.

As soon as you free up some seats, by disabling GitHub Advanced Security for some repositories or by increasing your license size, the options for enabling GitHub Advanced Security will work again as normal.

You can enforce policies to allow or disallow the use of Advanced Security by organizations owned by your enterprise account. For more information, see "Enforcing policies for Advanced Security in your enterprise account."

For more information on viewing license usage, see "Viewing your GitHub Advanced Security usage."

Getting the most out of your GitHub Advanced Security license

When you decide which repositories and organizations to prioritize for GitHub Advanced Security, you should review them and identify:

  • Codebases that are the most critical to your company's success. These are the projects for which the introduction of vulnerable code, hard-coded secrets, or vulnerable dependencies would have the greatest impact on your company.
  • Codebases with the highest commit frequency. These are the most actively developed projects, consequently there is a higher risk that security problems could be introduced.

When you have enabled GitHub Advanced Security for these organizations or repositories, you should assess which other codebases you could add without adding any extra unique committers and using up more seats on your license. After this, review the next most important and busy codebases. If you want to increase the number of seats in your license, contact GitHub's Sales team.

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