Getting Started

The easiest way to get started with Octokit is to use a plain GitHubClient:

var client = new GitHubClient(new ProductHeaderValue("my-cool-app"));

This will let you access unauthenticated GitHub APIs, but you will be subject to rate limiting (you can read more about this here).

But why do you need this ProductHeaderValue value?

The API will reject you if you don't provide a User-Agent header (more details here). This is also to identify applications that are accessing the API and enable GitHub to contact the application author if there are problems. So pick a name that stands out!

Authenticated Access

If you want to access private repositories or perform actions on behalf of a user, you need to pass credentials to the client.

There are two options supported by the API - basic and OAuth authentication.

var basicAuth = new Credentials("username", "password"); // NOTE: not real credentials
client.Credentials = basicAuth;
var tokenAuth = new Credentials("token"); // NOTE: not real token
client.Credentials = tokenAuth;

It is strongly recommended to use the OAuth Flow for interactions on behalf of a user, as this gives two significant benefits:

  • the application owner never needs to store a user's password
  • the token can be revoked by the user at a later date

When authenticated, you have 5000 requests per hour available. So this is the recommended approach for interacting with the API.

Connect to GitHub Enterprise

Octokit also supports connecting to GitHub Enterprise environments - just provide the URL to your GitHub Enterprise server when creating the client.

var ghe = new Uri("");
var client = new GitHubClient(new ProductHeaderValue("my-cool-app"), ghe);

You can use the EnterpriseProbe class to test whether a URL points to a Github Enterprise instance.

var probe = new EnterpriseProbe(new ProductHeaderValue("my-cool-app"));
var result = await probe.Probe(new Uri(""));
Assert.Equal(EnterpriseProbeResult.Ok, result); 

Get some data

Once you have that setup, the simplest thing to experiment with is fetching details about a specific user:

var user = await client.User.Get("shiftkey");
Console.WriteLine("{0} has {1} public repositories - go check out their profile at {2}",

If you've authenticated as a given user, you can query their details directly:

var user = await client.User.Current();

Too Much of a Good Thing: Dealing with API Rate Limits

Like any popular API, Github needs to throttle some requests. The OctoKit.NET client allows you to get some insight into how many requests you have left and when you can start making requests again.

In fact, there are two ways to get the Rate Limits via OctoKit.NET. Calling GitHubClient.GetLastApiInfo() returns the Rate Limit status which has been returned with the last api call. So, calling GitHubClient.GetLastApiInfo() will not send any extra HTTP requests to GitHub's servers.

Example usage:

GitHubClient client; 
//Create & initialize the client here

// Prior to first API call, this will be null, because it only deals with the last call.
var apiInfo = client.GetLastApiInfo();

// If the ApiInfo isn't null, there will be a property called RateLimit
var rateLimit = apiInfo?.RateLimit;

var howManyRequestsCanIMakePerHour = rateLimit?.Limit;
var howManyRequestsDoIHaveLeft = rateLimit?.Remaining;
var whenDoesTheLimitReset = rateLimit?.Reset; // UTC time

However, if in some cases you need to get the Rate Limit directly from Github, you should call GitHubClient.Miscellaneous.GetRateLimits().

Example usage:

GitHubClient client; 
//Create & initialize the client here

var miscellaneousRateLimit = await client.Miscellaneous.GetRateLimits();

//  The "core" object provides your rate limit status except for the Search API.
var coreRateLimit = miscellaneousRateLimit.Resources.Core;

var howManyCoreRequestsCanIMakePerHour = coreRateLimit.Limit;
var howManyCoreRequestsDoIHaveLeft = coreRateLimit.Remaining;
var whenDoesTheCoreLimitReset = coreRateLimit.Reset; // UTC time

// the "search" object provides your rate limit status for the Search API.
var searchRateLimit = miscellaneousRateLimit.Resources.Search;

var howManySearchRequestsCanIMakePerMinute = searchRateLimit.Limit;
var howManySearchRequestsDoIHaveLeft = searchRateLimit.Remaining;
var whenDoesTheSearchLimitReset = searchRateLimit.Reset; // UTC time

An authenticated client will have a significantly higher limit than an anonymous client.

For more information on the API and understanding rate limits, you may want to consult the Github API docs on rate limits.