Clone all Github Repos for a User

In this article I will describe a simple method you can use to clone all Github repos for a user. You may find it as surprising as I did that there is no built-in way to do this.

I recently came across an impressive collection of information security tools on Github. Very soon after that I found myself wanting to do further analysis on these repositories. I wanted to find a way to quickly clone all of a users repositories from Github.

Being the software giant that it is I was sure that Github would have a neat RESTful API. After a little digging I found the API endpoint that would list all repositories for a user. After that it was a simple matter of doing a little grepping to get a list of repository URLs, and then looping through them.

BASH command to list all (1000) repository URLs for a user

The default number of repositories returned by this endpoint is 30, so passing in 1000 will usually be high enough to grab all a user’s repositories.

curl -s<user_name>/repos?per_page=1000 |grep git_url |awk '{print $2}'| sed 's/"\(.*\)",/\1/'

After figuring out the basic command structure it was time to turn this into a useable script.

BASH script to clone all a user’s repositories

The script below will clone all repositories for the specified user into the current directory. Download it on Github: vke-code/

# Clone all repositories for a specified user.

if [ $# -eq 0 ]
    echo "Usage: $0 <user_name> "

# clone all repositories for user specifed
for repo in `curl -s$USER/repos?per_page=1000 |grep git_url |awk '{print $2}'| sed 's/"\(.*\)",/\1/'`;do
  git clone $repo;

And that is all there is to it. With this script in hand you can easily clone all Github repos for a user. Nothing beats having a local archive in case the original is removed or deleted.

The great benefit to using this method is that it works for organizations as well as users. Just a small tweak to the API call and you can clone all repositories in an organization from Github.

Little exercises like this are always a great way to practice some scripting, or learn something new. If you liked this article you may also enjoy my article on brute force router hacking.

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