This is some pretty cool news. GitHub now has granted unlimited private repos for any paid member. This is so awesome. If your already paying your account will automatically be adjusted to the changes so if your like me and have had to upgrade your account to accommodate your private repos I’m sure you’ll be happy to know you should have a lower Github bill this month.
Those of you who have not ever gotten the dreaded message when creating a new private repo that you were going to have to pay more money to continue should be relieved, now you’ll never have to. From here on out, all paid accounts (both personal and organizations) have unlimited private repos.
Github private repos are awesome because you can begin committing and pushing work straight to GitHub without worrying about people seeing your sensitive or incomplete work. By sensitive of course I mean emotionally sensitive or code that you don’t want to share, I don’t mean secret security type sensitive. Even with private repos you don’t want to store passwords and keys. Even if we assumed that a private repo was the most secure place on the internet, the possibility alone that a day could come where you make that repo public or shared is reason enough to not store sensitive info on Github. It’s outside the scope of this article but if you have put sensitive data on Github you should remove it from your repos history using
git-filter-branch or the repo cleaner
bfg. Learn you more about Git Filter Branch. Learn you more about BFG.
Back to private repos. There are a couple caveats to private repos, the first is they don’t do anything for your GitHub user stats such as contributions. So they don’t bump stats up. If you turn a public repo into a private one then it will actually lose any stars or watches that have been made to it and even once the repo is made public again someday it won’t get those stats back, it will be like a brand new repo. So it’s best to usually start a repo private and then go public but not usually the other way around.
Also, if you have private repos and decided for some ungodly reason to switch back to a free plan, (maybe your account went delinquent) all your private repositories on Github will become “locked”. A locked repo is just that, it’s locked up tight and it becomes inaccessible until you upgrade your plan again or make good on past due payments. A locked repo isn’t safe forever either, eventually Github might decide to delete your locked repositories so I suggest if your planning to pay for Github you should just plan to pay for it forever or move all your private repositories in advanced if you ever decide to downgrade your account.
Of coarse, this article is about upgrading, not downgrading. So whether your already a paying member or thinking about becoming one, everyone is going to benefit from the new changes over at Github. I certainly appreciate my unlimited private repos for $7/month. Thanks GitHub!