Getting Started

This chapter in our documentation will teach you how to get started using after you’ve installed the library.

Using the library

To get started using the library, it’s important to note that the module that is provided by this library is called github3. To use it you can run:

import github3

where necessary.

Logging into GitHub using

Once you’ve imported the module, you can get started using the API. It’s recommended that you authenticate with GitHub to avoid running into their rate limits. To do so you have a few options.

First, you can use your username and password. We advise you not to type your password into your shell or python console directly as others can view that after the fact. For the sake of an example, let’s assume that you have two variables bound as username and password that contain your username and password. You can then do:

import github3

github = github3.login(username=username, password=password)

Second, you can generate an access token and use that. Let’s presume you have a variable bound as token that contains your access token.

import github3

github = github3.login(token=token)

Third, if you’re using a GitHub Enterprise installation you can use similar methods above, but you’ll need to use enterprise_login(), e.g.,

import github3

githubent = github3.enterprise_login(

githubent = github3.enterprise_login(

Two-Factor Authentication and

GitHub has long supported the use of a second-factor authentication (a.k.a, 2FA) mechanism for logging in. This provides some extra security, especially around administrative actions on the website. If you choose to login with simply your username and password and you have to provide with a mechanism for obtaining your token and providing it to GitHub.

An example mechanism is as follows:

# This assumes Python 3
import github3

def second_factor_retrieval():
    """Provide a way to retrieve the code from the user."""
    code = ''
    while not code:
        code = input('Enter 2FA code: ')
    return code

github = github3.login(username, password,

This means that for every API call made, GitHub will force us to prompt you for a new 2FA code. This is obviously not ideal. In those situations, you almost certainly want to obtain an access token.