Git: Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I access GitHub?

  • Visit the following link to login: 
  • Login using your Internet ID and university password

*note, use your Internet ID only, not your email address.

Who can use

Current University of Minnesota students, faculty, and staff and their sponsors should be able to use Github. Only members of the University with Active Directory access will be able to authenticate with Departmental Internet IDs and alumni accounts do not work with

What happens to my repositories when I leave the University?

  • Students will be removed from the system when they graduate or have failed to register for two consecutive semesters. Students should fork copies of their work to personal storage before they lose access.
    • Students who have already lost access can contact Technology Help to retrieve content
  • Former staff repositories will persist indefinitely, though departments are encouraged to fork employees' repositories to an active employee before they leave.

What shouldn't I put into my repositories?

The following types of content may be subject to removal if found in repositories:

  • Passwords
  • Encryption keys
  • Copyrighted material from third parties
  • Private or sensitive data
  • Large files (MP3s, videos, etc.)

What is the uptime commitment for this service?

  • This service is run on servers housed in the University's data center, and will be affected by any unplanned or planned outages. The University's uptime commitment for the data center is approximately 99%.
  • [email protected] has routine upgrades and service improvements that take place in a regular maintenance window on Thursdays. 

How should I share repositories with my team?

  • Use GitHub "organizations" to create teams. See the official GitHub blog post on how to use this. We recommend using a <institution-department-teamname> naming convention. For example, the Academic Support Resources web team is "umn-asr-web".

How do I grant access to non-University employees?

  • An Internet ID with Active Directory access is required for access to You may obtain a sponsored account for any non-University employees who need access to GitHub. When requesting an account, make sure that you check the box to request Active Directory access; it is not enabled by default. Unlike sponsored accounts, departmental accounts by policy cannot be granted AD access, so they cannot be used for access to GitHub.
  • Alternatively, you could use an external source control solution offered by the vendor or purchased temporarily for the duration of the vendor collaboration/project. If this solution is Git (such as, this would involve the vendor providing repo access to the relevant University employees and then having each of these University developers push their changes to two remotes. I.e. €˜git push vendor_origin master' and €˜git push origin master' (at Another method would be to have developers push to €˜vendor_origin' for the duration of the project, and then do a final push/merge to €˜origin' at the end.

Additional Resources

Information about using Git and GitHub in general can be found at the Git-SCM website and the GitHub website.