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GITHUB for Brown - Knowledgebase / Technical Systems - OIT Service Center

GITHUB for Brown

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GitHub for Brown

GitHub Education is an Enterprise level GitHub service for managing source code and teams of collaborators on source code. CIS is making this service available to authorized groups in the Brown community to foster better software development.

GitHub Account

GitHub's accounts are globally unique to GitHub. Your Brown ShortID may not be available on GitHub.  You may already have a GitHub account for personal or non-Brown related code work. You can use this for Brown's GitHub access as well. Brown does not have any special access to other projects on GitHub. Brown can only see and manage access to its own Organizations.

If you don't already have a GitHub account, you can join using this link: GitHub Join

Understanding Visibility

GitHub is built on an Open Source philosophy where repositories are meant to be open to public view unless specified otherwise. This is important to understand when using's services. Brown strongly recommends using private repositories until you and your team are comfortable enough with software development practices that you will not be exposing any sensitive information. Sensitive information in this context could include (but not limited to):

  • Passwords
  • Encryption key
  • Access keys
  • Service account credentials
  • Proprietary software (not open source)
  • User data


Types of repositories

  • Public - Visible to the world to view, even without Brown credentials (Default)
  • Internal - Visible to anyone with Brown credentials and GitHub access (needs both)
  • Private - Hidden to all unless explicitly allowed (teams and individuals)

Visibility does not mean writable. Write access to a repo is managed in each repo's settings by the owner, usually the person who created it. That person would be able to invite users or teams and determine what level of access they would have.

Software Licenses

GitHub is built on providing tools for Open Source projects. To this end it provides Open Source compatible licenses for new repositories. Before selecting a license, please review Brown's Patent and Invention Policy.

Avoid storing personal software projects in Brown managed organizations.

Existing code

If you are modifying existing code that is already under an Open Source license, you must abide by the terms of that license. Normally if that code is used only internally to your team or department then you will not have to worry about it's distribution clauses. If you are sharing the code with a larger audience (Public or Internal repository), please read and understand the conditions of the license the code is under.

New code

If you are creating new code you should leave the license as None for now and ensure it's repository is Private or Internal.

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Contact the OIT Service Center

Phone: 401-863-4357


Location: Page Robinson Hall - 69 Brown St., Room 510

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For reserved service for a technical consult or a loaner check-out, you can schedule an appointment here.