GitHub now offers unlimited free private repositories with up to 3 collaborators

GitHub now offers unlimited free private repositories with up to 3 collaborators

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GitHub is one of the most popular ways out there for developers to host and share source code. It’s not uncommon to see a link to a GitHub project in a custom kernel thread on the XDA Forums, for example. Many apps hosted on XDA Labs also have their source code hosted on GitHub. This is one use for the service: a convenient way to share code.

However, GitHub has another use that differentiates it from a normal file hosting service like Google Drive. It implements a version-control system, or VCS. A VCS is able to track every update a project receives, and list exactly what changed and when. This is arguably why most people use GitHub, especially in collaborative projects: It’s easy to keep track of changes and revert them if needed.

Many people and organizations actually want their code to be private while retaining the convenience of an online VCS. Because of this, GitHub has had the option to create private repositories, which only authorized users can access. However, they weren’t free (except for students). If you were a single developer who wanted a private repository, it would cost you $7 every month. For teams, it was $9 per developer per month. That can be expensive if developing is just a hobby.

Recently, though, GitHub announced that it’s making private repositories available to everyone. As of January 7, 2019, all accounts, even free ones, can create and manage private repositories. It’s not the full experience, however. Free private repositories have a maximum of three collaborators, which means only four people can work on them at once. Even with this limitation, though, it’s a welcome change.

If you’re a developer, professional, hobbyist, or otherwise, this is definitely something to check out. You never know when a private repository could come in handy.