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A CLI tool for managing large amounts of GitHub repositories

Project description

RepoBee - Tooling for administrating Git repositories on GitHub and GitLab

Build Status Code Coverage Documentation Status PyPi Version Supported Python Versions Supported Platforms License Code Style: Black

Important: RepoBee v2.3.0 is out now. The main attraction is full support for GitLab, but it also includes various stability fixes and a few features on the GitHub side of things. See the release notes for details


RepoBee is a command line interface (CLI) tool for administrating large amounts of Git repositories on the GitHub and GitLab platforms, both cloud and self-hosted. The most basic use case is to automate generation of student repositories based on master (i.e. template) repositories, that can contain for example instructions and skeleton code. Given one or more master repositories, generating copies of these for students or groups is a single command away! That is however just scratching the surface: RepoBee also has functionality for updating student repos (maybe you forgot something?), batch cloning of student repos (convenient when correcting tasks), giving students read-only access to other students' repos for peer review, and more at that! There is also a plugin system in place that allows Python programmers to expand RepoBee in various ways, and end users can simply install plugins created by others. An example of such a plugin is repobee-junit4, which runs teacher-defined JUnit4 test classes on Java code in cloned student repos.

RepoBee is currently being used for the introductory courses in computer science at KTH Royal Technical Institute of Technology. The courses have roughly 200 students and several thousands of repositories, allowing us to test RepoBee at quite a large scale.

Citing RepoBee in an academic context

If you want to reference RepoBee in a paper, please cite the following paper:

Simon Larsén and Richard Glassey. 2019. RepoBee: Developing Tool Support for Courses using Git/GitHub. In Proceedings of the 2019 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE '19). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 534-540. DOI:

Feature highlights

  • Compatible with both GitHub and GitLab (both cloud and self-hosted)
    • GitLab support is in alpha and is continuosly being updated, see the GitLab docs for details.
  • Generate repositories for students based on master (template) repositories
  • Clone student repositories in batches
  • Peer review features: give students read access to other students' repositories to do code review. Easily revoke read access once reviews are done.
  • Support for group assignments (multiple students per repository)
  • Open, close and list issues for select student repositories
  • Extend RepoBee with the plugin system
  • Very little configuration required on the GitHub/GitLab side
    • The only requirement is to have an Organization/Group with private repository capabilities!
  • No local configuration required


RepoBee is on PyPi, so python3 -m pip install repobee should do the trick. See the install instructions for more elaborate instructions.

Getting started

The best way to get started with RepoBee is to head over to the Docs, where you (among other things) will find the user guide. It covers the use of RepoBee's varous commands by way of practical example, and should set you on the right path with little effort.

Why RepoBee?

RepoBee was developed at KTH Royal Technical Institute of Technology to help teachers and TAs administrate GitHub repositories. It's a tool for teachers, by teachers, and we use it in our everyday work. All of the features in RepoBee are being actively used by us, and so should also be useful to other teachers. For newcomers, RepoBee offers an opinionated workflow that is easy to adopt, while the more advanced users can utilize the plugin system to augment their experience. We also recognize that lock-in is a problem, and therefore provide compatibility with both GitHub and GitLab, with hopes of also expanding support to Bitbucket at some point. But what you're really looking for is probably what RepoBee can do, so below is a complete list of RepoBee's functionality as described by the --help option (plugins not included!).

$ repobee -h
usage: repobee [-h] [-v]

A CLI tool for administrating large amounts of git repositories on GitHub and
GitLab instances. See the full documentation at

positional arguments:
    setup               Setup student repos.
    update              Update existing student repos.
    migrate             Migrate repositories into the target organization.
    clone               Clone student repos.
    open-issues         Open issues in student repos.
    close-issues        Close issues in student repos.
    list-issues         List issues in student repos.
    assign-reviews      Assign students to peer review each others' repos.
    check-reviews       Check which students have opened peer review issues.
    end-reviews         Delete review allocations created by `assign-reviews`.
                        DESTRUCTIVE ACTION: read help section before using.
    show-config         Show the configuration file
    verify-settings     Verify core settings.
    config-wizard       Interactive configuration wizard to set up the config

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -v, --version         Display version info


As of December 17th 2018, RepoBee's CLI is a stable release and adheres to Semantic Versioning 2.0.0. The internals of RepoBee do not adhere to this versioning, so using RepoBee as a library is not recommended.

The plugin system is considered to be in the alpha phase, as it has seen much less live action use than the rest of the CLI. Features are highly unlikely to be cut, but hooks may be modified as new use-cases arise as the internals of RepoBee need to be altered. If you develop a plugin, please get in touch so that can be taken into consideration if breaking changes are introduced to the plugin system.

Upcoming features

There is still a lot in store for RepoBee. Below is a roadmap for major features that are in the works.

Feature Status ETA
Video tutorials Work in progress September 2019
GUI Planning Late 2019


This software is licensed under the MIT License. See the LICENSE file for specifics.

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