GitHub's New Command Line Tool Goes GA

GitHub has announced the general availability of its new command-line tool, GitHub CLI. With this new tool, GitHub aims to provide a more seamless way for developers to interact with their GitHub repositories from the command line.

Back in February, GitHub announced the beta release of the tool with the tagline, "CLI brings the GitHub experience right to your terminal." Since then, users have created more than 250,000 pull requests, performed over 350,000 merges, and created about 20,000 issues, said GitHub product designer Amanda Pinsker in a blog post. "We've received so much thoughtful feedback," she said.

Pinsker listed the essential capabilities provided by GitHub CLI 1.0. With it, developers can:

  • Run their entire GitHub workflow from the terminal, from issues through releases.
  • Call the GitHub API to script nearly any action, and set a custom alias for any command.
  • Connect to GitHub Enterprise Server in addition to
Pinsker includes a thorough rundown on how to use GitHub CLI for an entire GitHub workflow in her blog post.

The popular, Microsoft-owned software hosting and collaboration platform has designated CLI as GitHub's official command-line tool. It effectively replaces a popular, but unofficial command-line tool called Hub.

"We wrestled with the decision of whether to continue building onto HUB and adopt it as an official GitHub project," GitHub staff project manager Billy Griffin wrote on the GitHub CLI page. "In weighing different possibilities, we decided to start fresh without the constraints of 10 years of design decisions that Hub has baked in and without the assumption that Hub can be safely aliased to Git. We also wanted to be more opinionated and focused on GitHub workflows, and doing this with Hub had the risk of alienating many Hub users who love the existing tool and expected it to work in the way they were used to."

GitHub isn't shutting down Hub or doing anything to change it, Griffin added, but the focus of the organization is now on GitHub CLI.

GitHub CLI is available for repositories hosted on and GitHub Enterprise Server 2.20+, and it's available to download on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].