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I've starred a project on Github. I'd like to receive via email notification of major updates of that project (basically commits on the master branch).

I know there is the "Watch" options but I don't really want to receive emails for all issues and so on, I just want official updates on the project.

How can I do this?

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Also AFAIK watching a project doesn't give you anyway what I'm asking for, even if you receive all notifications it's only on issues and pull requests, not a proper commit notification on the master branch, am I wrong on this? – Gruber Jun 20 '14 at 13:33

3 Answers 3

Unfortunately, There's no way to do this through web/desktop interface

Here's what I have found (some I've tried) and I list in order of BEST to WORST solution:

  1. Zapier:

    Does EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT and THEN SOME... it will let you configure:

    • user
    • repo
    • branch

    and then allows you to filter on what looks like all the GitHub API fields (well over 20+) like:

    • committer name
    • commit id
    • commit message
    • commit time
    • tag
    • etc...

    It then creates a custom, private RSS feed that you can consume however you want and set up whatever alerting you need (desktop, mobile, ...whatever).


    Unfortunately, the Zapier Free Tier allows for only:

    • up to 5 "zaps" (analogous to IFTTT's recipes - [see below]), and
    • up to 100 events/triggers/actions per month.

    Although, this doesn't compare to IFTTT's free and unlimited recipes and events, I think it's still a good backup for those uniques situations that IFTTT just isn't robust enough for.

    In any event, I think you can get full, unlimited funcationality with a 14-day free trial, which you can then downgrade to the Free Tier.

  2. IFTTT:

    If you haven't tried IFTTT yet, you should drop what you're doing, and check it out ASAP.

    Here are some instructions for building a recipe for per-commit email notifications:

    I'm sure you could find even more recipes on the


    IFTTT is completely free with unlimited recipes and triggers/events/actions

  3. Use a browser RSS extension that allows you to filter on keywords that would trigger on info about major releases.

    Here's a Chrome Extension (the SPOI filter RSS extension) that will do this for Feedly:


    The SPOI filter RSS extension is completely free

  4. Finally, you can also try

    This works well, but only notifies by email when there is an update to something you are watching, so no filtering, bells & whistles, or ways to determine if a major commit has occurred.

    On the other hand, it:

    • has a clean interface
    • is simple and easy to use
    • allows you to see all the repos you are watching in one place, and...
    • choose which of those to get alerts for, and...
    • further whether to receive them:
      1. immediately
      2. daily
      3. weekly
      4. monthly



    HubNotify is completely free

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IFTTT looks like an awesome app, and your finding is indeed a good point, too bad not a native solution on github is available for such a simple and imo basic feature. +1 indeed, probably accepted answer as soon as I played around with IFTTT a bit ;) – Gruber Jun 20 '14 at 20:55
good luck. oh... as for Zapier, which is more robust than IFTTT. With a FREE Zapier account, you can in fact have up to 5 "zaps" (analogous to IFTTT's recipes), and up to 100 events/triggers/actions... which is not many, granted, but for those uniques situations that IFTTT just can't handle, it might be a nice "extra" option. – Flak DiNenno Jun 20 '14 at 21:09
Well after tinkering, IFTTT worked as intended and it's quite functional! For now this is my accepted answer indeed, nice finding! – Gruber Jun 21 '14 at 13:15
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Actually there is finally a super simple service doing right what is needed

Get with github account, and you can get notification of new releases based on watch and/or stars. Totally free! It can get even more granular on a per base repository filter with some premium features, totally awesome!

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You can change it in notification center:

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As said above, I know about the notifications panels, but its REALLY limited on what you can get notified. You can't filter notifications of projects you are watching, it's all or nothing opt in. – Gruber Jun 20 '14 at 13:28

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