I'd like to send out a URL to an external team such that anyone who clicks on it can join my private repository as a collaborator using a read-only role.

I don't want individually to add every person who needs access, nor do I want to give someone else the authority to do this.

Is there any way to do this using GitHub?

  • 1
    The answer will likely depend on the service. You should limit your question to asking about one or the other.
    – ale
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 17:49
  • Thanks @ale. This question is now only about Github; whereas this one is about Bitbucket.
    – Jedi
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 0:08

1 Answer 1


Only someone with admin rights to the repository can add collaborators, so there's no way for a potential collaborator to automatically add themselves via a URL.

However, you can use the GitHub API to programmatically add collaborators. You can make use of the API in several ways. Here are two possible approaches:

  • Write a script to add any and all users as collaborators, either as a one-time execution or to use on-demand when you have new users to add.
  • If you have access to a web server, Microsoft form, or some other method for having the user submit a request or respond to a request, write a server-side script to add any user who responds to your email/form/etc. as a collaborator.

The second approach would be more precise, as it wouldn't add users who don't want to be collaborators, but it would also require more setup.

  • 1
    Thanks. This will take a little bit of work; but it solves my problem.
    – Jedi
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 17:43

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