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?

  • 1
    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
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 13:33
  • 1
    You're right. If you want to receive e-mail notifications for commits on projects you are watching, you might want to have a look at this project: github.com/AurelienLourot/github-commit-watcher (Disclaimer: I'm the original author).
    – Aurélien
    Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 15:30
  • 1
    @Aurelien wow your script looks pretty nice! I'll play some with it for sure ;) +1
    – Gruber
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 19:23

3 Answers 3


Unfortunately, There's no way to do this through Github.com 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). https://zapier.com/zapbook/github/rss/3489/post-github-notifications-rss/


    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: http://www.warski.org/blog/2013/04/per-commit-e-mail-github-notifications/

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


    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: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/spoi-filter/eepgdapnfglikioooabknaoadejkhini


    The SPOI filter RSS extension is completely free

  4. Finally, you can also try http://www.hubnotify.com/.

    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

  • 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
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 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. Commented Jun 20, 2014 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
    Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 13:15
  • HubNotify gives notifications for new tags, not new commits, according to their own description.
    – Aurélien
    Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 12:25

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!


You can change it in notification center:


  • 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
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 13:28

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