You can include an open source license in your repository to make it easier for other people to contribute.

If you include a detectable license in your repository, people who visit your repository will see it at the top of the repository page. To read the entire license file, click the license name.

A repository header with an MIT license

Open source licenses enable others to freely use, change, and distribute the project in your repository. For more information on repository licenses, see "Licensing a repository."

Including an open source license in your repository

  1. On GitHub, navigate to the main page of the repository.

  2. Above the file list, click Create new file. The New file button

  3. In the file name field, type LICENSE or LICENSE.txt (with all caps). The file name field with LICENSE filled in

  4. To the right of the file name, click Choose a license: None to choose your desired license. If you don't find the license you want, manually paste the full text. The Choose a license drop-down button

  5. At the bottom of the page, type a short, meaningful commit message that describes the change you made to the file. Commit message for your change

  6. Below the commit message fields, decide whether to add your commit to the current branch or to a new branch. If your current branch is master, you should choose to create a new branch for your commit and then create a pull request. Commit branch options

  7. Click Propose new file. Commit new file button

Further reading