To install GitHub Enterprise on Amazon Web Services (AWS), you must launch an EC2 instance and create and attach a separate EBS data volume.

In this guide


  • You must have a GitHub Enterprise license file. To download an existing license file or request a trial license, visit For more information, see "License files."

  • You must have an AWS account capable of launching EC2 instances and creating EBS volumes. For more information, see the Amazon Web Services website.

  • Most actions needed to launch your instance may also be performed using the AWS management console, however we recommend installing the AWS command line interface (CLI) for initial setup. Examples using the AWS CLI are included below. For more information, see Amazon's guide "What is the AWS Command Line Interface."

This guide assumes you are familiar with the following AWS concepts:

Hardware considerations

GitHub Enterprise requires a persistent data disk separate from the root disk. For more information, see "System overview."

Based on your seat count, we recommend this hardware configuration:

Seats vCPUs Memory Attached Storage Root Storage
10-500 2 16 GB 100 GB 200 GB
500-3000 4 32 GB 250 GB 200 GB
3000-5000 8 64 GB 500 GB 200 GB
5000-8000 12 72 GB 750 GB 200 GB
8000-10000+ 16 128 GB 1000 GB 200 GB

These are minimum recommendations. More resources may be required depending on your usage, such as user activity and selected integrations.

Note: The root disk can be resized by building a new appliance or using an existing appliance. For more information, see "Increasing storage capacity."

Warning: We recommend you use webhooks to fetch repository changes for continuous integration (CI) or similar systems. Regular automatic checks, or polling, will significantly reduce the scalability of your instance. For more information, see "About webhooks"

Determining the instance type

Before launching your GitHub Enterprise instance on AWS, you'll need to determine the type of virtual machine that best fits the needs of your organization.

Supported instance types

GitHub Enterprise is supported on the following EC2 instance types. For more information, see the AWS EC2 instance type overview page.

C3 C4 M3 M4 R3 R4 X1
c3.2xlarge c4.2xlarge m3.xlarge m4.xlarge r3.large r4.large x1.16xlarge
c3.4xlarge c4.4xlarge m3.2xlarge m4.2xlarge r3.xlarge r4.xlarge x1.32xlarge
c3.8xlarge c4.8xlarge m4.4xlarge r3.2xlarge r4.2xlarge
m4.10xlarge r3.4xlarge r4.4xlarge
m4.16xlarge r3.8xlarge r4.8xlarge

Recommended instance types

Based on your seat count, we recommend the following instance types.

Seat Range Recommended Type
10 - 500 r4.large
500 - 3000 r4.xlarge
3000 - 5000 r4.2xlarge
5000 - 8000 r4.4xlarge
8000 - 10000+ r4.8xlarge

Note: You can always scale up your CPU or memory by resizing your instance. However, because resizing your CPU or memory requires downtime for your users, we recommend over-provisioning resources to account for scale.

Selecting the GitHub Enterprise AMI

You can select an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) for GitHub Enterprise using the GitHub Enterprise Portal or the AWS CLI.

AMIs for GitHub Enterprise are available in the AWS GovCloud (US) region. This allows US customers with specific regulatory requirements to run GitHub Enterprise in a federally compliant cloud environment. For more information on AWS's compliance with federal and other standards, see AWS's compliance page.

Using the GitHub Enterprise Portal to select an AMI

  1. Navigate to the GitHub Enterprise download page.

  2. Click Get the latest release of GitHub Enterprise.

  3. In the Select your platform drop-down menu, click Amazon Web Services.

  4. In the Select your AWS region drop-down menu, choose your desired region.
  5. Take note of the AMI ID that is displayed.

Using the AWS CLI to select an AMI

  1. Using the AWS CLI, get a list of GitHub Enterprise images published by GitHub's AWS owner IDs (025577942450 for GovCloud, and 895557238572 for other regions). For more information, see "describe-images" in the AWS documentation.

    aws ec2 describe-images \
    --owners OWNER ID \
    --query 'sort_by(Images,&Name)[*].{Name:Name,ImageID:ImageId}' \
  2. Take note of the AMI ID for the latest GitHub Enterprise image.

Creating a security group

If you're setting up your AMI for the first time, you will need to create a security group and add a new security group rule for each port in the table below. For more information, see the AWS guide "Using Security Groups."

  1. Using the AWS CLI, create a new security group. For more information, see "create-security-group" in the AWS documentation.

    aws ec2 create-security-group --group-name SECURITY_GROUP_NAME --description "SECURITY GROUP DESCRIPTION"
  2. Take note of the security group ID (sg-xxxxxxxx) of your newly created security group.

  3. Create a security group rule for each of the ports in the table below. For more information, see "authorize-security-group-ingress" in the AWS documentation.

    aws ec2 authorize-security-group-ingress --group-id SECURITY_GROUP_ID --protocol PROTOCOL --port PORT_NUMBER --cidr SOURCE IP RANGE

    This table identifies what each port is used for:

    Port Service Description
    22 SSH Git over SSH access. Clone, fetch, and push operations to public/private repositories supported.
    25 SMTP SMTP with encryption (STARTTLS) support.
    80 HTTP Web application access. All requests are redirected to the HTTPS port when SSL is enabled.
    122 SSH Instance shell access. The default SSH port (22) is dedicated to application git+ssh network traffic.
    161/UDP SNMP Required for network monitoring protocol operation.
    443 HTTPS Web application and Git over HTTPS access.
    1194/UDP VPN Secure replication network tunnel in High Availability configuration.
    8080 HTTP Plain-text web based Management Console. Not required unless SSL is disabled manually
    8443 HTTPS Secure web based Management Console. Required for basic installation and configuration.
    9418 Git Simple Git protocol port. Clone and fetch operations to public repositories only. Unencrypted network communication.

Creating the GitHub Enterprise instance

To create the instance, you'll need to launch an EC2 instance with your GitHub Enterprise AMI and attach an additional storage volume for your instance data. For more information, see "Hardware considerations."

Note: You can encrypt the data disk to gain an extra level of security and ensure that any data you write to your instance is protected. There is a slight peformance impact when using encrypted disks. If you decide to encrypt your volume, we strongly recommend doing so before starting your instance for the first time. For more information, see the Amazon guide on EBS encryption.

Warning: If you decide to enable encryption after you've configured your instance, you will need to migrate your data to the encrypted volume, which will incur some downtime for your users.

Launching an EC2 instance

In the AWS CLI, launch an EC2 instance using your AMI and the security group you created. Attach a new block device to use as a storage volume for your instance data, and configure the size based on your seat count. For more information, see "run-instances" in the AWS documentation.

aws ec2 run-instances \
  --security-group-ids SECURITY_GROUP_ID \
  --instance-type INSTANCE_TYPE \
  --image-id AMI_ID \
  --block-device-mappings '[{"DeviceName":"/dev/xvdf","Ebs":{"VolumeSize":SIZE,"VolumeType":"TYPE"}}]' \
  --region REGION \

Allocating an Elastic IP and associating it with the instance

If this is a production instance, we strongly recommend allocating an Elastic IP (EIP) and associating it with the instance before proceeding to GitHub Enterprise configuration. Otherwise, the public IP address of the instance will not be retained after instance restarts. For more information, see "Allocating an Elastic IP Address" and "Associating an Elastic IP Address with a Running Instance" in the Amazon documentation.

Both primary and replica instances should be assigned separate EIPs in production High Availability configurations. For more information, see "Configuring GitHub Enterprise for High Availability."

Configuring the GitHub Enterprise instance

  1. Copy the VM's public DNS name, and paste it into a web browser.

  2. At the prompt, upload your license file and set a management console password. For more information, see "License files."

  3. In the Management Console, configure and save your desired settings. For more information, see "Configuring the GitHub Enterprise appliance."

  4. The instance will restart automatically.

  5. Click Visit your instance.

Further reading