Importing Git projects using the command line is suitable when your existing code is hosted on a private network.

Before you start, make sure you know:

  • Your GitHub Enterprise username
  • The clone URL for the external repository, such as or git:// (perhaps with a user@ in front of the domain name)

For purposes of demonstration, we'll use:

  • An external account named extuser
  • An external Git host named
  • A GitHub Enterprise personal user account named ghuser
  • A GitHub Enterprise repository named repo.git
  1. Create a new repository on GitHub Enterprise. You'll import your external Git repository to this new repository.
  2. On the command line, make a "bare" clone of the repository using the external clone URL. This creates a full copy of the data, but without a working directory for editing files, and ensures a clean, fresh export of all the old data.

    git clone --bare
    # Makes a bare clone of the external repository in a local directory
  3. Push the locally cloned repository to GitHub Enterprise using the "mirror" option, which ensures that all references, such as branches and tags, are copied to the imported repository.

    cd repo.git
    git push --mirror https://hostname/ghuser/repo.git
    # Pushes the mirror to the new GitHub Enterprise repository
  4. Remove the temporary local repository.

    cd ..
    rm -rf repo.git