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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Introduction to GitHub: Creating Repositories

This guide introduces users to the GitHub Desktop application and provides an overview of basic GitHub functions and workflows. The guide is based on the Savvy Researcher workshop of the same name.

Creating Repositories

Creating Repositories

GitHub repositories can be created through the desktop application or through your account at

To create a repository through the website, login to your account at Then click on the green "New" button in the upper left corner. This will take you to a new page where you will enter some information about your repository. The only required information is a name. You also have the option to create a description for your repository, and to choose whether to make your repository private or public (assuming you have access to private repositories).

Finally you have the option to initialize your repository with a README. It is highly recommended to do this as README files allow you to create documentation for your repository. By default, they will have the name of your repository at the top, along with any description that you have created. To learn more about READMEs and documenting your work on GitHub, see the GitHub Guide, "Documenting your projects on GitHub."

Creating repositories using the desktop application requires a similar process, though there is minor variation depending on which operating system and version of the application you are using. In the upper left corner of the application window, click on the plus symbol or the “File” menu (depending on your operating system), and select the option for creating a new repository. You will need to create a name for your repository. Moreover, note that when you create a repository using the desktop application, GitHub creates a file on your computer for that repository. After you have entered a name, click on “Create Repository”.