Clones with no content (known issue)

Please see the attached screenshot from my GitHub Classroom page for an assignment that I just handed out this morning.


Notice how some of the students have zero commits? If I click there, I get exactly what GitHub normally shows when a repo is completely empty, i.e., the usual instructions for how to push content to the repo. This seems to have impacted exactly three out of 29 students who’ve done the process. (My full enrollment is roughly 170 right now, and I expect the bulk of the clones to be made in the next day or two.)

I’m using the standard GitHub Classroom process of uploading a repo and putting it in as “starter code” for an “individual assignment.”

My workaround, for now anyway, was to manually do a git push into those empty repos.


Hey Dan,

Thanks for posting about this. This shouldn’t be happening. Can you please email with links to the three students assignment repositories in GitHub Classroom that show zero commits?

Also, please include a link to this discussion thread for context.

We’ll try and get this sorted out ASAP.

John Britton


I had the same problem this morning (09:40 UTC-3). One of my students cloned an empty repository. The solution was: (1) delete student’s repository; (2) I asked student to clone it again.

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@emersonmello @danwallach my hunch is that this is a GitHub issue, rather than a GitHub Classroom issue (we use the importer tool to get these repos set up).

In the meantime please do delete/try again, and @danwallach if you wouldn’t mind filing an Issue, I would be much obliged:

Issue filed, but I can’t put the student names in public. As instructed, I sent all that to

I’m facing the same issue. One student out of 35 got the default and not my starter code. I’m new enough to GitHub that I might not be fully understanding everything. I tried removing the student from my classroom and also importing a clone but have not been successful. If I’m cloning a repository to his account,how do I get one from my account?

Thanks @danwallach–we’ll see what we can do with the importer. Apologies.

@MsRioux if you delete the student’s repository and re-send the invitation link, does it work?

Also @danwallach’s solution of manually pushing to those empty repos should work. Apologies.