Please read if you are using starter code outside of your GitHub Classroom organization for an assignment

Could you possibly share how you did this? I forked my private repo from an external organization into the classroom organization and the classroom can still not see the repository as starter code.

@delrocco, would you mind opening up a Support ticket so I can give you more direct help. I don’t want to spam this thread but also don’t want to mix in your help with my longer and more consolidated response to the concerns here to make sure you get the help you need!

You can do that here. Thank you!

I was able to move future assignments but for in-progress assignments I am getting the error message:

has insufficient collaborator seats

At this moment half the students have an ok repository and half of the students will not be able to get one.

Making assignments public means I will have to create a new assignment for next term. Your “security fix” is creating a lot of unneeded work.

Your abrupt communication created work and an awkward situation. Had I been aware I could have prepped, I would have not had this situation.

The trick here is that some of us use the same curriculum for multiple classes – so we want multiple classrooms, but one ONE organization for the templates. I have no problem with having teh templates public, so not too big a deal (they don’t have solutions in them anyway)


w0244079 …
There are a few steps that need to be done before you can upgrade the classroom (see link below)

Just realize that that the post above has not yet been updated to reflect the latest updates this thread is all about

After that you must go to the upgrade page (see link below)
…and upgrade each organization to insure that the repositories in those organizations can be private even though they are on a free tier.

1 Like

Thanks for the quick response!

Thank you.

I’ve given my students the code directly (since it so little for these assignments). I told them that we may not be able to resolve it through proper GitHub Classroom repo for now, and for those that weren’t able to get their repos cloned/working, to just submit through our LMS (Blackboard).

I will then use the fork-ing situation for the next assignments.

Keep in mind, I still do think it is weird for me to have an organization that my tutors/TAs have access to for the assignment templates and solutions, and now I have to fork those assignment templates just to popular student assignment repos. That is an extra step I will have to do every semester for every separate course/section…

1 Like

Dear GitHub Classroom maintainers,

I’ve found this thread thanks to a GH Classroom UI notification in an old assignment.
So, I’ve migrated my Private repositories (starters) within the organization that hosts the students assignments.

However, the creation of a new Individual assignment relying on a Private repository starter does not seem to work anymore for me (and likewise for creating an assignment with no starter, and Editing the assignment subsequently to (try to) set a Private starter) → I always end up with a 500 error:

The issue does not occur if the starter repo is made Public though.

(FTR, I’ve opened a ticket in so the issue can be tracked more easily from your side)

That would be nice, but a breaking change this severe really should result in a more proactive notification, e.g. a generated email saying “The follow Classroom assignments will no longer work in 10 days” or some such.


Lucky for us, teachers are used to rolling w/ the punches, amirite :wink:
After the 2020 changes, this is small potatoes…

Still, I think we all deserve an “I survived the great GitHub template repository change 2021” t-shirt. :grimacing:


@erikmd, I believe you are on this thread as well but just in case this issue has been fixed!

Thanks @ohitsmekatie !
Indeed, I confirm the issue is fixed for me as well :slight_smile:

1 Like

I’ve read a few replies to other people and found this:

Is it right that the response to ‘how do we find out in good time in future?’ is ‘read our blog’?

An email that says “This feature you are using is going to break and here’s what to do about it” is what I want, not “please periodically read our blog”. Is this possible?


@prowlett Yes! Apologies, I was trying to avoid spamming this thread too much and paused on responses. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

In addition to the GitHub Changelog we will absolutely be more proactive about features and changes that will be disruptive and potentially break your workflow. We’ll definitely rely on a mix of in-app notifications as well as email for these for those that will be affected in the future.

We’ll mostly be using the Changelog and Blog for feature launches and updates on bug fixes. In the cases where there will be a breaking change we’ll use both the Changelog and proactive notifications like you mentioned.


Sounds good, thank you.


You can’t fork a private repository into an organization on a free plan??

So, I have a PRO account.
I have an organization for myself and my TAs with primary assignment and solution private repos.
I have an organization for the current semester in GitHub Classroom (all private repos).
We’ve already established (this thread) that I cannot use the private repos directly from the other organization.
So now I’m trying to fork the repos so I can use them and I get the above error…
Do I have to literally make a full copy of the repos now to my semester organization? Or wat?

I would like to point out that all of the solutions mentioned here DID NOT WORK for me. What did work for me was as follows:

My students were “outside collaborators” to my “organization” (Yorba Linda High School).
Once I made them “members” of our organization, THEN and only then could the students accept my GitHub classroom assignments that had private or public code templates!

More detailed discussion of what I did here:

While it’s an interesting workaround, unfortunately I don’t want to make my students members of the original organization with my all my starter code private repos because I also have the solution repos up there as well and only my TAs and tutors and myself are members of that organization.

I was hoping we could just straight up use or fork these private assignment repos over the semester specific organizations to create the assignment repos for the students…

At this point, since forking isn’t working either, and I create a new organization each semester anyway for the student assignment repos, I’m just importing the starter repos over. So now I have a complete duplicate starter repo in the semester organization which the assignments are created from… But it’s not a big deal. I almost never update these starter repos after they’ve been assigned for the semester. And I can just trash the semester specific organization later (or keep it archived) and make a new one each semester.

Is there any chance that this change also contributed to my new problem, which appeared on a similar timescale? gh-pages branch not deployed after students accept assignment

© 2017 GitHub, Inc.
with by
GitHub Education