Linking to an issue without creating a reference

Is there a way to include a link in a commit message or PR that doesn’t create a reference on the target repository?

Say I’m developing a project at bstinsonmhk/foo and I rely on a library anotheruser/bar, Can I link to anotheruser/bar/issues/1234 without it showing up in their comment stream? They may not care that I’m referencing their issue for my own administrative purposes. 


No, there isn’t a way to prevent that cross-linking from occurring. On the flip side, that cross-link event is only visible to the people that have access to the repository from which the link originated. So if you link to a public repository from a private repository of your own, the only people that will be able to see the link event is yourself and whomever you grant access to your private repository.

I hope that helps!


Linking without references would be a useful feature.

I currently resort to just naming PRs by number without linking anymore (which is stupid).

I don’t want to cause a reference upstream when just prototyping something and I mention the related upstream issue.

On projects I maintain we also get stupid references like this in the discussion stream which just makes it harder to follow what’s important.

It has gotten to a point where I often ignore references, simply because > 90% of them are accidental.

I think cross-repo links also shouldn’t produce a reference in discussion stream by default.


I am recently bumping into this (literally today), would like to see this feature as a configuration.

Ditto … I find this annoying/embarrassing when I just want to reference an issue in my PR and it creates some links in the issue itself. I’m just mentioning it for info, not for the upstream repo to do anything about.

I’ve seen usage of (a redirect domain) to achieve cross-linking without creating references.

This domain is what GitHub - renovatebot/renovate: Universal dependency update tool that fits into your workflows. uses when the bot makes comments.

Using an external domain for redirection is not a native GitHub feature tough, and of course the alternative domain may simply vanish or do evil without warning.

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What if you temporarily make your repo private, push the commits, then un-private it?

This is a horrible feature to not be able to opt-out of. I’m adding commits in my code to work around issues in someone else’s software; I want to properly document both what I’ve done and the paper trail behind why I’ve done it, but it seems seriously passive-aggressive to be piling events onto the issue I just reported… “No. It’s fine. I’ll just polyfill it myself.” :rofl:

FWIW one imperfect solution is to surround the link with backticks. This does in fact NOT create a link, but it’s not that annoying to copy and follow the link (some might even have mouse/keyboard shortcuts to do just that). I prefer that over relying that will have the same lifetime as