Outside readonly user

I am looking to have have my company repos hosted on GitHub under Team plan. However, as we are a consulting company, we have repositories that are for different clients and we usually like to provide readonly access to our clients for their work.

While I have no problem paying for Team access for team members under our company, it seems that GitHub does not provide readonly access and would count each of these external accesses as “outside collaborator” and these take up a seat. We might end up paying for a lot of these observing readonly users as we have different clients. Creating a GitHub org for each client sounds counter-productive.

Does GitHub has something like Slack where outside users are not chargeable but are still able to collaborate in a restricted manner (for Slack, it would be invite to join a limited amount of channels).

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This is just some advice, you should contact GH Support before making decisions about this , however I have a Developer subscription and can provide other people access to private repo’s, but only read & write access I think.

Maybe this thread will help: https://github.community/t5/How-to-use-Git-and-GitHub/Can-I-give-read-only-access-to-a-private-repo-from-a-developer/td-p/1967 , but the best advice I can give still is to just contact Support. They are quick and friendly.

Thanks. My concern is not so much a technical one, but a financial one, having to take up a seat for each client (some has multiple users) seems rather unreasonable, esp. the fact that we may be hosting the project repo for a long time even after project conclusion.

Have emailed GitHub support as you suggested. Let’s see what they say.


What did you end up doing? I have a similar setup and have been asked by my client to give read-only access to a potential buyer as part of due diligence. I don’t want to convert to an Organization account for what is essentially a one-time access.

For better or for worse, I’m using a personal developer account right now to do that though I would prefer to be using Organization account if GitHub could come up with a fair plan for this.

Hi @blueskysd and @uzyn,

Thanks for this feedback! We’re always working to improve GitHub, and we consider every suggestion and request we receive. I’ve logged your feeback on this internally. Though I can’t guarantee anything or share a timeline for this, I can tell you that it’s been shared with the appropriate teams for consideration.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.


@uzyn Did you end up giving read/write access? I was under the impression that there was no read-only option for developer accounts. If there is I’d love to know!