Searching for user's repositories leads to "Unprocessable Entity" failure

I’m trying to get the public repositories of a given Github user using the repository Search API.

For some of the users it works properly, but for some I receive the following:

  "message": "Validation Failed",
  "errors": [
      "message": "The listed users and repositories cannot be searched either because the resources do not exist or you do not have permission to view them.",
      "resource": "Search",
      "field": "q",
      "code": "invalid"
  "documentation_url": ""

For example, the following query will trigger the error:

Going via the web UI ( leads to a message that the user has no public repositories, which is what I expected the search API to return as well. 

Can you please provide details regarding this error and why it happens?


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For whoever is interested in this, it seems that this error can appear if you search for a user that has only private repositories and no public repositories whatsoever.

So as I understand, you have several response options:

  1. User has no private repositories - you will receive a response with his public repositories.

  2. User has private repositories and public repositories - you will receive a response with his public repositories.

  3. User has only private repositories - you will receive this “Validation failed” error.

More details here


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