Privacy & security

Authenticating a new tool with your GitHub account can be scary, so we wanted to be completely transparent about how we integrate with GitHub and make sure your source code is secure. If you want to limit the repos Graphite can access, you can sign in using our GitHub App (see below).

What permissions does Graphite need from GitHub?

Permissions Graphite asks for (and why):

When you sign into the Graphite dashboard for the first time with GitHub, we ask for these permissions

Here's what each of these permissions is used for:

  • Organizations and teams (read-only)
    • Look up and display profile information about your orgs and teams
    • Look up and display profile information (i.e. usernames) of other users in your orgs
    • Look up and display repos in your orgs
  • Personal user data (read-only)
    • Display your name
    • Display your GH username
    • Display your GH profile picture
    • Send you transactional emails about Graphite
  • Repositories (read & write)
    • Look up and display pull requests in your repos
    • Create/update pull requests in your repos
    • Add comments to pull requests (both the automated stack comment and your review comments)
    • Review PRs
    • Merge/land PRs

Permissions Graphite asks for, but doesn't use

Unfortunately, GitHub's scopes for OAuth apps only let us request the blanket repo permission, which includes read & write access that we don't need, and don't use as part of Graphite's operations. These extraneous scopes are:
  • Issues
  • Wikis
  • Settings
  • Webhooks & services
  • Deploy keys
  • Collaboration invites
Graphite does not use these scopes, and we wouldn't ask for them if we weren't forced to by GitHub's limited permissions model for OAuth apps.

Using a GitHub Personal Access Token

By default, GitHub prevents third-party applications from automatically creating API tokens for organizations. This can mean that even though you've authenticated Graphite with your GitHub account, we may not be able to generate the token needed to let you create, view, or update your pull requests (if your org has not changed this setting).
For cases such as this one, where you want to give command line tools and APIs limited access to work with your account, GitHub recommends that you create and use Personal Access Tokens which do have the necessary permissions.
To use a Personal Access Token with Graphite:
  1. 1.
    Generate a new token from on Github and add the following access scopes:
    • repo all scopes
    • Under admin:org
      • read:org
    • Under user
      • read:user
      • user:email
  2. 2.
    [If your org has SSO] Check the token settings page on GitHub and make sure you enable SSO for the Personal Access Token you're using with Graphite.
  3. 3.
    Next, add your new token to Graphite via the Graphite web dashboard settings page.
Once your token is added, you should be able to do the following:
  • Select your repo from the drop-downs in each section of the Graphite web dashboard
  • Run gt stack submit in the Graphite CLI to create pull requests in GitHub for every branch in your stack
If this still doesn't resolve your issue, please ping us on Slack so we can troubleshoot!

Signing into Graphite with a GitHub App

Lastly, if you'd prefer to limit Graphite's access to select repos, you can sign in using our GitHub App when you first create your Graphite account. Here's what the GitHub App signup flow looks like:
When you sign into Graphite using our GitHub App, you can choose which repos you allow Graphite to access
The Graphite GitHub App asks for the following permissions:
  • Read: actions, checks, code, commit statuses, metadata
    • Used to display PRs + their relevant statuses and metadata on Graphite
  • Read & write: pull requests
    • Used to create and display PRs on Graphite
  • Read: user emails
    • Used to send transactional emails about Graphite
Note that depending on your GitHub org's settings, you may have to "request to add" the Graphite GitHub App - one of your GitHub org admins will then have to approve the app for use, at which point you'll be able to sign into Graphite.

What data does Graphite store from the GitHub integration?

tl;dr almost nothing. We've architected our systems to use a minimal amount of data & permissions from our users (within the constraints of GitHub's API), and we'll always be fully transparent about how we use any data and permissions you grant us.


Graphite does not store any user source code on its servers from the CLI. When you call gt stack submit, the Graphite CLI pushes the branches in your stack to the remote repo in GitHub directly from the client. The only calls from the Graphite server are made to actually open the PRs from the branches which have already been pushed to GitHub. Metadata about which branches were pushed to Github are sent to Graphite servers so we can open those PRs on your behalf.

Web dashboard

Graphite does not store any source code on its servers from the web dashboard. When you open the dashboard in your browser, it calls GitHub's API directly from the client to retrieve and display pull requests in repos you have access to according to the filter views you've defined. The only data stored on Graphite servers are basic profile metadata (Github ID, username, profile picture) and the auth token generated when you sign in with GitHub, which we use to save your PR filter views and maintain your session.


Graphite does not store any user source code on its servers from its logs. During normal usage of the CLI and the website, Graphite will generate and store logs to help us better debug in the event of an error and better understand the profile of our users. Examples of that data include:
  • Metadata about your repo: for example, number of branches or counts of Graphite commands being run. We use this to debug failing commands in the CLI (for example, in the past we found a repo with a very high number of branches would cause the CLI to hang.
  • Metadata about your usage: for example, commands being run, command runtime, or any CLI errors. We use this to understand where to further our engineering investment and understand how widespread issues are.
  • Metadata about your Github account: for example, orgs which you're a member of on Github. We use this to track the usage of our product and understand what types of orgs we work best for.

What happens if Graphite's GitHub integration changes?

Process for upcoming changes

We're iterating on Graphite rapidly, but we'll always over-communicate when it comes to how we interact with your source code from GitHub. If we intend to change the architecture or scope of our GitHub integration in the future relating to source code, we'll give you at least 7 days notice prior to making any changes. Furthermore, if we require additional scopes of access from GitHub, you'll be prompted to sign in again with your account and confirm that you want to grant the additional permissions we've requested.

Upcoming changes on our roadmap

In the spirit of transparency, we want to keep you up-to-date on any changes we're currently working on that will change the scope of our integration.

Actions from the web dashboard

We soon hope to be able to let developers take actions directly from our dashboard. Two examples of such actions are "land all" (landing multiple dependent PRs) and "revert". In order to enable this functionality, once you press a button to take one of those actions we will spin up an ephemeral container, clone your repo onto it, take the desired action, push the change to Github, and then securely delete the container. Taking this action will clone your source code onto our server, but we will not persist it.


In an effort to reduce our usage of the Github API, we may start caching requests (storing the relevant information on our server). At the moment, we are only intending to cache metadata (e.g. repos which you could access, or information about members of your org to display in hover cards), and we are not intending to cache source code, although we will let you know if this changes.

How does Graphite keep my source code safe?

We understand how important it is to keep your source code safe - that's why we built Graphite with security & privacy best practices from day 1. We're more than happy to provide you with the following company policies to give you a better sense of how we approach security at Graphite:
  • Security Program Overview
  • Data Protection Policy
  • Security Incident Response Plan
  • Encryption Policy
  • Vulnerability & Patch Management Policy
  • Identity Access Management Policy
  • Secure Software Development Policy
  • System Audit Policy
  • Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Policy
Please email [email protected] to request copies, or feel free to share your team's security questionnaire if you have a standard format.