How to Find GitHub User Email Addresses

Ready to learn how to find more personal and professional emails?

GitHub is a social coding platform used by software developers and companies all around the world. GitHub profiles generally include the individual's name, company, location and sometimes the profile owner's email address.

In this blog post I will show you how to find an email address even if the public profile does not show an email address. GitHub is a great source for personal and professional email leads. Using the technique demonstrated in this blog post you will greatly increase the number of emails you can find. Let's get started!

First and foremost, we need a profile to demonstrate this technique on. Linus Torvald's GitHub profile is a great example.

Linus Torvald's GitHub profile without a public email address.

Linus is a well known Software Engineer, and at the time of writing this blog post does not include his email on his GitHub profile. Don't let that discourage you, there's still hope! There are three basic steps to finding most emails on GitHub.

Step 1: Locate a non forked repository

Linus Torvald's repositories, with the repository highlighted we will be interested in using to find his email address.

The first step is to locate a non forked repository. For the uninitiated, a forked repository is essentially a copied or cloned repository. For the sake of finding a person's email they are not very helpful because the author of the repository is most likely someone else. Looking at Linus' profile, we can see a number of forked repositories and a few non forked ones. You can try any non forked repository. The one that caught my eye is "test-lib". Once you find a non forked repository, click on the name to be taken to the repository view.

Step 2: Find a commit by the user

The "test-lib" repository view, we will be checking out the commit history to find the user's email address.

Within the repository view, you can see a commits link on the left hand side. The photo above points it out. The more commits, the more likely to find a commit by the user. In this case we see 11 commits. All we need is to find a single commit to find the user's email address. Click on the commits link to be taken to a commit history view.

Linus' commit history, we will use one of the commits to find his email address.

When viewing the commit history your goal is to find one or more commits created by the profile owner. In our example, we are looking for commits by Linus (his GitHub user name is torvalds). Once you locate a commit, you can click the commit ID on the right hand side to view the actual commit.

Step 3: Convert to the patch view to locate the email address

A commit by Linus, we will convert this to a patch to find his email.

The commit view is not very interesting to us, however this is where the real trick comes in. What you want to do next is look at the address in your browser, it should look something like this:

A URL to a commit by Linus.

What you want to do next is add ".patch" to the end of the address and hit enter.

We want to add .patch to the end of the URL to find his email.

When you hit enter you will see the patch view for the commit, including the author's email!

Success, we found his email! It is torvalds@linux-foundation.org

With the trick outlined in this blog post you can find most email addresses on GitHub as long as the person has a commit history. GitHub is a powerful source for personal and professional emails and shouldn't be missed! Add the technique from this blog post to your tool belt, it will come in handy more often than you think!