7/4/2015 - 3:54 AM


When using Homebrew ( and searching formulas or pull requests you may get the dreaded error message: Github API Rate limit exceeded

Let's fix that! (yeah!)

Short version

Create a new Personal Token in your Github Account Settings (Sidebar: Applications) and then copy the Token. In the Terminal, use export HOMEBREW_GITHUB_API_TOKEN=YOURAPITOKENWITHFUNKYNUMBERSHERE (change that to your API Token) or add that to your .bash_profile and then do source .bash_profile.

Step 1 - Create a Personal Access Token for Homebrew

  1. Login to your Github Account or create one if you don't have one yet.
  2. In the top menu to the right, click the tools icon (Account Settings).
  3. Click on “Applications” in the sidebar (to the left).
  4. In the box with the title “Personal Access Tokens”, press the “Create new token” button.
  5. In the next box (Create a new Personal Access Token) set the name of your Token (i used homebrew but you can use anything you want). Press “Create Token”.
  6. When done, you will see your token we just created in the “Personal Access Tokens” box. Copy the Token by select the token or click the copy icon to the right of the Token text.
  7. The Token text should look something like this: 9927d2878ffa105fc5236c762f2fd7zfd28b841d (not a real token, just an example)

IMPORTANT! Remember To Keep The Token Safe As It Works As A “Password” For Your Github Account.

Step 2 - Set the Github API Token for Homebrew in the Terminal

  1. Fire up your (or
  2. Use the command export HOMEBREW_GITHUB_API_TOKEN=9927d2878ffa105fc5236c762f2fd7zfd28b841d (but use your own API Token, and not the fake example one that don't work) and press enter.
  3. It's now set, however, instead of repating this every session, let's add this to our .bash_profile (if you don't know about this, see this link.)
  4. Open your .bash_profile in your favorite text editor (in this case, we use Nano in the Terminal). Make sure that you are in your Home directory (if unsure, use cd $HOME and press enter).
  5. Add the exact same line as in step 2. Press ctrl + o (to save) and then ctrl + x (to quit Nano)
  6. In your Terminal, do the command source .bash_profile (loads the changes in the .bash_profile file to the active session)
  7. Well, that's it!

###Helpful links

Tags: homebrew, brew, github api, token, api token, terminal, mac os x