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GitHub Authentication Provider

The Backstage core-plugin-api package comes with a GitHub authentication provider that can authenticate users using GitHub or GitHub Enterprise OAuth.

Create an OAuth App on GitHub

To add GitHub authentication, you must create either a GitHub App, or an OAuth App from the GitHub developer settings. The Homepage URL should point to Backstage's frontend, while the Authorization callback URL will point to the auth backend.

Note that if you're using a GitHub App, the allowed scopes are configured as part of that app. This means you need to verify what scopes the plugins you use require, so be sure to check the plugin READMEs for that information.

Settings for local development:

  • Application name: Backstage (or your custom app name)
  • Homepage URL: http://localhost:3000
  • Authorization callback URL: http://localhost:7007/api/auth/github/handler/frame


The provider configuration can then be added to your app-config.yaml under the root auth configuration:

environment: development
## uncomment if using GitHub Enterprise

The GitHub provider is a structure with three configuration keys:

  • clientId: The client ID that you generated on GitHub, e.g. b59241722e3c3b4816e2
  • clientSecret: The client secret tied to the generated client ID.
  • enterpriseInstanceUrl (optional): The base URL for a GitHub Enterprise instance, e.g. https://ghe.<company>.com. Only needed for GitHub Enterprise.
  • callbackUrl (optional): The callback URL that GitHub will use when initiating an OAuth flow, e.g. Only needed if Backstage is not the immediate receiver (e.g. one OAuth app for many backstage instances).

Adding the provider to the Backstage frontend

To add the provider to the frontend, add the githubAuthApi reference and SignInPage component as shown in Adding the provider to the sign-in page.

Difference between GitHub Apps and GitHub OAuth Apps

GitHub Apps handle OAuth scope at the app installation level, meaning that the scope parameter for the call to getAccessToken in the frontend has no effect. When calling getAccessToken in open source plugins, one should still include the appropriate scope, but also document in the plugin README what scopes are required for GitHub Apps.