While I'm searching for a new project to start contributing to, I often check the daily email I get from GitHub that lists the most popular repositories of the day and also the repositories starred by the people I follow.

So, should I star my own repositories once I create them so it would appear in the daily digest for the people following me or would that be considered as a spammy way of getting the initial traction that could sometimes make a difference between a successful project and an unsuccessful one?

  • 10
    Starring (or an equivalent action) is used as some sort of bookmarking by many people, on any site - regardless of what the site authors intended it to be. Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 7:41
  • 14
    Provided you don't "sock puppet" your way to apparent popularity, just one star is not a big deal, and unlikely to be a big motivation either way to anyone seeing it. Don't over-think things. Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 8:04
  • @MichaelSchumacher: Or at least on sites that do not offer a dedicated bookmarking feature. Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 11:13
  • 2
    I starred my own repository because I'm so disappointed I never got a single start for my open-source effort. Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 11:18

3 Answers 3


Personally, I've used a self-star as a tiebreaker to call out better projects. If two of my projects both have N stars, and I think one is clearly better than the other, I'll star it so that it ranks over the other one in my profile page. This is especially important if I have many zero-star repositories, because some of them may not appear on my profile page at all (since GitHub limits the list to 5 repos). I might have a zero-star repository that I'd love people to see, but it could be buried in obscurity under a bunch of other zero-star repos.

I personally think it's reasonable to use a self-star to call out what you believe is your best work, especially since the primary place a project's star count is relevant is in ranking your own projects on your profile page.

Does that justification make it currently socially acceptable? I certainly won't judge you; I can't really say whether anybody else will. Anecdotally, though, self-stars appear to be good enough for Linus Torvalds, anyway. (At the time of this writing, he has starred exactly two repos, and they're both his.) Note, however, this may simply be an artifact of when GitHub first introduced stars and automatically converted all "Watch" relationships to stars. See SztupY's answer for more information.

  • 4
    GitHub used to auto star any repository you've created in the past. I'm not sure when this was changed though. I've never used the starring feature on GitHub, so checking my repositories all of my repos are starred prior mid-2012 and none after that. I guess around that's when something has changed. Linus probably got auto starred in his only two repository.
    – SztupY
    Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 16:53
  • @SztupY Interesting! I didn't know that. I will look into this.
    – apsillers
    Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 16:54
  • 1
    found it: github.com/blog/1204-notifications-stars they added starring around that time. They just converted all of your watches to stars. And of course you were always watching your own repositories
    – SztupY
    Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 17:01
  • Excelent points. I just changed all my self-stars based on this answer.
    – philsf
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 8:28

Note that when the starring feature was introduced on GitHub in August 2012, they converted all of your watches to stars during the initial migration. As you are automatically added to watchers to your own repository, this meant any repository you've created prior to this change would appear as starred for you.

For me this migration choice means that it's perfectly normal that you are starred in your own repositories, as most repositories prior to this change will actually be starred by their creator.


I don't know if there are any rules around this but I think it is a matter of choice from the user. In SE you can star your own post, but you can't upvote your own post (question or answer). However, in Reddit a post is upvoted by default by the user.

Now in my projects, I starred only those that I think worth it. Something like "Hey traveler! Look especially this one and this one!".

A good idea would be to check the ratio of authors liking their own project in GitHub.

  • Not allowed? Why should I be not allowed to star (aka favorite) some of my own questions on SE? Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 13:09
  • I was talking about upvoting. I will fix this, Thank you.
    – aloisdg
    Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 13:11
  • 1
    You can't vote on your posts - questions ans answer - at all (unless you register multiple accounts and reach the required reputation for each of them, of course). I guess this is what you mean by "not allowed", but you might want to add that the system simply won't let you vote, without any penalty for trying (at least to my knowledge). Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 14:36
  • @MichaelSchumacher Done. :)
    – aloisdg
    Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 14:39

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