Question: How many copies of an open source project repository have been saved on a local machine?


A clone is a copy of a repository saved to a local machine.

Note: Many times clone and technical fork are used interchangeably but there is a difference between the two. A technical fork is a copy of a repository on the same platform, whereas a clone is a copy on a local machine.

Technical Fork & Clones

Image is sourced from Stakeoverflow


The objective of the Clones metric is to ascertain how many copies of a project are downloaded. Analysis of clones may provide insight into the project's popularity and usage.


The usage and dissemination of health metrics may lead to privacy violations. Organizations may be exposed to risks. These risks may flow from compliance with the GDPR in the EU, with state law in the US, or with other law. There may also be contractual risks flowing from terms of service for data providers such as GitHub and GitLab. The usage of metrics must be examined for risk and potential data ethics problems. Please see CHAOSS Data Ethics document for additional guidance.


  • Time Period (e.g., clones by week, month, year)
  • Partial clones (offered by GitLab)


GitHub Clones

Image is source from GitHub Blog



  • Vinod Ahuja
  • Sean Goggins
  • Matt Germonprez
  • Kevin Lumbard
  • Dawn Foster
  • Elizabeth Barron

This metric was last reviewed on August 4, 2022 as part of or recurring review process.

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