Pull files from GitHub and create pull requests from Lokalise.

Nick Ustinov avatar
Written by Nick Ustinov
Updated over a week ago

Use this app to exchange files with your GitHub repository

As soon as the app is set up, you can pull the files manually via the Lokalise web dashboard or set up an automatic pull so that the files are imported automatically as they are pushed to GitHub by your developer team. 

Once the translations are completed, you can trigger the creation of a pull request on GitHub via the Download page.


1. Connect your repository

First of all, open your translation project and navigate to Apps:

Find GitHub in the list of apps, click on it, press Install, and then Connect. Previously you had to generate a special access token on GitHub but that's not the case anymore. While you can still use personal access tokens for existing integrations, new setups involve OAuth 2 flow. All you have to do after clicking the Connect button is to give Lokalise Apps the necessary access rights. Keep in mind that the repo scope is required for this app.

Please note that if you are trying to connect Lokalise to a GitHub organization (not to a personal account) you will probably have to perform some additional steps as explained in the Note on GitHub organization section.

After that you can enter the Repository name (prefixed with your organization name) and the Branch to pull from:

As you export files from Lokalise, you can trigger the GitHub app to create pull requests to repositories with a platform related to the exported file format.

It is important to decide whether you would like the filenames to include a full path. It is not needed in most cases, as you can configure the directory structure prefix at the pull request creation (export) step. However, when you have similar files in different subfolders, e.g. admin/locale.json and frontend/locale.json, you need to enable the Include path in the filenames option. Keep in mind that if you already have files uploaded to the project, including a path in the filenames at this step would mean that you are uploading different files.

2. Select files to pull

Browse the selected repository and select the files you want to pull and import.

In most cases, at this step you would only need to select the base language files (the files that are being modified locally and then pushed to GitHub). After selecting a file, you must set the language of the file in the dropdown menu.

After the files are pulled, you can find your translation data in the Editor:

3. Add more repositories

As we recommend keeping all platform files within the same project, you may want to set up other repositories that apply to the same project. Click Add another repo to add more repositories.

Note on GitHub organizations

If you are trying to connect Lokalise to a GitHub organization but experience errors on the first step (after logging in with GitHub and giving Lokalise all the necessary access rights), you'll need to perform some additional actions:

  • Find your organization in the Organization access section and click Grant:

  • Open your organization settings under the following URL: (this page can be found under Organization settings > Integrations > Third-party access). Make sure that the Lokalise Apps is approved. If not, click on the pen icon and manually set the status to "approved":

After performing these steps you can return to the Setup section and try connecting your repository again.

Pulling files

Manual pull

Use the Pull now button on the app page. Clicking the button will add the pull to the system queue to be executed in the background.

If you need to adjust the options, click Pull options on the app page:

These options are similar to the ones presented on the Upload page.


When you are satisfied with the initial pull results, it is a good idea to set up a webhook in GitHub which automates pulling the changes to Lokalise as you push to GitHub. 

  • Open GitHub and navigate to your repository settings > Webhooks

  • Copy/paste the Auto-pull URL provided in the Lokalise app configuration into the Payload URL field

  • Provide the Auto-pull secret generated on Lokalise and paste it into the Secret field

  • Tick the Enable SSL verification option

  • Choose Just the push event for the Which events would you like to trigger this webhook? setting

  • Make sure to tick the Active setting

  • Click Add webhook

Please note that currently we are in the process of migrating all auto-pull URLs from to subdomain. Thus, on the app's page you may still see specified for the auto-pull URL but it is very much recommended to change it to when pasting to GitHub.

Pull requests

To create a new pull request on GitHub with all the changes made on Lokalise, proceed to the Download page and find the App triggers section. Enable the GitHub option:

It is a good idea to use the Preview button first, so you can see the resulting file/folder structure before triggering the creation of a pull request.

We would recommend triggering pull requests only to the repos of the platform that match the file type you are exporting, i.e. if you are exporting a JSON format, Lokalise will only create pull requests in repositories with the Web platform.

To actually create a pull request on GitHub, you should press Build only (this way you won't download a translation bundle to your local PC). To check the status of the pull request creation, return to the GitHub app page and click the Logs button.

Here is what happens after you trigger a new PR:

  1. A new branch is created from the last revision of the branch you chose in the app setup. The branch name would look like this:  lokalise-2018-03-12_15-14-13 .

  2. A commit with all the files is created in the new branch.

  3. A pull request from the new branch to the previously chosen branch is created.

You may then review and merge a pull request on GitHub.

To initiate a pull request from the API, use triggers=['github'] parameter with the /export endpoint. If you are using the CLI tool, use --triggers=github  as a parameter when performing the export.

GitHub Enterprise

This app is available from the Pro plan and above.

This type of app allows you to exchange files with a self-hosted GitHub Enterprise. The only difference is that you'll need to provide a URL to the server where your GitHub is hosted and a personal token when setting up the app:

To generate a personal access token:

  • Open GitHub.

  • Click on your avatar and choose Settings.

  • In the left sidebar, click Developer settings.

  • In the left sidebar, click Personal access tokens.

  • Click Generate new token.

  • Give your token a descriptive name.

  • Enable the repo scope for this token.

  • Click Generate token, copy it and paste to the corresponding field on Lokalise. Never publicly expose your token!

Apart from that, this feature works in the same way as the ordinary GItHub app.


Why does Lokalise request access to all my repositories?

Lokalise requests access to all repositories in order to list them during the setup process so that you may specify which repository to connect to Lokalise. There is no alternative more restrictive OAuth scope that can be used for this purpose.

Once the app is configured, Lokalise will only work with the repository that you selected. Admin scopes are not required.

What actions does the app use the OAuth token for?

Lokalise will only create merge requests and fetch the files that you selected during the setup process. The Lokalise Github app will not alter the repo’s settings in any way.

Is there any way to restrict the app's permissions?

Github user permission scopes limit access for OAuth tokens. No additional permissions beyond your settings in Github are granted. Therefore, the Lokalise app's access is limited by the permissions of the user who configures the integration.

If you need to limit the integration’s access to a specific repository only, you can do that by limiting the permissions of the authorizing user’s Github account.

Github users always have the option to revoke a token or edit the token scopes, giving them greater control over what the integration can do.

How is my access token stored?

Your token is stored in an encrypted form in our database. The database itself is stored on dedicated servers located at the Hetzner Online provider, which ensures top-level physical security (read more here

We take regular snapshots of the database and store them in a 256-bit encrypted Amazon S3 bucket for 30 days.

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