Cloning GIT Repository in Python

This article will discuss different methods of cloning a code repository (repo) using GIT and Python. You will need to fetch the repo URL (HTTPS or SSH) first, as shown in the Figure below.

The repo in this Figure is hosted in GitHub, but you can use any other platform like GitLab or BitBucket.

Several methods and packages can be used to clone a repository. Here are some of them.

Method 1: Cloning a Repo with os or subprocess

This method does not require the installation of any new package because the two packages used here are pre-installed in Python.

The functions we use here are os.system() and These methods run the git clone command as a subshell process (just like executing the command on the terminal). Here are the examples.

os package:

And for the subprocess, we use the following code.

Method 2: Using the GitPython Package

GitPython is a popular package that provides different methods for accessing git repos. For cloning, we will use git.Repo.clone_from() function.

Note that you may need to install GitPython before using it. If you are using pip, install it with the command.

pip install gitpython

Here is the module in use.

If to_path already exists, the module raises git.exc.GitCommandError.

Method 3: Using the pygit2 Package

The package can be installed using pip by executing this command.

pip install pygit2

If you want to clone a repository using SSH, you must install an additional dependency – libgit2.

The documentation for the package provides clear instructions on how to install pygit2 and its libgit2 for any platform.

Method 4: Another Package – dload

This package got into this list because of its potential to support parallel processing fantastically. Install the command using pip by running

pip install dload

And then clone a repo with the following snippet.


This article discussed different methods/packages used to clone code repositories. If you want to run the git clone command without installing additional packages, use os.system() or functions as discussed in Method 1.

The rest of the methods discussed other packages that can be used for the same purpose, each with unique capabilities.