spice up your gists

May 15, 2020
2 minutes to read

A friend of mine recently asked if they can upload an image to a gist. Not only will we walk through how to do that, but I’ll also show you how you can display a preview image of your gist!

unveiling the secret

A couple of years ago, a whole new world opened up when I learned that gists are also simply git repositories. That’s right - you can clone that innocent note locally or have some code push to it automatically. There are actually a zillion different things you can do with Gists, from storing your pancake recipes to hosting single-page static sites!

The clone command is tucked away, but you can still find it from the UI by clicking on the Embed button, which opens up a popup menu, where you can find both HTTPS and SSH cloning options.

Embed's popup menu in GitHub

Your clone link will include the gist’s ID that you can also find from the URL, so you can put it together programmatically, for example

# Link to your Gist

# Clone URL
# Meaning you gotta
git clone git@gist.github.com:473a28a9b6c6268c9220546642952faa.git

If you now add an image to your newly cloned gist repo

git add preview.png
git commit -m "Add preview image" && git push

Then you could, for example, link to it directly from your gist’s README.md file

![This is what that thing we're talking about will look like](./preview.png)

Now you know how to display images in gists and (maybe even more importantly) that gists are full-fledged git repositories! May you use your new powers wisely.