Additional throttling algorithm


An additional throttling algorithm was introduced to ghproxy to prevent secondary rate limiting issues (code 403) in large Prow installations, consisting of several organizations. Its purpose is to schedule incoming requests to adjust to the GitHub general rate-limiting guidelines.


An incoming request is analyzed whether it is targeting GitHub API v3 or API v4. Separate queues are formed not only per API but also per organization if Prow installation is using GitHub Apps. If a user account in a form of the bot is used, every request coming from that user account is categorized as coming from the same organization. This is due to the fact, that such a request identifies not using AppID and organization name, but sha256 token hash.

There is a possibility to apply different throttling times per API version.

In the situation of a very high load, the algorithm prefers hitting secondary rate limits instead of forming a massive queue of throttled messages, thus default max waiting time in a queue is introduced. It is 30 seconds.


Flags --throttling-time-ms and --get-throttling-time-ms have to be set to a non-zero value, otherwise, additional throttling mechanism will be disabled.

All available flags:

  • throttling-time-ms enables a throttling mechanism which imposes time spacing between outgoing requests. Counted per organization. Has to be set together with --get-throttling-time-ms.
  • throttling-time-v4-ms is the same flag as above, but when set applies a separate time spacing for API v4.
  • get-throttling-time-ms allows setting different time spacing for API v3 GET requests.
  • throttling-max-delay-duration-seconds and throttling-max-delay-duration-v4-seconds allow setting max throttling time for respectively API v3 and API v4. The default value is 30. They are present to prefer hitting secondary rate limits, instead of forming massive queues of messages during periods of high load.
  • request-timeout refers to request timeout which applies also to paged requests. The default is 30 seconds. You may consider increasing it if throttling-max-delay-duration-seconds and throttling-max-delay-duration-v4-seconds are modified.

Example configuration

Args from ghproxy configuration YAML file:

          - --cache-dir=/cache
          - --cache-sizeGB=10
          - --legacy-disable-disk-cache-partitions-by-auth-header=false
          - --get-throttling-time-ms=300
          - --throttling-time-ms=900
          - --throttling-time-v4-ms=850
          - --throttling-max-delay-duration-seconds=45
          - --throttling-max-delay-duration-v4-seconds=110
          - --request-timeout=120
          - --concurrency=1000 # rely only on additional throttling algorithm and "disable" the previous solution


Impact and the results after applying additional throttling can be consulted using two ghproxy Prometheus metrics:

  • github_request_duration to consult returned status codes across user agents and paths.
  • github_request_wait_duration_seconds to consult the status and waiting times of the requests handled by the throttling algorithm.

Both metrics are histogram type.