Can an existing orb be made private?

The CircleCI documentation describes how to make a new orb private (by using the circleci orb create <my-namespace>/<my-orb-name> --private or circleci orb init /path/to/myProject-orb --private command… I’ve seen it documented both ways).

If I’ve already created an Orb, can I make it private? I’m not sure it’s safe to call “init” or “create” on an existing Orb, and the documentation does not mention any other way of creating a private orb.


Hi Aaron,

Thanks for reaching out!

The short answer is no, it is not possible to make an orb private after it has been created as public. This is intentional because we intend for orbs to be immutable. I can see how we would consider allowing an orb to switch from private to public (or vice versa) when it is still in the dev state, but not for an orb that has been published. I would recommend checking out our canny page and submitting a feature request for that functionality.

It is possible to unlist an orb so that it no longer appears with orb list or on our available orbs page with the following command:

circleci orb unlist <namespace>/<orb> <true|false> [flags]

But please note that customers outside of your organization will still be able to use this orb should they know the name of it.

For the most part, our philosophy is the same on deleting orbs, which you can find our more about here

I hope this helps!