Managing Multiple Git Accounts

I’m in a situation where I want to keep different settings for several Git repositories. My work’s Git repo and settings (like email address and private key) would be different to my GitHub email address and key.

After following the setup details on GitHub of how to setup username and email for github, and providing your SSH keys , I was left in an awkward situation where my global configuration was setup for GitHub, but didn’t know how to configure my work repo to authenticate properly.

It turns out that Live search does actually work for one scenario, and I found another guide on GitHub explaining everything required to configure multiple Git accounts.

  1. What’s most important is knowing that unless you’re using the same public/private key pair, you will need to generate a new key for the server, and give it a filename different to the default id_rsa
    $ ssh-keygen
    Generating public/private rsa key pair.
    Enter file in which to save the key (/c/Documents and Settings/Xerxes/.ssh/id_rsa): /c/Documents and Settings/Xerxes/.ssh/id_rsa_github

    This file needs to be given a name different to the default id_rsa, ideally consisting the name of the repo.

  2. Once the key is generated, you need to create a config file in your ~/.ssh/ directory. This file allows you to configure connection settings per repository, overriding the global values set earlier.
    Host github.com
      HostName github.com
      User git
      IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_rsa_github
    

    Save that file.

  3. One final step in the mix is to configure the repo itself to use the correct email address when committing to the git repo. This is really only to ensure that the commit history has a valid email address associated to it. For instance, I don’t want my private email address being recorded in my work commit logs, and similarly I don’t want my work email address getting recorded in my GitHub commit logs.

    I’m sure there would have to be a way to do this using the console, but the way I know to set the email address for a single repo is to use the git gui command, goto Edit -> Options and do it via the interface.

    git gui repo configuration

    git gui repo configuration

Now you should be right to issue any commands to GitHub and have it authenticate using the key. When you push back to the origin, it will now also use the repo settings and not the global settings.

EDIT: For some reason, i omitted the “.com” in the github.com host entry. Thanks to @davetchepak for the pickup

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