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How to Work with GitHub and Multiple Accounts

Step 1 - Create a New SSH Key

We need to generate a unique SSH key for our second GitHub account.

ssh-keygen -t rsa -C "your-email-address"

Be careful that you don't over-write your existing key for your personal account. Instead, when prompted, save the file as id_rsa_COMPANY. In my case, I've saved the file to ~/.ssh/id_rsa_work.

Step 2 - Attach the New Key

Next, login to your second GitHub account, browse to "Account Overview" and attach the new key, within the "SSH Public Keys" section. To retrieve the value of the key that you just created, return to the Terminal and type: vim ~/.ssh/id_rsa_COMPANY.pub.

Copy the entire string that is displayed, and paste this into the GitHub textarea. Feel free to give it any title you wish.

Next, because we saved our key with a unique name, we need to tell SSH about it. Within the Terminal, type: ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa_COMPANY. If successful, you'll see a response of Identity Added.

Step 3 - Create a Config File

We've done the bulk of the workload; but now we need a way to specify when we wish to push to our personal account, and when we should instead push to our company account. To do so, let's create a config file.

touch ~/.ssh/config vim config

If you're not comfortable with Vim, feel free to open it within any editor of your choice. Paste in the following snippet.

Default GitHub


	Host github.com
	  HostName github.com
	  User git
	  IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_rsa

This is the default setup for pushing to our personal GitHub account. Notice that we're able to attach an identity file to the host. Let's add another one for the company account. Directly below the code above, add:

	Host github-COMPANY
	  HostName github.com
	  User git
	  IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_rsa_COMPANY

This time, rather than setting the host to github.com, we've named it as github-COMPANY. The difference is that we're now attaching the new identity file that we created previously: id_rsa_COMPANY. Save the page and exit!

Step 4 - Try it Out

It's time to see if our efforts were successful. Create a test directory, initialize git, and create your first commit.

	git init
	git commit -am "first commit'

Login to your company account, create a new repository, give it a name of "Test," and then return to the Terminal and push your git repo to GitHub.

	git remote add origin git@github-COMPANY:Company/testing.git
	git push origin master

Note that, this time, rather than pushing to git@github.com, we're using the custom host that we create in the config file: git@github-COMPANY.

Return to GitHub, and you should now see your repository. Remember:

When pushing to your personal account, proceed as you always have. For your company account, make sure that you use git!github-COMPANY as the host.

@withcheesepls

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withcheesepls commented Dec 18, 2018

For some reason I had to change the email in the repo to show the commits in the right account.
https://help.github.com/articles/setting-your-commit-email-address-in-git/

I made a bash script to replace the github.com with the other host and then change the email to the other account

gitcloneother(){
  git clone "${1/github.com/github-COMPANY}"
  repo_name_find=$(echo "$1" | egrep -o '/.+\.git')
  #remove slash
  repo_name=$(echo "$repo_name_find" | egrep -o '[^/].+')
  # remove the '.git' and cd in that new folder
  cd "${repo_name/.git/}"
  git config user.email "COMPANY@email.com"
}

(I am not good at bash, maybe someone can do better)

I use git clone to use my primary account and gitcloneother to clone for the other account.

@gl-sergei

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gl-sergei commented Feb 22, 2019

You might need to add IdentitiesOnly yes if you use ssh-agent or gpg-agent to manage identities.

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