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Handling Multiple Github Accounts on MacOS

Handling Multiple Github Accounts on MacOS

The only way I've succeeded so far is to employ SSH.

Assuming you are new to this like me, first I'd like to share with you that your Mac has a SSH config file in a .ssh directory. The config file is where you draw relations of your SSH keys to each GitHub (or Bitbucket) account, and all your SSH keys generated are saved into .ssh directory by default. You can navigate to it by running cd ~/.ssh within your terminal, open the config file with any editor, and it should look something like this:

Host *
 AddKeysToAgent yes
 UseKeyChain yes
 IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_rsa
 ForwardAgent yes

Assuming you've got 2 github accounts, for work and play, lets get your Mac to "register" them. To do that that you'll need to create SSH key pairs for each account. If you have already setup your Mac to SSH with one of them, or check if you have one, continue on with the following for the second account.

1. Creating the SSH keys. For each SSH key pairs:

  • run ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "your_email@example.com"

  • You'll be prompted: "Enter a file in which to save the key" and the suggested default filename would be id_rsa. This filename will be used for your SSH private and public keys so remember to make it unique, eg. user-1, user-2. This step will generate both the private and public keys, user-1 + user-1.pub , user-2 + user-2.pub respectively.

  • GitHub has this step in detail. We're not adding the keys to the ssh-agent.

2. Register your keys to the respective GitHub accounts.

  • Follow these steps to do so.

3. Head back over to the SSH config file at ~/.ssh and amend accordingly to:

#user1 account
Host github.com-user1
   HostName github.com
   User git
   IdentityFile ~/.ssh/github-user1
   IdentitiesOnly yes

#user2 account
Host github.com-user2
   HostName github.com
   User git
   IdentityFile ~/.ssh/github-user2
   IdentitiesOnly yes

Replace user1 or user2 with your GitHub usernames/identification-handlers

4. Go ahead to git clone your respective repository

git clone git@github.com-user1:user1/your-repo-name.git your-repo-name_user1

5. Configure your git identity:

  • Open up local git config using git config --local -e and add:
[user]
    name = user1
    email = user1@gmail.com

6. Ensure your remote url is in the right format e.g: git@github.com-user1:user1/your-repo-name.git your-repo-name_user1

  • You either run git remote set-url origin git@github.com-user1:user1/your-repo-name.git your-repo-name_user1
  • Or amend your remote ssh-url in your local git config file:
 [remote "origin"] 
       url = git@github.com-user1:user1/your-repo-name.git
       fetch = +refs/heads/*:refs/remotes/origin/*

Now you can git actions (pull/push/fetch...etc) all you like!

Resources:

Special thanks to @pbuditi for your help!

@pbuditi

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pbuditi commented Jun 22, 2017

Thanks Jon.

@YakDriver

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YakDriver commented Aug 22, 2018

Sweet! I was able to get this to work with a default account for most of my repos, so that I don't have to enter local config for each, using the regular mac osxkeychain method and global config, and then use a local config for one-off repos that use a separate github account to use the SSH method. This was very helpful.

@peeyushsingla

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peeyushsingla commented Aug 26, 2018

Is there a way to set the username and email in config too?

@nimakarimipour

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nimakarimipour commented Mar 21, 2019

Thank you very much

@moonztar

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moonztar commented Mar 22, 2019

Thanks

@mgonera

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mgonera commented Sep 3, 2019

Is there a way to set the username and email in config too?

@peeyushsingla sure there is:

git config --add user.email someone@domain.com to add/override user email in given repo
git config --unset user.email someone@domain.com to remove user email entry in given repo

same for user.name of course

@mountainWanderer

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mountainWanderer commented Oct 25, 2019

Thanks it's very useful!

@jamolpe

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jamolpe commented Feb 29, 2020

Just a little Improvement regarding the user names in each repository:

You can configure different .gitconfig for different working directories, just setting this in your main .gitconfig (~/.gitcongit)
[includeIf "gitdir:~/[workspace]/"] path = ~/[path where is your config]/.gitconfig

and in this new .gitconfig add the [user] info you want to use in that workspace.
Also you can use visual tool like fork where you can specify to use global or different user info

@dongapplyboard

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dongapplyboard commented Apr 7, 2020

Thank you! I was missing Step #6 as you mentioned. I had to set which user I wanted to use in the url -> git@github.com-user1:user1/your-repo-name.git your-repo-name_user1

@david-daming

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david-daming commented May 5, 2020

Thanks! that's what I need, it's very helpful!

@bansalvks

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bansalvks commented Jun 12, 2020

Its worked like a charm and I faced only one issue and that is
when I checkout the folder structure looks like this:
/Users/vikasbansal/Documents/github/https\:/github.com/<github-username>/<project-name>.git

is it possible to change this structure? can it behave like a normal checkout where there folder structure? e.g.
/Users/vikasbansal/Documents/github/<project-name>.git

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