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Multiple Git Account Setup (Ubuntu version)

ssh-add is a command for adding SSH private keys into the SSH authentication agent for implementing a single sign-on with SSH. The agent process is called ssh-agent;

The cool thing about ssh-agent and ssh-add is that they allow the user to use any number of servers, spread across any number of organizations, without having to type in a password whenever moving between servers. This is commonly used by system administrators to move among the machine they administer. It is also widely used in universities and research institutions for accessing computing resources.

A more practical example would be: when anyone shifts to a new organization and gets a new organization email address for the specific organization. He/She might need to create a VCS(version control system) account at GitHub, bitbucket, GitLab, etc. Most Developers already have one personal account on any of those VCS sites. So to set up these two accounts on a single machine sometimes complex. In this post we will learn how to set up two or more VCS account on a single machine.

The below command will work on Ubuntu and Mac but Windows may not. But In Windows, using the Windows subsystem (WSL) will solve the below command issue.

Step 1: Create ssh key for the different email address

# With Office Email
ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "" -f

# With Personal Email
ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "" -f rezwanul-haque

add this ssh public keys to respective VCS accounts

Step 2: Create a config file on .ssh file

touch config

vim config

Add this

# Personal account - default config
        User git
        IdentityFile ~/.ssh/rezwanul-haque
# Work account - Viva
        User git
        IdentityFile ~/.ssh/

Step 3: Create common ~/.gitconfig file at home directory

sudo vim ~/.gitconfig

Add this to ~/.gitconfig

# Default account-Personal
        name = rezwanul-haque
        email =
# Professional account-Office
[includeIf "gitdir:~/<office_work_space_path>/"]
        path = ~/<office_work_space_path>/.gitconfig-viva

Step 4: Create organization-specific git-config to the organization workspace folder

# Professional account-organization
    name = rezwanul-haque-viva
    email =

Step 5: remove ssh keys and entities from the SSH agent

ssh-add -D

Step 6: Add keys and entities

ssh-add rezwanul-haque

# Check if added or not
ssh-add -l

Step 7: Test with Connection using ssh

ssh -T
ssh -T

Also read this article on our official blog

Step 8: Cloning any project with office account(required)

# need to add github-hostname
git clone git@<HostName>:Rezwanul-Haque-Viva/<office_project_repo>.git

Example: git clone<office_project_repo>.git
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