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Use Proxy for Git/GitHub

Use Proxy for Git/GitHub

Generally, the Git proxy configuration depends on the Git Server Protocol you use. And there're two common protocols: SSH and HTTP/HTTPS. Both require a proxy setup already. In the following, I assume a SOCKS5 proxy set up on localhost:1080. But it can also be a HTTP proxy. I'll talk about how to set up a SOCKS5 proxy later.

SSH Protocol

When you do git clone ssh://[user@]server/project.git or git clone [user@]server:project.git, you're using the SSH protocol. You need to configurate your SSH client to use a proxy. Add the following to your SSH config file, say ~/.ssh/config:

ProxyCommand nc -x localhost:1080 %h %p

This is to make all SSH connections, including those by Git, via the proxy at localhost:1080.

If you want to use a HTTP proxy at localhost:1080, do it like:

ProxyCommand nc -X connect -x localhost:1080 %h %p

You may want to use a proxy for a specific host, say GitHub. You can do it like this:

  User git
  ProxyCommand nc -x localhost:1080 %h %p

This uses a proxy only for GitHub, so that when you git clone, the proxy works.

The above SSH configuration involves Linux command nc and ssh config ProxyCommand. Learm more about them if you're interested.


When you do git clone or git clone, you're using the HTTP/HTTPS protocol.

Git respects http_proxy and https_proxy envrionment variables, so you can simply execute the following command in a shell:

export http_proxy=socks5://localhost:1080 https_proxy=socks5://localhost:1080

After that, your git command under the same shell will use the proxy for HTTP/HTTPS connections.

BTW, Git also has a http.proxy configuration to override those two envrionment variables:


Override the HTTP proxy, normally configured using the http_proxy, https_proxy, and all_proxy environment 
variables(see curl(1)). In addition to the syntax understood by curl, it is possible to specify a proxy 
string with a user name but no password, in which case git will attempt to acquire one in the same way it
does for other credentials. See gitcredentials(7) for more information. The syntax thus is 
This can be overridden on a per-remote basis; see remote.<name>.proxy

You can set the http.proxy configuration by git config command(or by editing the git config file directly) instead of export those environment variables.

Setup a SOCKS5 Proxy

It's very easy to setup a SOCKS5 proxy with your SSH Client:

ssh -ND 1080 user@host

Execute this command under a shell with user and host replaced with yours. This is to setup a SOCKS5 proxy at port 1080 at localhost.

A Little More on Git Protocol

By saying "Git Protocol", I mean a Git Server Protocol called "The Git Protocol". It has a URI like git://server/project.git. Note it starts with a git://, not ssh:// or http:// or something else.

It's not commonly used, so you can skip this. I write this mainly for completeness of Git proxy settings.

Git a has configration core.gitProxy dedicated for this protocol, its man reads:


A "proxy command" to execute (as command host port) instead of establishing direct connection to the 
remote server when using the Git protocol for fetching. If the variable value is in the 
"COMMAND for DOMAIN" format, the command is applied only on hostnames ending with the specified 
domain string. This variable may be set multiple times and is matched in the given order; the first 
match wins.

Can be overridden by the GIT_PROXY_COMMAND environment variable (which always applies universally, 
without the special "for" handling).

You can set it by git config.

Other Refereneces

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lovelock commented Feb 15, 2021

It's protocol not protocal buddy

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ACupofAir commented Mar 11, 2021

Thank you, It's helpful.

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thetaprimeprime commented Apr 6, 2021

I got nc: invalid option -- 'X'

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lovelock commented May 14, 2021

I got nc: invalid option -- 'X'

Check what version your nc is. BSD and GNU version of nc have lots of differences

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coin8086 commented Jun 9, 2022

It's protocol not protocal buddy

Just corrected it. Thank you!

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coin8086 commented Jun 22, 2022

I got nc: invalid option -- 'X'

Check what version your nc is. BSD and GNU version of nc have lots of differences

Thanks for your comment!

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