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Using multiple github accounts with ssh keys

Problem

I have two Github accounts: oanhnn (personal) and superman (for work). I want to use both accounts on same computer (without typing password everytime, when doing git push or pull).

Solution

Use ssh keys and define host aliases in ssh config file (each alias for an account).

How to?

  1. Generate ssh key pairs for accounts and add them to GitHub accounts.

  2. Edit/Create ssh config file (~/.ssh/config):

    # Default github account: oanhnn
    Host github.com
       HostName github.com
       IdentityFile ~/.ssh/oanhnn_private_key
       IdentitiesOnly yes
       
    # Other github account: superman
    Host github-superman
       HostName github.com
       IdentityFile ~/.ssh/superman_private_key
       IdentitiesOnly yes
    
  3. Add ssh private keys to your agent:

    $ ssh-add ~/.ssh/oanhnn_private_key
    $ ssh-add ~/.ssh/superman_private_key
  4. Test your connection

    $ ssh -T git@github.com
    $ ssh -T git@github-superman

    With each command, you may see this kind of warning, type yes:

    The authenticity of host 'github.com (192.30.252.1)' can't be established.
    RSA key fingerprint is xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:
    Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?

    If everything is OK, you will see these messages:

    Hi oanhnn! You've successfully authenticated, but GitHub does not provide shell access.
    Hi superman! You've successfully authenticated, but GitHub does not provide shell access.
  5. Now all are set, just clone your repositories

    $ git clone git@github-superman:org2/project2.git /path/to/project2
    $ cd /path/to/project2
    $ git config user.email "superman@org2.com"
    $ git config user.name  "Super Man"

Done! Goodluck!

@anianJudy
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Hey @oanhnn thanks for the amazing solution. I would like to add that when copying the remote repo url from github you have to edit the url to repalce github.com with github-username for the second account to work.

you are right!
specialy when you clone by http url before add git config. need change remote.origin.url to git url using github-superman.
example:
git@github-superman:<username>/<projectname>.git

@morganavr
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Thanks for this guide!

@andresmascl
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This is brilliant. Thank you very much!

@ForceGT
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ForceGT commented Aug 10, 2022

https://github.com/tw-yshuang/Git_SSH-Account_Switch

Underrated stuff but all of this can be done with a command switch and no /.gitconfig stuff

@tw-yshuang
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tw-yshuang commented Aug 17, 2022

https://github.com/tw-yshuang/Git_SSH-Account_Switch

Underrated stuff but all of this can be done with a command switch and no /.gitconfig stuff

Thank you for the compliment, hope everyone can enjoy this tool, and click the star😁

@L-F-Escobar
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L-F-Escobar commented Sep 6, 2022

I had this working for a long time then suddenly today my configs stopped working.

I had to re-run ssh-add ~/.ssh/.... cmds again to properly switch between accounts. Any idea why I had to re-run ssh-add commands?

@rsbmkJ
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rsbmkJ commented Sep 13, 2022

Thanks so much, really you saved my life 👍

@khushab
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khushab commented Sep 19, 2022

Thanks 👍

@micochango
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Life saver, thank you!

@volunteerMinHtet
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Thank a lot

@dayachettri
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Thanks a lot.

@1eliton
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1eliton commented Oct 7, 2022

it worked here <3

@jef
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jef commented Oct 12, 2022

HUGE! Thank you :)

@MarcosiOSdev
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Thank you !
Nice.

@jdvivar
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jdvivar commented Oct 17, 2022

If you already have the repo set up, after the ssh config instructions, just do:

  • Remote is called probably origin
  • I have work and personal accounts, for this I used git@github-personal as host from your SSH config
  • user/repo-name.git for the Github repository

$ git remote set-url origin git@github-personal:user/repo-name.git

@sergiocbueno
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Thank you!

@arisanglobal
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This is really helpful tips to work with multiple GitHub repositories. Thank you!

@Mtillmann
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Thanks a ton for this! I had weird issues where ssh -T git@github.com -vvv and ssh -T git@github-somethingelse -vvv both would say that they use the specified key but I got identified with the my default username on both. The solution was to create a new key and add it to the second account.

@danish9811
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will the purpose be the same for multiple bitbucket accounts, and what if we have two github and two bitbucket accounts

@zyend
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zyend commented Dec 22, 2022

Thank you!

@danish9811
Yes, I just add it to the config with the right settings.

@gurcankavakci-esen
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I had this working for a long time then suddenly today my configs stopped working.

I had to re-run ssh-add ~/.ssh/.... cmds again to properly switch between accounts. Any idea why I had to re-run ssh-add commands?

Same issue.

@abymathewtranzmeo
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abymathewtranzmeo commented Jan 13, 2023

Thanks man, I think this is the best post about this topic.

@antonga23
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You're doing the lord's work king 👑

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