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Using multiple github accounts with ssh keys


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).


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
       IdentityFile ~/.ssh/oanhnn_private_key
       IdentitiesOnly yes
    # Other github account: superman
    Host github-superman
       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
    $ ssh -T git@github-superman

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

    The authenticity of host ' (' 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 ""
    $ git config  "Super Man"

Done! Goodluck!

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Thank you !

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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

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Thank you!

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

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jkito commented Nov 13, 2022

Thanks, really useful!

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Thanks a ton for this! I had weird issues where ssh -T -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.

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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

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zyend commented Dec 22, 2022

Thank you!

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

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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.

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abymathewtranzmeo commented Jan 13, 2023

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

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You're doing the lord's work king 👑

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Saved my life.

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Works, thanks :)

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Thx Bro for writing & sharing that !

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Kudos to the instructions. They work as a charm!!

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sebb-m0 commented Mar 1, 2023

👍 thx for this.

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You should use this to collect the public key from GitHub.
ssh-keyscan >> ~/.ssh/known_hosts
No more error: The authenticity of host ' (' can't be established.

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that's marvelous guide - it works

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Excellent post .

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chenxiao218 commented Mar 12, 2023

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

This works to me, thanks.

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