Login to Multiple Github Accounts with SSH

February 17, 2020

SSH Login on Github

I find the login with an SSH key the most convenient way and it works well with Magit, an awesome Emacs plugin. By the way, I consider Magit as one reason already enough to use Emacs.

Please consult the official Github documentation to learn how to configure SSH for authentication.

Multiple Github Accounts

You cannot use the same SSH key on different Github accounts. I generated a new SSH key with the following command in the ~/.ssh folder:

ssh-keygen -t rsa -C "" -f "id_rsa_benzai10"

Replace the email address and your key identity name accordingly.

Make sure the SSH agent is running with:

eval "$(ssh-agent -s)"

Add the key identity to your SSH agent (in my case):

ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa_benzai10

Add a file named config to the ~/.ssh folder and put the following text in it:

#oojooman account
User git
IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_rsa

#benzai10 account
User git
IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_rsa_benzai10

The lines beginning with # are like comments; use them to describe the account. Add the Github account name with a leading dash (-) to the Host entry and adjust the correct file names accordingly.

Adjust the .git/config Files

You need to adjust the [remote "origin"] entries in the .git/config files of your local repositories. My example:

[remote "origin"]
	url =
	fetch = +refs/heads/*:refs/remotes/origin/*


Cloning a Repo

When using multiple Github accounts, add the account name with a dash (like described above) when cloning the repo


git clone<project>.git


git clone<project>.git