Managing Multiple Github Accounts on a Single Machine

Managing Multiple Github Accounts on a Single Machine

A Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up and Using SSH Keys


  • You should have a GitHub account.

  • You should have a basic knowledge of how to create repositories, what is git and GitHub and how to use them?

  • This article is for someone who wants to add their personal, and professional github accounts on the same machine.

To set up multiple GitHub accounts on a single machine, you need to use SSH keys. SSH keys are used to authenticate the connection between your computer and GitHub and secure the data transmission.

Follow these steps to set up multiple GitHub accounts on a single machine:

  1. Create a folder named .ssh in your home directory using the following command:
cd ~
mkdir .ssh
  1. Generate SSH keys for each of the two accounts using the following commands:

     ssh-keygen -t rsa -P "" -f person1
     ssh-keygen -t rsa -P "" -f person2
  2. It will create the following files inside .ssh folder

     person1 person2

    the .pub means -> public_key that is used for authentication

  3. You can see the content of .pub files using cat command or you can open it in notepad.

  4. Add the public keys to their respective GitHub accounts by copying the contents of the public key files and adding them as new SSH keys in GitHub. To do this:

    1. Go to your GitHub account.

    2. Open settings.

    3. Inside SSH and GPG keys, click on the New SSH key.

    4. Copy the data from or (depending on the account) from your computer and paste it into the key section in GitHub.

    5. Set the title as person1 or person2 (depending on the account).

    6. Click Add SSH Key.

  5. Create a config file in the .ssh folder using the following command:

     touch config
  6. Edit the config file to specify the location of the private keys for each of the accounts: ( Just paste the following text and change person1 and person2 as yours that you used while creating )

     Host person1
       User git
       IdentityFile ~/.ssh/person1
     Host person2
       User git
       IdentityFile ~/.ssh/person2
  7. To clone a repository, use the following commands:

     # cloning as person1: 
     git clone person1:<github-username-1>/repo1.git
     # cloning as person2:
     git clone person2:<github-username-2>/repo2.git
  8. To set the correct authority for each repository, set the user name and email address for each repository separately using the following commands:

     # For Person1:
     git config person1
     git config email_id_of_person1
     # For Person2:
     git config person2
     git config email_id_of_person2

By following these steps, you should be able to successfully set up multiple GitHub accounts on a single machine.

Sometimes there occurs a problem in setting remote origin:

Using the following command might solve the problem:

If a GitHub repository looks like this:- then for adding it as a remote origin, the following command can be used :

# for person1: 
git remote add origin person1:username/reponame.git

# for person2: 
git remote add origin person2:username/reponame.git

That's all about it.

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Thank you for reading!!