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Using another private key with git

Adam K Dean
Blockchain Lead. Hacker. Founder. Amateur Radio, and all things engineering.
・1 min read

It's quite normal to have different private keys for different git servers, but how do you provide a different identity file like you do with SSH?

The answer comes in a text file; config.

Create a text file in your ssh directory, which is usually .ssh:

$ touch ~/.ssh/config
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Then open it with your favourite text editor, for me, this is currently atom:

$ atom ~/.ssh/config
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Now, we can use this file to configure different hosts. The following should be pretty self explanatory. For your information, in case you're a bit confused, the identity file is your private key.

Host example.com
    HostName git.example.com
    User git
    IdentityFile /Users/adam/.ssh/yourkey
    IdentitiesOnly yes
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You'll notice the host and hostname are different. This means you can have a host configured for example.com which actually points to another hostname, such as a source control server, e.g. git.example.com.

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