Originally published at https://hoelz.ro/blog/using-two-different-protocols-for-the-same-git-remote
If you read my post on Adding Remote Shortcuts to Git, you may have found it useful for specifying shortcuts for easy cloning. In case you haven't read it, the summary is that to clone my linotify repository on GitHub, I need only type the following:
$ git clone hoelzro:linotify
This is because I set up an alias of sorts that translates
firstname.lastname@example.org/hoelzro/. This works very well, but sometimes it might be nice for read-only traffic to use a protocol other than SSH. Maybe you're on a new machine and you forgot to associate its public key with the remote side (With GitHub this is easy, but what if you're hosting your code on a webserver that only uses public key-based authentication?). Maybe you have
ssh-agent configured to time out identities after a while, and you don't want to type your password just to run
git fetch. I can't tell you how many times I've typed
git fetch only to be prompted for my key's password. How annoying! Wouldn't it be nice if I could tell Git to use the HTTPS protocol for reading from a repository, and SSH for writing?
After delving into the
git-config manpage a bit, I discovered another gem similar to
pushInsteadOf. So I modified my
gitconfig to use this (which illustrates another advantage of the
insteadOf configuration option: I change it once in my
gitconfig, and the changes apply to every one of my repositories using that shortcut on my machine. If I decided one day that I wanted to move all of my repositories off of GitHub and onto a private server, I wouldn't need to set up new remotes in each of my repositories.):
[url "email@example.com:hoelzro/"] pushInsteadOf = hoelzro: [url "https://github.com/hoelzro/"] insteadOf = hoelzro:
Now when I run
git fetch or
git pull on my repostories, I never get prompted to enter my SSH key's password, since reading from my repository
is done via the HTTPS protocol.
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