I later found A Practical Guide to Managing Multiple GitHub Accounts by Fredrick. It successfully helped me set up the SSH keys. The post is already clear enough, but I would like to go over the steps in my own words, and clarify some points I found most confusing.
Almost all the following codes come from Fredrick. I just added my explanation to them.
First, open your Terminal.
cd ~/.ssh ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "email@example.com" ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "firstname.lastname@example.org"
ssh-keygen -t ..., a question will pop up (Suppose your Mac username is Julia):
Enter file in which to save the key (/Users/Julia/.ssh/id_rsa):
:, you are supposed to enter something like:
/Users/Julia/.ssh/id_rsa_primary. This is a very important step, but none of the posts I read mentioned it, which has been very frustring for me.
You’ll also be asked to enter passphrases. In fact, you are asked to create passphrases, rather than to enter your GitHub or Computer passwords.
.ssh/ folder with
open -a Finder ~/.ssh
You should see four files in the folder:
id_rsa_primary id_rsa_primary.pub id_rsa_secondary id_rsa_secondary.pub
Then, copy the content of the keys for your secondary GitHub account:
pbcopy < ~/.ssh/id_rsa_secondary.pub
Now, log in your secondary GitHub account, Click your avatar on the upper-right corner -> Settings -> “SSH and GPG keys” on left panel -> New SSH key. Paste (
Cmd + v) in the “key” input field, and add a title in the “Title” box.
Go back to your Terminal:
Now you can see a file called
config within the folder of
/Users/Julia/.ssh/. Open it and add the following to it:
# Primary account - default config Host github.com-primary HostName github.com User git IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_rsa_primary # Secondary account Host github.com-secondary HostName github.com User git IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_rsa_secondary
Ctrl + S).
I didn’t create the two
git configuration files mentioned by Fredrick and I didn’t encounter any problems.
Save and Authenticate #
Be aware that the following codes starting with
ssh-add ... should run at the directory of
Users/Julia/ as Frederick implies. Check your present working directory with
pwd if you are not sure.
Remove previous SSH keys:
Add the new SSH keys just created:
ssh-add id_rsa_secondary ssh-add id_rsa_primary
Check whether it works:
# Open your secondary GitHub account, and run: ssh -T github.com-secondary # Open your primary GitHub account, and run: ssh -T github.com-primary
If successful, you can see:
Hi USERNAME! You've successfully authenticated, but GitHub does not provide shell access.
When working on projects associated with your secondary GitHub account, it’s better to use the SSH format when cloning or pushing. Also, you’d better specify which account you are using:
git clone email@example.com:USERNAME/REPONAME.git
Last modified on 2021-03-29