How to Set Up Multiple SSH Keys for GitHub Accounts on macOS?

Upon joining my new company, I encountered the requirement of maintaining a separate GitHub account for work-related repositories. This posed a challenge as I needed to manage both my personal and work GitHub accounts on a single machine. To address this, I undertook a step-by-step approach to set up multiple GitHub accounts on my Mac, ensuring a seamless workflow for both.

Step 1: Generate SSH Keys

Open your terminal and generate SSH keys for both accounts:

ssh-keygen -C [email protected]

These commands create public/private key pairs located in the ~/.ssh directory:

  • ~/.ssh/id_rsa
  • ~/.ssh/
  • ~/.ssh/id_ed25519
  • ~/.ssh/

Once the keys are generated run this command:

eval "$(ssh-agent -s)"

The above command is used to start the SSH agent and set up the necessary environment variables.

Step 2: Modify SSH Config File

Create or modify the ~/.ssh/config file:

vim ~/.ssh/config

Add the following configuration:

# GitHub for personal
  User git
  IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_rsa

# GitHub for work
  User git
  IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_ed25519

Host *
   AddKeysToAgent yes
   IdentitiesOnly yes

Save the file.

Step 3: Add Keys to macOS Keychain

Run the following commands to add keys to the Keychain:

eval "$(ssh-agent -s)"
ssh-add -D # This will delete all identities previously added
ssh-add --apple-use-keychain ~/.ssh/id_rsa
ssh-add --apple-use-keychain ~/.ssh/id_ed25519

Verify the added keys with:

ssh-add -l

Step 4: Add Public Keys to GitHub Accounts

Add the public keys to your GitHub accounts following GitHub's documentation.

Step 5: Test the Connection

Test the connection for both accounts:

You should see a successful authentication message.

Step 6: Clone the Repository

Clone repositories using the appropriate remote URLs:

For personal account:

git clone [email protected]/project.git

For work account:

git clone [email protected]:company/project.git

Step 7: Test it Out

Create a repository on GitHub, clone it, and configure user email and name for the local repository:

For work account:

git config --local "[email protected]"
git config --local "work"

Now, you can seamlessly push and pull from GitHub repositories with multiple accounts.

We can follow the same tutorial for other vcs systems.

Learn More

  1. A practical guide to data collection with OpenTelemetry, Prometheus and Grafana
  2. Beginner's Guide to HTTP Methods and Status Codes
  3. Flask and SQLAlchemy: Better Data Management

Please let me know if there's anything else I can add or if there's any way to improve the post. Also, leave a comment if you have any feedback or suggestions.


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