manage separate git identities

posted jul 3, 2022

if you work on a lot of different projects using git, it can be tricky to manage identities and easy to mistakenly make commits w/ your default user information. creating a simple git alias for managing git identities can help.

first, configure git so each repository requires its own user configuration in order to make commits

git config --global user.useConfigOnly true

now, set up an id alias in your .gitconfig file

    id = "!f() { \
            git config user.name \"$(git config user.$1.name)\"; \
            git config user.email \"$(git config user.$1.email)\"; \
        if [[ $(git config user.$1.signingkey) ]]; then \
            git config user.signingkey \"$(git config user.$1.signingkey)\"; \
            git config commit.gpgsign true; \
        else \
            git config --unset user.signingkey; \
            git config --unset commit.gpgsign; \
        fi; \
        if [[ $(git config user.$1.sshkey) ]]; then \
            git config core.sshCommand \"ssh -i $HOME/.ssh/$(git config user.$1.sshkey)\"; \
        else \
            git config --unset core.sshCommand; \
        fi \
        }; f"

now you’re able to set up individual git identities, for example:

git config --global user.rj1.name "rj1"
git config --global user.rj1.email "[email protected]"
git config --global user.rj1.signingkey "F042A0B6CB41FDA2"
git config --global user.rj1.sshkey "rj1"

signingkey is the gpg fingerprint to be used, sshkey is the name of a private ssh key file stored in ~/.ssh. e.g. ~/.ssh/rj1. gpg/ssh keys are optional.

now when you’re working in a git repo and try to commit something, it won’t work until you’ve chosen an identity to be used for that specific repository. this can be done using the git alias we’ve just created:

git id rj1

now the commits you make in that repo will be using that identity.

you can add as many identities as you’d like.

have fun!