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Secure Multi Git Remote

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In this post I'll explain how to set up a local dev environment that supports multiple upstream git branches, with unique ssh keys with a twist.

Most (non-self-employed) engineers these days will have their own Github (or other git provider) account, and at least one other... normally for their employer.

I've been using the below setup for a while, and recently decided to do a small upgrade to the way I do my local ssh... so I decided to blob about it.

In the example below, I'll use Developer Bob who works for the Acme Company.

1: Create a global .gitconfig

	name = bob-forapples
	email =

# employer specific git configs
[includeIf "gitdir:Sources/acme/"]
    path = /Users/bob/Sources/acme/.gitconfig

2: Create a local .gitconfig

... at the path /Users/bob/Sources/acme/.gitconfig. create as many as these as you need

	name = bob-acme
	email =

The steps above will ensure when Bob commits in repos inside the acme folder, they will use his ace name & email.

3: Create or update the .ssh/config

... with the following

# Personal account
   User git
   IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id

# Work account, create as many as these as you need
   User git
   IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_acme

4: Clone a repo

The only trick now, is to remember Bob's convention that you set up. If Bob clone's a repo from Acme, he needs to slightly alter the git clone command to match to the host of where he's using what specific ssh key..

git clone

5: Bonus Secure your SSH keys.

As of 1Password 8. You can now store your SSH keys inside a vault. I prefer this to having a potential mess of files that I no longer remeber where they are or aren't being used.

Another major benefit is that during the regular workflow of using said ssh keys in your CLI 1Password will just pop up a little biometric login prompt, you scan your fingerprint, and you're authorized to use your key in that session. So simple, and soooooo damn cool.

To achive all of the above you need to do the following.

  • Upgrade to 1Password8 (if you're on an older version)
  • In 1Password, got to Preferences > Developer
    • Enable Use SSH Agent
    • Enable Biometric unlock for CLI
  • Add your key to the vault and export the pub key.
  • Store the pub key in your .ssh folder

Next create a symlink to the agent

mkdir -p ~/.1password && ln -s ~/Library/Group\ Containers/ ~/.1password/agent.sock

and update your .ssh/config

Host *
  IdentitiesOnly yes
  # this tells gh to use the 1Password Identity agent for all hosts
  IdentityAgent "~/.1password/agent.sock"

  User git
  IdentityFile ~/.ssh/

  User git
  IdentityFile ~/.ssh/