1028Setting up GitHub Command-Line Access

This is a short, condensed instruction how to set-up command-line access to github.com. Written is response to onboard new FabAcademy students - and get them started with MkDocs.

This guides is for macOS 12 or higher. My Mac uses macOS Ventura 13.0.01.

Step 1: Creating a new SSH Key

Go to the .ssh directory.

$ cd ~/.ssh

Made new key:

$ ssh-keygen -t ed25519 -C "your_email@example.com"
  • Don't just copy, put in your email. I also added a password.
  • Also, don't copy the $, just the ssh-keygen -t ed25519 -C "your_email@example.com" part. But with your email.

You can name your key. For this example, we call it id_github_test.

Step 2: Adding SSH Key to ssh-agent.

$ eval "$(ssh-agent -s)"

Step 3: Adding Key Info to config

Open .ssh/config in your favourite text editor. If you want to stay at the command line, use nano.

Add the following:

Host *.github.com
  AddKeysToAgent yes
  UseKeychain yes
  IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_github_test

Step 4: Adding the Key to ssh-agent

Adding private key to ssh-agent

$ ssh-add --apple-use-keychain ~/.ssh/id_github_test

This add the new key to the Apple Keychain.

If you used a passphrase when you created the key, you will be asked for it now.

Enter passphrase for /Users/georg/.ssh/id_github_test: 
Identity added: /Users/georg/.ssh/id_github_test (your_email@example.com)

Step 5: Adding Public Key to github.com

  • Log into Github
  • Profile > Settings > SSH and GPG Keys
  • Click 'New SSH Key'

Copy and paster your public key, in this example case, id_github_test.pub.

The tutorial on Github suggest to copy the public key using a command:

$ pbcopy < ~/.ssh/id_github_test.pub      

pbcopy - for paste board copy is the terminal interface to the macOS' Copy & Paste. pbcopy < read the content of a file into the copy memory. After running pbcopy you can press Command-V to paste the text.

  • Paste the copied SSH Public Key.

Step 5.1: Two-Factor Authentication at GitHub.com

I setup Two-Factor Authentication at GitHub.com, I had to confirm the addition of a new key via my mobile GitHub App. Your mileage might vary.

Step 6: Testing the connection

$ ssh -T git@github.com
Hi trembl! You've successfully authenticated, 
but GitHub does not provide shell access.

Ok, great! It worked!

Now you can clone, add, commit, push and pull!