How to Use SSH with Github

Setting Up SSH Authentication with GitHub for Secure Access with 2FA GitHub Accounts


Creating SSH Keys

Type this in to create GitHub Keys for your computer

ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "[email protected]"


  • I typically save this in ~/.ssh/github
  • You don’t have to put a password if you aren’t worried about security

Adding the New Key to GitHub and Local SSH-Agent

Type the following on the local machine to add your key to the agent.

eval "$(ssh-agent -s)"
ssh-add ~/.ssh/github

Copy the contents of ~/.ssh/ to the new key field in GitHub. If you have xclip installed type this cat ~/.ssh/ | xclip -sel clip to copy the contents.


Test GitHub SSH Access

Type the following to verify you have completed the setup properly

SSH GitHub Clone Syntax and Updating Repositories

Here is how to clone new repositories instead of using https://

git clone [email protected]:USERNAME/Repo.git

Update existing repositories to use SSH instead of https

git remote set-url origin [email protected]:USERNAME/Repo.git


This is the best way to clone and push updates to repositories if you have 2-Factor enabled on your GitHub account.