How to Setup SSH Authentication for Git Bash on Windows

bsara profile image Brandon Sarà ・2 min read

I originally created this as a Gist on GitHub to be shared with some co-workers who were struggling to set up SSH on Windows. It seems to have been helpful to a lot of others as well; so, I'm posting it here so that it can benefit even more people.


  1. Create a folder at the root of your user home folder (Example: C:/Users/uname/) called .ssh.
  2. Create the following files if they do not already exist (paths begin from the root of your user home folder):
    • .ssh/config
    • .bash_profile
    • .bashrc

Create a New SSH Key

Follow the steps in the section named "Generating a new SSH
Key" found in the following documentation from GitHub:
Generating a new SSH key and adding it to the ssh-agent

Configure SSH for Git Hosting Server

Add the following text to .ssh/config (.ssh should be found
in the root of your user home folder):

Host github.com
 Hostname github.com
 IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_rsa

Enable SSH Agent Startup Whenever Git Bash is Started

First, ensure that following lines are added to .bash_profile,
which should be found in your root user home folder:

test -f ~/.profile && . ~/.profile
test -f ~/.bashrc && . ~/.bashrc

Now, add the following text to .bashrc, which should be found
in your root user home folder:

# Start SSH Agent


function run_ssh_env {
  . "${SSH_ENV}" > /dev/null

function start_ssh_agent {
  echo "Initializing new SSH agent..."
  ssh-agent | sed 's/^echo/#echo/' > "${SSH_ENV}"
  echo "succeeded"
  chmod 600 "${SSH_ENV}"


  ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa;

if [ -f "${SSH_ENV}" ]; then
  ps -ef | grep ${SSH_AGENT_PID} | grep ssh-agent$ > /dev/null || {

You're Done!

Please, feel free to ask any questions that you may have in the comments, I’m more than happy to help.


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