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Saravanan Gnanaguru for Kubernetes Community Days Chennai

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at

How to Setup SSH-Key in GitHub for Git Operations

How to Setup SSH-Key for Git Operations

Table of Contents


  • In this blog, we will see how to setup passwordless Git operation for our GitHub repos
  • GitHub stopped supporting password authentication for repository related Git Operations from Aug-13-2021
  • Instead, token-based authentication methods like personal access, OAuth, SSH Key, or GitHub App installation token will be required for all authenticated Git operations.
  • In this blog, we will see how to setup SSH key based authentication in GitHub for doing Git operations

Summary of Steps

  • Step 1: Create SSH keys for your workstation using ssh-keygen command
  • Step 2: Copy the SSH Public Key into GitHub Settings
  • Step 3: Use SSH URL for the repository to clone

Create SSH Keys

I'm using Ubuntu OS workstation and performed the steps in it.

  • Open terminal and Run ssh-keygen command The command creates following two files in $USER_HOME/.ssh directory,
  • id_rsa private key file, and
  • public key file
$ ssh-keygen
Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key ($USER_HOME/.ssh/id_rsa):
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Then press enter, to move further,

  • It is important to Enter passphrase for your SSH key, to use the key for cloning private repo from GitHub
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): 
Enter same passphrase again: 
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Finally, we can see the below output, which shows the path where the public and private key files are stored

Your identification has been saved in $USER_HOME/.ssh/id_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in $USER_HOME/.ssh/
The key fingerprint is:
SHA256:VRqScsqwertyuioXGpazvfrw username@workstation_name
The key's randomart image is:
+---[RSA 2048]--+
| .+. o=o .     |
|.. o.oo.+      |
|o .   oo+ o    |
|.+   o -= +    |
|o   . o S      |
| .o+   o .     |
|.o..+ o O.     |
|o.o .-- =O.*.  |
|.+..E ooO.     |
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Copy Public key to GitHub Settings

  • Goto GitHub Settings

GitHub Settings

  • Select SSH and GPG key from left pane

SSH and GPG key setting

  • Select New SSH key

New SSH key

  • Copy your workstation's ( public key content here

Paste pub key content

  • Save and the key will be listed in the SSH key section

Clone Repo using SSH URL

  • Now you can use the SSH URL to clone the repository

Clone using ssh url

  • While cloning, you would be prompted to enter the SSH key password
$ git clone
Cloning into 'repo_name'...
Enter passphrase for key '$USER_HOME/.ssh/id_rsa': 
Checking connectivity... done.
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  • Once you enter your SSH key password, the repo will be cloned in your workstation

Issue and Resolution

Issue 1

  • Sometime we will get below error while updating the old repo, which was previously cloned using http and username/password,
`fatal: could not read Username for '': terminal prompts disabled`
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Resolution for issue 1

  • Use the command to get rid of the issue.
  • We need to do git configure on the repo and change URL config,
# To avoid the error 
# we need to change gt config to use ssh/git method
git config --global --add url."".insteadOf ""
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Issue 2

  • Another issue might be due to Organisations enabled with SSO auth for GitHub. Below error may appear,
ERROR: The `Acme Corp' organization has enabled or enforced SAML SSO. To access
this repository, you must use the HTTPS remote with a personal access token
or SSH with an SSH key and passphrase
that has been authorized for this organization. Visit for more information.

fatal: Could not read from remote repository.
Please make sure you have the correct access rights
and the repository exists.
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Resolution for issue 2

  • So we need to authorize our system SSH-KEY to use for the specific Organisations. Please find more details here


  • In this blog we discussed setting up GitHub ssh keys to perform password-less login to do Git operations

  • This article was previously published on my dev community personal profile, re-publishing for the benefit of a wider audience.

  • Hope this article is helpful to people getting started with kubernetes concepts.

Bibliography and Reference

GitHub Docs for Working with SSH key

GitHub Docs for cloning repo using SSH URL

Authorizing an SSH key for SSO Enabled Orgs

Creating SSH key for Windows 10

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