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Git login with Netrc

What is Netrc file ?

Netrc file contains user credentials and is used to auto-login. It is usually located in users home directory .netrc but location can be overridden with NETRC environment variable. Netrc also supports macros macdef to automate tasks. Netrc can be used with ftp, curl, git etc.

Netrc file:

  • Create file named .netrc in home directory.
  • Lets consider your git server is hosted on domain
  ~ $ cat .netrc
  login first.last
  password secret-password
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Secure netrc file:

  • As .netrc is used to store credentials, lets secure the file.
  ~ $ chmod 0600 ~/.netrc
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That's it, next time when you use git for domain, git should pick up the credentials on behalf of you ;)


  • Netrc stores credentials in plan text. This is how netrc is meant to be ;)

Use case:

  • Its a good idea to use netrc when you have token based authentication.
  • Automation for service accounts with token based authentication.

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