Automating Push/Pulls to GitHub via SSH

Normally a git clone would be via HTTPS, with prompts for GitHub credentials:

$ git clone

To automate GitHub pull/push requests, need to use SSH w/ key authentication.

Start by setting up a ~/.gitconfig file and specify your primary GitHub e-mail address:

 editor = nano
 name = Johnny Five
 email =

Upload the SSH public key to GitHub.  This will be ~/.ssh/ by default.  To specify a different private key for GitHub,  add an entry in ~/.ssh/config like this:

User git
IdentityFile ~/.ssh/mySpecialGitHubKey.pem

Then do clone via SSH.  Note “git” should be username, not GitHub username.

$ git clone ssh://

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