Maintaining multiple identities with Git

Kirill Müller


When committing to a Git repository related to my consulting work, it’s very important for me to use my company e-mail address, kirill@cynkra.com . Not so much for my open-source work – for this I prefer other addresses, like krlmlr+r@mailbox.org . (For example, Travis CI sends notification e-mails to the committer’s e-mail address, and I have set up filtering for that other address.)

Photo by Carson Arias


Configuring the e-mail address for each repository separately gets annoying very soon. Rather, I’d like all repos in a specific subdirectory to use a specific e-mail address.

All my Git repos live in ~/git. Subdirectories R and cynkra, respectively, contain R packages and repos related to consulting. To achieve the desired setup, I edit my ~/.gitconfig to contain the following entry:

[includeIf "gitdir:git/**"]
    path = git/.gitconfig

This makes sure that all repos that live underneath the git directory use the git/.gitconfig file in addition to the main configuration. That file contains the following:

[includeIf "gitdir:R/**"]
    path = R/.gitconfig
[includeIf "gitdir:cynkra/**"]
    path = cynkra/.gitconfig

Finally, in ~/git/R/.gitconfig and ~/git/cynkra/.gitconfig, I configure the e-mail addresses I want to use for all repos underneath R and cynkra, respectively.

[user]
    email = ...

I verify the setup with git config -l | grep user. Indeed, cynkra repos use the cynkra e-mail address. Voilà!

This requires a recent-ish version of git, version 2.14 or later should suffice. Read more about conditional includes.





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