Setting up local development for Github

Set up configuration and SSH Keys

Published: June 19, 2021

Updated: August 10, 2023


In this note, we will walkthrough the steps to get started with local development with Github. First we will setup the configuration details, then we will set up the SSH keys.

Configuration Steps

Global setup

To set up global variables, open the terminal and run the following:

  • Email set up: git config --global "insert your email here"

  • User name set up: git config --global "insert your name here"

Local setup

To set up local variables for an individual project,

  • Open the terminal

  • Navigate to the project folder

  • To set the project email, run: git config --local "insert your email here"

  • To set the project user name, run: git config --local "insert your name here"

To view all settings, run: git config --list

Setting up SSH keys

Generate the SSH keys

  1. Open the terminal
  2. Navigate to the home directory by running: cd ~/
  3. Generate your SSH key by running: ssh-keygen -t rsa
  4. Follow the prompts and accept the defaults. You can decide whether to create a passphrase, which is requested every time you want to interact with Github (like a password).
  5. When you are done, two files will be created ~/.ssh/id_rsa and ~/.ssh/ (this is the public key)
  6. To copy your public key to your clipboard, run: pbcopy < ~/.ssh/

Upload public key to Github

  1. Open your browser
  2. Login to Github and navigate to
  3. Click on the SSH and GPG keys section on the sidebar
  4. Click on the New SSH key button
  5. Enter an appropriate title
  6. Paste the contents from your clipboard
  7. Click the Add SSH key button to save it

You are now set up, and can clone a repository.


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