Maintaining multiple identities with Git


Kirill Müller


August 25, 2020

When committing to a Git repository related to my consulting work, I must use my company e-mail address, Not so much for my open-source work – for this, I prefer to use other e-mail addresses, like . (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

Having to configure the e-mail address for each repository separately eventually gets annoying. Instead, I’d rather have all repos within a specific subdirectory use particular e-mail address.

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

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

This ensures that all repos in 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 pertaining to R and cynkra, respectively.

    email = ...

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

The above approach requires a recent-ish version of git- version 2.14 or later should suffice. Read more about conditional includes.