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Managing remote repositories

Learn to work with your local repositories on your computer and remote repositories hosted on GitHub AE.

In this article

Adding a remote repository

To add a new remote, use the git remote add command on the terminal, in the directory your repository is stored at.

The git remote add command takes two arguments:

  • A remote name, for example, origin
  • A remote URL, for example, https://[hostname]/user/repo.git

For example:

$ git remote add origin https://hostname/user/repo.git
# Set a new remote

$ git remote -v
# Verify new remote
> origin  https://hostname/user/repo.git (fetch)
> origin  https://hostname/user/repo.git (push)

For more information on which URL to use, see "About remote repositories."

Troubleshooting: Remote origin already exists

This error means you've tried to add a remote with a name that already exists in your local repository.

$ git remote add origin https://hostname/octocat/Spoon-Knife.git
> fatal: remote origin already exists.

To fix this, you can:

  • Use a different name for the new remote
  • Rename the existing remote repository
  • Delete the existing remote repository

Changing a remote repository's URL

The git remote set-url command changes an existing remote repository URL.

Tip: For information on the difference between HTTPS and SSH URLs, see "About remote repositories."

The git remote set-url command takes two arguments:

  • An existing remote name. For example, origin or upstream are two common choices.
  • A new URL for the remote. For example:
    • If you're updating to use HTTPS, your URL might look like:
      https://[hostname]/USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git
    • If you're updating to use SSH, your URL might look like:
      git@hostname:USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git

Switching remote URLs from SSH to HTTPS

  1. Open TerminalTerminalGit Bash.
  2. Change the current working directory to your local project.
  3. List your existing remotes in order to get the name of the remote you want to change.
    $ git remote -v
    > origin  git@hostname:USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git (fetch)
    > origin  git@hostname:USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git (push)
  4. Change your remote's URL from SSH to HTTPS with the git remote set-url command.
    $ git remote set-url origin https://hostname/USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git
  5. Verify that the remote URL has changed.
    $ git remote -v
    # Verify new remote URL
    > origin  https://hostname/USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git (fetch)
    > origin  https://hostname/USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git (push)

The next time you git fetch, git pull, or git push to the remote repository, you'll be asked for your GitHub username and password. When Git prompts you for your password, enter your personal access token (PAT) instead. For more information, see "Creating a personal access token."

You can use a credential helper so Git will remember your GitHub username and personal access token every time it talks to GitHub.

Switching remote URLs from HTTPS to SSH

  1. Open TerminalTerminalGit Bash.
  2. Change the current working directory to your local project.
  3. List your existing remotes in order to get the name of the remote you want to change.
    $ git remote -v
    > origin  https://hostname/USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git (fetch)
    > origin  https://hostname/USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git (push)
  4. Change your remote's URL from HTTPS to SSH with the git remote set-url command.
    $ git remote set-url origin git@hostname:USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git
  5. Verify that the remote URL has changed.
    $ git remote -v
    # Verify new remote URL
    > origin  git@hostname:USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git (fetch)
    > origin  git@hostname:USERNAME/REPOSITORY.git (push)

Troubleshooting: No such remote '[name]'

This error means that the remote you tried to change doesn't exist:

$ git remote set-url sofake https://hostname/octocat/Spoon-Knife
> fatal: No such remote 'sofake'

Check that you've correctly typed the remote name.

Renaming a remote repository

Use the git remote rename command to rename an existing remote.

The git remote rename command takes two arguments:

  • An existing remote name, for example, origin
  • A new name for the remote, for example, destination

Example

These examples assume you're cloning using HTTPS, which is recommended.

$ git remote -v
# View existing remotes
> origin  https://hostname/OWNER/REPOSITORY.git (fetch)
> origin  https://hostname/OWNER/REPOSITORY.git (push)

$ git remote rename origin destination
# Change remote name from 'origin' to 'destination'

$ git remote -v
# Verify remote's new name
> destination  https://hostname/OWNER/REPOSITORY.git (fetch)
> destination  https://hostname/OWNER/REPOSITORY.git (push)

Troubleshooting: Could not rename config section 'remote.[old name]' to 'remote.[new name]'

This error means that the remote you tried the old remote name you typed doesn't exist.

You can check which remotes currently exist with the git remote -v command:

$ git remote -v
# View existing remotes
> origin  https://hostname/OWNER/REPOSITORY.git (fetch)
> origin  https://hostname/OWNER/REPOSITORY.git (push)

Troubleshooting: Remote [new name] already exists

This error means that the remote name you want to use already exists. To solve this, either use a different remote name, or rename the original remote.

Removing a remote repository

Use the git remote rm command to remove a remote URL from your repository.

The git remote rm command takes one argument:

  • A remote name, for example, destination

Example

These examples assume you're cloning using HTTPS, which is recommended.

$ git remote -v
# View current remotes
> origin  https://hostname/OWNER/REPOSITORY.git (fetch)
> origin  https://hostname/OWNER/REPOSITORY.git (push)
> destination  https://hostname/FORKER/REPOSITORY.git (fetch)
> destination  https://hostname/FORKER/REPOSITORY.git (push)

$ git remote rm destination
# Remove remote
$ git remote -v
# Verify it's gone
> origin  https://hostname/OWNER/REPOSITORY.git (fetch)
> origin  https://hostname/OWNER/REPOSITORY.git (push)

Note: git remote rm does not delete the remote repository from the server. It simply removes the remote and its references from your local repository.

Troubleshooting: Could not remove config section 'remote.[name]'

This error means that the remote you tried to delete doesn't exist:

$ git remote rm sofake
> error: Could not remove config section 'remote.sofake'

Check that you've correctly typed the remote name.

Further reading

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