About remote repositories

GitHub's collaborative approach to development depends on publishing commits from your local repository to GitHub for other people to view, fetch, and update.

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About remote repositories

A remote URL is Git's fancy way of saying "the place where your code is stored." That URL could be your repository on GitHub, or another user's fork, or even on a completely different server.

You can only push to two types of URL addresses:

  • An HTTPS URL like https://github.com/user/repo.git
  • An SSH URL, like git@github.com:user/repo.git

Git associates a remote URL with a name, and your default remote is usually called origin.

Creating remote repositories

You can use the git remote add command to match a remote URL with a name. For example, you'd type the following in the command line:

git remote add origin  <REMOTE_URL> 

This associates the name origin with the REMOTE_URL.

You can use the command git remote set-url to change a remote's URL.

Choosing a URL for your remote repository

There are several ways to clone repositories available on GitHub.

When you view a repository while signed in to your account, the URLs you can use to clone the project onto your computer are available below the repository details.

For information on setting or changing your remote URL, see "Managing remote repositories."

Cloning with HTTPS URLs

The https:// clone URLs are available on all repositories, regardless of visibility. https:// clone URLs work even if you are behind a firewall or proxy.

When you git clone, git fetch, git pull, or git push to a remote repository using HTTPS URLs on the command line, Git will ask for your GitHub username and password. When Git prompts you for your password, enter your personal access token (PAT) instead. Password-based authentication for Git is deprecated, and using a PAT is more secure. For more information, see "Creating a personal access token."

If you are accessing an organization that uses SAML SSO, you must also authorize your personal access token to access the organization before you authenticate. For more information, see "About authentication with SAML single sign-on" and "Authorizing a personal access token for use with SAML single sign-on."

Tips:

If you'd rather use SSH but cannot connect over port 22, you might be able to use SSH over the HTTPS port. For more information, see "Using SSH over the HTTPS port."

Cloning with SSH URLs

SSH URLs provide access to a Git repository via SSH, a secure protocol. To use these URLs, you must generate an SSH keypair on your computer and add the public key to your GitHub account. For more information, see "Connecting to GitHub with SSH."

When you git clone, git fetch, git pull, or git push to a remote repository using SSH URLs, you'll be prompted for a password and must provide your SSH key passphrase. For more information, see "Working with SSH key passphrases."

If you are accessing an organization that uses SAML single sign-on (SSO), you must authorize your SSH key to access the organization before you authenticate. For more information, see "About authentication with SAML single sign-on" and "Authorizing an SSH key for use with SAML single sign-on."

Tip: You can use an SSH URL to clone a repository to your computer, or as a secure way of deploying your code to production servers. You can also use SSH agent forwarding with your deploy script to avoid managing keys on the server. For more information, see "Using SSH Agent Forwarding."

Cloning with GitHub CLI

You can also install GitHub CLI to use GitHub workflows in your terminal. For more information, the GitHub CLI documentation.

Cloning with Subversion

You can also use a Subversion client to access any repository on GitHub. Subversion offers a different feature set than Git. For more information, see "What are the differences between Subversion and Git?"

You can also access repositories on GitHub from Subversion clients. For more information, see "Support for Subversion clients."

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