Using git with multiple emails

24 Jan 2020 10:13 git

Recently I noticed that I’d made some commits to the git repository at work with my personal email address.

I started looking at ways to automatically prevent this.

I found this blog post.

One of its suggestions is to use direnv to configure GIT_AUTHOR_EMAIL and GIT_COMMITTER_EMAIL for each directory. That won’t work for me because I share the repositories with other people, and they don’t want that in a shared .envrc. I couldn’t find a way to get direnv to do its thing without a .envrc file, so that’s out.

Even if we’re not using a shared .envrc file, that still needs me to manually add one to the repo, and I want it to be automatic.

Another option I considered was wrapping git with my own alias or script that could look at the git remote and set the relevant environment variables. That seemed a bit fragile.

Then I found this question on Stack Overflow.

The accepted answer uses conditional includes, which allows you to specify an extra configuration file depending on where you’ve checked stuff out.

[includeIf "gitdir:~/work/"]
    path = .gitconfig-work
[includeIf "gitdir:~/play/"]
    path = .gitconfig-play

This doesn’t work for me because it assumes that you’re checking out “work” and “play” to different directories. That’s not a perfect match for what I do.

But: one of the other answers has a link to It allows you to match the remote URL against patterns in order to set email and name automatically, and it does it at git clone time.

I’ve combined it with git config --global user.useconfigonly true to prevent git from guessing my email, and I’m not setting a default user in my ~/.gitconfig.

So far, it appears to work perfectly.