gitcredentials(7) — Linux manual page


GITCREDENTIALS(7)              Git Manual              GITCREDENTIALS(7)

NAME         top

       gitcredentials - Providing usernames and passwords to Git

SYNOPSIS         top

       git config credential. myusername
       git config credential.helper "$helper $options"

DESCRIPTION         top

       Git will sometimes need credentials from the user in order to
       perform operations; for example, it may need to ask for a
       username and password in order to access a remote repository over
       HTTP. Some remotes accept a personal access token or OAuth access
       token as a password. This manual describes the mechanisms Git
       uses to request these credentials, as well as some features to
       avoid inputting these credentials repeatedly.


       Without any credential helpers defined, Git will try the
       following strategies to ask the user for usernames and passwords:

        1. If the GIT_ASKPASS environment variable is set, the program
           specified by the variable is invoked. A suitable prompt is
           provided to the program on the command line, and the user’s
           input is read from its standard output.

        2. Otherwise, if the core.askPass configuration variable is set,
           its value is used as above.

        3. Otherwise, if the SSH_ASKPASS environment variable is set,
           its value is used as above.

        4. Otherwise, the user is prompted on the terminal.


       It can be cumbersome to input the same credentials over and over.
       Git provides two methods to reduce this annoyance:

        1. Static configuration of usernames for a given authentication

        2. Credential helpers to cache or store passwords, or to
           interact with a system password wallet or keychain.

       The first is simple and appropriate if you do not have secure
       storage available for a password. It is generally configured by
       adding this to your config:

           [credential ""]
                   username = me

       Credential helpers, on the other hand, are external programs from
       which Git can request both usernames and passwords; they
       typically interface with secure storage provided by the OS or
       other programs. Alternatively, a credential-generating helper
       might generate credentials for certain servers via some API.

       To use a helper, you must first select one to use. Git currently
       includes the following helpers:

           Cache credentials in memory for a short period of time. See
           git-credential-cache(1) for details.

           Store credentials indefinitely on disk. See
           git-credential-store(1) for details.

       You may also have third-party helpers installed; search for
       credential-* in the output of git help -a, and consult the
       documentation of individual helpers. Once you have selected a
       helper, you can tell Git to use it by putting its name into the
       credential.helper variable.

        1. Find a helper.

               $ git help -a | grep credential-

        2. Read its description.

               $ git help credential-foo

        3. Tell Git to use it.

               $ git config --global credential.helper foo

   Available helpers
       The community maintains a comprehensive list of Git credential
       helpers at .

       An alternative to inputting passwords or personal access tokens
       is to use an OAuth credential helper. Initial authentication
       opens a browser window to the host. Subsequent authentication
       happens in the background. Many popular Git hosts support OAuth.


       Git considers each credential to have a context defined by a URL.
       This context is used to look up context-specific configuration,
       and is passed to any helpers, which may use it as an index into
       secure storage.

       For instance, imagine we are accessing . When Git looks into a config file to
       see if a section matches this context, it will consider the two a
       match if the context is a more-specific subset of the pattern in
       the config file. For example, if you have this in your config

           [credential ""]
                   username = foo

       then we will match: both protocols are the same, both hosts are
       the same, and the "pattern" URL does not care about the path
       component at all. However, this context would not match:

           [credential ""]
                   username = foo

       because the hostnames differ. Nor would it match;
       Git compares hostnames exactly, without considering whether two
       hosts are part of the same domain. Likewise, a config entry for would not match: Git compares the protocols
       exactly. However, you may use wildcards in the domain name and
       other pattern matching techniques as with the http.<URL>.*

       If the "pattern" URL does include a path component, then this too
       must match exactly: the context 
       will match a config entry for (in
       addition to matching the config entry for )
       but will not match a config entry for .


       Options for a credential context can be configured either in
       credential.* (which applies to all credentials), or
       credential.<URL>.*, where <URL> matches the context as described

       The following options are available in either location:

           The name of an external credential helper, and any associated
           options. If the helper name is not an absolute path, then the
           string git credential- is prepended. The resulting string is
           executed by the shell (so, for example, setting this to foo
           --option=bar will execute git credential-foo --option=bar via
           the shell. See the manual of specific helpers for examples of
           their use.

           If there are multiple instances of the credential.helper
           configuration variable, each helper will be tried in turn,
           and may provide a username, password, or nothing. Once Git
           has acquired both a username and a non-expired password, no
           more helpers will be tried.

           If credential.helper is configured to the empty string, this
           resets the helper list to empty (so you may override a helper
           set by a lower-priority config file by configuring the
           empty-string helper, followed by whatever set of helpers you
           would like).

           A default username, if one is not provided in the URL.

           By default, Git does not consider the "path" component of an
           http URL to be worth matching via external helpers. This
           means that a credential stored for
  will also be used for
  . If you do want to distinguish
           these cases, set this option to true.

CUSTOM HELPERS         top

       You can write your own custom helpers to interface with any
       system in which you keep credentials.

       Credential helpers are programs executed by Git to fetch or save
       credentials from and to long-term storage (where "long-term" is
       simply longer than a single Git process; e.g., credentials may be
       stored in-memory for a few minutes, or indefinitely on disk).

       Each helper is specified by a single string in the configuration
       variable credential.helper (and others, see git-config(1)). The
       string is transformed by Git into a command to be executed using
       these rules:

        1. If the helper string begins with "!", it is considered a
           shell snippet, and everything after the "!" becomes the

        2. Otherwise, if the helper string begins with an absolute path,
           the verbatim helper string becomes the command.

        3. Otherwise, the string "git credential-" is prepended to the
           helper string, and the result becomes the command.

       The resulting command then has an "operation" argument appended
       to it (see below for details), and the result is executed by the

       Here are some example specifications:

           # run "git credential-foo"
                   helper = foo

           # same as above, but pass an argument to the helper
                   helper = "foo --bar=baz"

           # the arguments are parsed by the shell, so use shell
           # quoting if necessary
                   helper = "foo --bar='whitespace arg'"

           # you can also use an absolute path, which will not use the git wrapper
                   helper = "/path/to/my/helper --with-arguments"

           # or you can specify your own shell snippet
           [credential ""]
                   username = your_user
                   helper = "!f() { test \"$1\" = get && echo \"password=$(cat $HOME/.secret)\"; }; f"

       Generally speaking, rule (3) above is the simplest for users to
       specify. Authors of credential helpers should make an effort to
       assist their users by naming their program
       "git-credential-$NAME", and putting it in the $PATH or
       $GIT_EXEC_PATH during installation, which will allow a user to
       enable it with git config credential.helper $NAME.

       When a helper is executed, it will have one "operation" argument
       appended to its command line, which is one of:

           Return a matching credential, if any exists.

           Store the credential, if applicable to the helper.

           Remove matching credentials, if any, from the helper’s

       The details of the credential will be provided on the helper’s
       stdin stream. The exact format is the same as the input/output
       format of the git credential plumbing command (see the section
       INPUT/OUTPUT FORMAT in git-credential(1) for a detailed

       For a get operation, the helper should produce a list of
       attributes on stdout in the same format (see git-credential(1)
       for common attributes). A helper is free to produce a subset, or
       even no values at all if it has nothing useful to provide. Any
       provided attributes will overwrite those already known about by
       Git’s credential subsystem. Unrecognised attributes are silently

       While it is possible to override all attributes, well behaving
       helpers should refrain from doing so for any attribute other than
       username and password.

       If a helper outputs a quit attribute with a value of true or 1,
       no further helpers will be consulted, nor will the user be
       prompted (if no credential has been provided, the operation will
       then fail).

       Similarly, no more helpers will be consulted once both username
       and password had been provided.

       For a store or erase operation, the helper’s output is ignored.

       If a helper fails to perform the requested operation or needs to
       notify the user of a potential issue, it may write to stderr.

       If it does not support the requested operation (e.g., a read-only
       store or generator), it should silently ignore the request.

       If a helper receives any other operation, it should silently
       ignore the request. This leaves room for future operations to be
       added (older helpers will just ignore the new requests).

GIT         top

       Part of the git(1) suite

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the git (Git distributed version control
       system) project.  Information about the project can be found at
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug report for this manual
       page, see ⟨⟩.  This page was obtained
       from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨⟩ on 2023-12-22.  (At that time,
       the date of the most recent commit that was found in the
       repository was 2023-12-20.)  If you discover any rendering
       problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe there
       is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
       corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to

Git         2023-12-20              GITCREDENTIALS(7)

Pages that refer to this page: git(1)git-config(1)git-credential-cache(1)git-credential-store(1)