SourceTree on Windows can't connect to GitHub using OpenSSH

(Running Windows 7, SourceTree configured to use OpenSSH)

When my private key (stored in C:\Users\MyUser\.ssh) is called id_rsa everything works fine: I can clone GitHub repositories, pull, etc., using regular GitHub URLs: git@github:my-github-user/my-repo.git.

But when I rename my private key to something else and let SourceTree know about this (under Tools -> Options -> SSH Key) it fails to connect.

Furthermore: if I create C:\Users\MyUser\.ssh\config and add something like

Host github2
 User git
 IdentityFile something_else 

And try URLs such as git@github2:my-github-user/my-repo.git or ssh://github2/my-github-user/my-repo.git, it doesn't work.

It's as if OpenSSH in SourceTree is hardwired to read only id_rsaand ignore other settings (such as .ssh\config and/or SSH Key).


2 answers

1 accepted

1 vote
Answer accepted

I am using a private key other than id_rsa, but my configuration is completely different than yours.

First of all, I am not using .ssh to store my key or for any manual config.

Secondly, I am not specifying a specific key in SourceTree options.

Thirdly, I am using Pageant as my key agent, which I DO have set in my SourceTree config. I have Pageant configured to load the key at startup. It seems that SourceTree simply tries to authenticate with any keys in Pageant.

Also, Rafael's instructions seem tailored for Mac/Linux, which isn't going to be particularly helpful since you said you're on Windows.

That's interesting, I'll check it out. I was still hoping to understand why OpenSSH (no agent) doesn't work, though.

Well it works. Unfortunate that I couldn't find any other solution, but for the sake of good order I'll accept this answer.

1 vote

Hi Nitzan,

Create a SSH config file

When you have multiple identity files or a ssh key different from id_rsa, create a SSH config file mechanisms to create aliases for your various identities. You can construct a SSH config file using many parameters and different approaches. The format for the alias entries use in this example is:

Host alias
IdentityFile ~/.ssh/identity

To create a config file for one identity different from id_rsa or two identities+ (workid and personalid), you would do the following:

  1. Open a terminal window.
  2. Edit the ~/.ssh/config file.
    If you dont have a config file, create one.
  3. Add an alias for each identity combination for example:
    ## Sample 1
    Host defaultid
     IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_rsa
    ## Sample 2
    Host customid
     IdentityFile /Users/user/Downloads/customid
  4. Close and save the file.

Now, you can substitute the alias for portions of the repository URL address as illustrated below:

## Sample 1
# original command
git clone

# will become
git clone git@defaultid:accountname/reponame.git

## Sample 2
# original command 
git clone

# will become
git clone git@customid:accountname/reponame.git

Load each key into the appropriate Git account

You load each identities public key into corresponding account by copying and/or content and paste it into individual SSH key fields (Deployment keys).

Ensure the ssh-agent is loaded with your keys

List the currently loaded keys:

$ ssh-add -l
2048 32:ad:d1:3c:4b:3b:f4:34:7a:c5:b2:4a:be:8e:d8:9a /Users/user/.ssh/customid (RSA)
2048 68:ef:d6:1e:4b:3b:a3:52:6f:b0:c3:4b:da:e8:d1:9f /Users/user/Downloads/customid (RSA)

If necessary, add your new key to the list:

$ ssh-add /Users/user/Downloads/customid
Enter passphrase for /Users/user/Downloads/customid:
Identity added: /Users/user/Downloads/customid (/Users/user/Downloads/customid)

Kind regards,

Rafael -- kindly *reread* my question. You'll notice I did just that, but to no avail. I also made a specific comment re ssh-agent.

Those don't look like Windows instructions.

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