Git has an internal interface for storing and retrieving credentials
from system-specific helpers, as well as prompting the user for
usernames and passwords. The git-credential command exposes this
interface to scripts which may want to retrieve, store, or prompt for
credentials in the same manner as Git. The design of this scriptable
interface models the internal C API; see the Git credential API
for more background on the concepts.
git-credential takes an "action" option on the command-line (one of
fill, approve, or reject) and reads a credential description on stdin
(see INPUT/OUTPUT FORMAT).
If the action is fill, git-credential will attempt to add "username"
and "password" attributes to the description by reading config files,
by contacting any configured credential helpers, or by prompting the
user. The username and password attributes of the credential
description are then printed to stdout together with the attributes
If the action is approve, git-credential will send the description to
any configured credential helpers, which may store the credential for
If the action is reject, git-credential will send the description to
any configured credential helpers, which may erase any stored
credential matching the description.
If the action is approve or reject, no output should be emitted.
An application using git-credential will typically use git credential
following these steps:
1. Generate a credential description based on the context.
For example, if we want a password for
https://example.com/foo.git, we might generate the following
credential description (don’t forget the blank line at the end;
it tells git credential that the application finished feeding all
the information it has):
2. Ask git-credential to give us a username and password for this
description. This is done by running git credential fill, feeding
the description from step (1) to its standard input. The complete
credential description (including the credential per se, i.e. the
login and password) will be produced on standard output, like:
In most cases, this means the attributes given in the input will
be repeated in the output, but Git may also modify the credential
description, for example by removing the path attribute when the
protocol is HTTP(s) and credential.useHttpPath is false.
If the git credential knew about the password, this step may not
have involved the user actually typing this password (the user
may have typed a password to unlock the keychain instead, or no
user interaction was done if the keychain was already unlocked)
before it returned password=secr3t.
3. Use the credential (e.g., access the URL with the username and
password from step (2)), and see if it’s accepted.
4. Report on the success or failure of the password. If the
credential allowed the operation to complete successfully, then
it can be marked with an "approve" action to tell git credential
to reuse it in its next invocation. If the credential was
rejected during the operation, use the "reject" action so that
git credential will ask for a new password in its next
invocation. In either case, git credential should be fed with the
credential description obtained from step (2) (which also contain
the ones provided in step (1)).
git credential reads and/or writes (depending on the action used)
credential information in its standard input/output. This information
can correspond either to keys for which git credential will obtain
the login/password information (e.g. host, protocol, path), or to the
actual credential data to be obtained (login/password).
The credential is split into a set of named attributes, with one
attribute per line. Each attribute is specified by a key-value pair,
separated by an = (equals) sign, followed by a newline. The key may
contain any bytes except =, newline, or NUL. The value may contain
any bytes except newline or NUL. In both cases, all bytes are treated
as-is (i.e., there is no quoting, and one cannot transmit a value
with newline or NUL in it). The list of attributes is terminated by a
blank line or end-of-file. Git understands the following attributes:
The protocol over which the credential will be used (e.g.,
The remote hostname for a network credential.
The path with which the credential will be used. E.g., for
accessing a remote https repository, this will be the
repository’s path on the server.
The credential’s username, if we already have one (e.g., from a
URL, from the user, or from a previously run helper).
The credential’s password, if we are asking it to be stored.
When this special attribute is read by git credential, the value
is parsed as a URL and treated as if its constituent parts were
read (e.g., url=https://example.com would behave as if
protocol=https and host=example.com had been provided). This can
help callers avoid parsing URLs themselves. Note that any
components which are missing from the URL (e.g., there is no
username in the example above) will be set to empty; if you want
to provide a URL and override some attributes, provide the URL
attribute first, followed by any overrides.
This page is part of the git (Git distributed version control system)
project. Information about the project can be found at
⟨http://git-scm.com/⟩. If you have a bug report for this manual page,
see ⟨http://git-scm.com/community⟩. This page was obtained from the
project's upstream Git repository ⟨https://github.com/git/git.git⟩ on
2017-03-13. If you discover any rendering problems in this HTML ver‐
sion 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 man‐
ual page), send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Git 2.7.0.rc1.5.gf3a 12/17/2015 GIT-CREDENTIAL(1)