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. This
manual describes the mechanisms Git uses to request these
credentials, as well as some features to avoid inputting these
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:
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.
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
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
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 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).
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
For instance, imagine we are accessing https://example.com/foo.git.
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 file:
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:
username = foo
because the hostnames differ. Nor would it match foo.example.com; Git
compares hostnames exactly, without considering whether two hosts are
part of the same domain. Likewise, a config entry for
http://example.com would not match: Git compares the protocols
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
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 https://example.com/foo.git will also be
used for https://example.com/bar.git. If you do want to
distinguish these cases, set this option to true.
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 email@example.com
Git 184.108.40.206.ge6ac6e1 04/19/2016 GITCREDENTIALS(7)