github with Multiple Accounts: An Analyst Perspective

March 10, 2012

(This article was first published on Gage Theory, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

After using github for data mining competitions and a project on statistical language models I found I enjoyed it some much I wanted to use it at work too. The trick is there’s a lot of overlap between what I do for fun and do for work and wanted to use both my public and private accounts on the same computer. Fortunately I wasn’t the first person to have this problem and I found a great tutorial on how to set up multiple github accounts here.

The only place I ran into an issue was in Step 2 when I attempted to add the new key to my ssh-agent using the Git Bash terminal and got the error:

“Could not open a connection to your authentication agent.”

What took me a moment to realize is that the “ssh-add” failed because my current session wasn’t running under the ssh-agent. To fire up the agent I ran:

exec ssh-agent bash

And then I was able to successfully add the key.

As more of a physical scientist than a computer scientist or software engineer I found getting up and running with git was a bit more overhead than I was hoping for. That said, it’s really a fantastic tool and I highly recommend it for any statisticians or data scientists who are considering a versioning tool.

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