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Multiple Git Config For Different Folders

I wanted to have a clean separation between work-related repositories and my personal projects, as I often need to use a different email: for example, I’d like to sign git commits in the work repo with my work email, but keep using my personal email for the rest. How do you achieve this?

It’s actually pretty simple: I’ll show you how.

Two folders — one for your projects, one for work

I like the idea of having two folders, each containing many git repositories: I’ll call them Work and Projects, but you’re naturally free to name them the way you prefer.

The first step is to create a file in your home directory, named .gitconfig. You probably have it already, and that’s fine. Just open it and paste this:

[includeIf "gitdir:~/Work/"]
  path = ~/Work/.gitconfig
[includeIf "gitdir:~/Projects/"]
  path = ~/Projects/.gitconfig

It’s pretty self-explanatory, right? We’re essentially saying:

  • If the dir matches ~/Work/, include the config located at path ~/Work/.gitconfig;
  • If the dir matches ~/Projects/, include the config located at path ~/Projects/.gitconfig .

Note you don’t even need to create these files — just use git config to write in them. For example, to use your work email on all work-related repos, you might do:

git config --file ~/Work/.gitconfig

This is great, because we can now have completely separate configurations, each living in their own separate folder, and the right configuration will be applied depending on the location. Awesome!


There are a few little caveats to be aware of, just in case you run into issues. If you do, you may want to read the Includes section in the official docs — for example, you know the trailing slash in gitdir:~/Work/? You’d think it wouldn’t matter, but it does: if the path ends with /, it matches Work and everything inside, recursively. Also, don’t add a space between gitdir: and the path, or it won’t work.

Sharing common configuration

You’ll likely want to avoid repeating yourself and share the common bits of configuration, such as git aliases, if you have any.

If that’s the case, just keep those in the global config. You can do so by using the --global flag, for example:

git config --global status

I hope you found this useful. If you run into trouble, feel free to leave me a comment below and I’ll try to help. Remember, git is your friend.