The Ultimate Guide to Github On Linux

The only guide you will need to use Github on Linux.


There are many ways to use Github on Linux however some are worse than others. On this site, I have shared many ways but I wanted to make an ultimate guide to Github on Linux.


Github desktop is quite popular in Windows as Windows doesn’t really have a good alternative however on Linux Github doesn’t even have an official application. Even then people use an unofficial version of their desktop application made by one of Github’s employeers:

What is it good for? nothing. I personally use it only when everything else fails. Some reasons why I don’t recommend using it:

  • Commit size restrictions
  • bad UI
  • relatively slow


The only reasonable way to use Github on Linux would be using the CLI. Some find it daunting (that’s when you use Github desktop) but but but. With just a bit of learning curve, you can become a lot faster and better at pushing stuff on Github.

For a normal CLI experience, you don’t need to install anything new except git which you probably have installed by default as most distributions come with it. Alternatively, you can use these commands to install it

sudo apt update && sudo apt install git -y

then you can commit & push code using:

git init 
git add . 
git commit -m “{commit-message}git push

yes it is that long and winded.


This is by far the best way to do anything to do with commits & pushing code to Github. It is available on Windows however I don’t really have good experiences with it. I still have it though and use it whenever I can.

What is gh though?

It is a cli version of Github, the application. You can pull, push, commit, do PRs and much more. && more importantly its faster than other ways.

Personally, I have been using it just for a year which is weird because I don’t know how I lived without it. I use it with SSH login and I never have to deal with logins and other Github annoyances ever again.

okay, but how do you do this gh thing?

I have made various articles before however here is everything you have to do to gh with SSH:

Install GH


sudo apt install gh -y


winget install -e GitHub.cli


brew install gh

Create SSH keys

ssh-keygen -t ed25519 -C "your-email"

Enter this command & go with default options. Then:

eval "$(ssh-agent -s)"
ssh-add ~/.ssh/

add ssh keys to github

  • Use the following command to copy the public key:
cat ¬/.ssh/
  • Log in to your GitHub account and go to “Settings” from the drop-down menu under your profile picture in the upper-right corner.
  • Click on “SSH and GPG keys” on the left-hand menu, and then click on the “New SSH key” button.
  • In the “Key” field, copy and paste the contents of your public key file give the key a descriptive name.
  • Finally, click the “Add SSH key” button to save your new key.
  • Test your connection: ssh -T [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])

Setup GH for the first time (device based)

gh auth login 

go through the prompts and use SSH as an authentication method.

Set Github to use SSH

gh config set -h git_protocol ssh

now set your repository for SSH authentication. You have to do this for local repositories only (repositories which are already cloned on your system)

git remote set-url origin [email protected]:mansoorbarri/website.git

change “mansoorbarri/website” with your username/repostiory

Set GPG keys (optional)

Now this step isn’t really important however this will make it so your commits has that “verified” tag on your commits.

  • Generate GPG keys:
gpg --full-generate-key

when it asks for your name and email, enter your Github username under name && Github email under email.

  • Log in to your GitHub account and go to “Settings” from the drop-down menu under your profile picture in the upper-right corner.
  • Click on “SSH and GPG keys” on the left-hand menu, and then click on the “New GPG key” button.
  • Use this command to get your GPG key:
gpg --armor --export <your email>

copy the whole output (yes, including “—-BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK—-”)

sign commits using GPG keys

use this command to see all the GPG keys

gpg --list-secret-keys --keyid-format=long

The output will look something like this:

$ gpg --list-secret-keys --keyid-format=long
sec   4096R/3AA5C34371567BD2 2016-03-10 [expires: 2017-03-10]
uid                          anar <[email protected]>
ssb   4096R/4BB6D45482678BE3 2016-03-10

copy 3AA5C34371567BD2 from sec 4096R/3AA5C34371567BD2 2016-03-10 [expires: 2017-03-10]

your key will be different

now run:

git config --global user.signingkey <your GPG key ID>
git config --global commit.gpgsign true

that’s it.

From now, when you clone your repositories from, it will clone it using the “SSH” tab rather than “HTTPS” which will automatically make sure that your project uses SSH as the authentication method.

You don’t have to use these methods && using Github Desktop on Linux is absolutely fine however you will be missing out on a lot of performance gains. :(