Git Cli – Error – “git@github.com: Permission denied (publickey).”

Background

I needed to take a quick look at a GitHub repository.

I launched a command shell and issued “git clone” against the repository.

Git Command

Here is the syntax and sample for the git clone command.

Git Clone

Syntax


git clone git@github.com:[organization]/[repository].git

Text


git clone git@github.com:labOrg/sample.git

 

 

Error

Error Message

Unfortunately, we encountered an error.

The error is:-

Image

Text


git@github.com: Permission denied (publickey).
fatal: Could not read from remote repository.

Please make sure you have the correct access rights
and the repository exists.

 

Troubleshooting

Outline

  1. Review Command
    • What does the command do?
    • What application protocol are we using?

Review Command

What does the command do?

Please review the command.

In our case git clone.

Git Clone copies a remote repository unto our local machine.

Network Application Protocol?

To communicate with a git server we can utilize HTTP or SSH.

 

Remediation

Outline

  1. SSH / HTTP / GitHub CLI
  2. Analysis

SSH / HTTPS / GitHub CLI

Retrieve Git Clone Command

Steps

Let us access GitHub and get a copy of the git clone command for our targeted repository.

To get the git clone command, please do the following:-

  1. Launch a web browser
  2. GitHub Repository
    • Access GitHub web site
    • Access your Account by passing along your credentials ( username & password )
    • Access your targeted repository
  3. Within the Targeted Repository
    • Access the Code Tab
    • Click the Code button
    • The various options for getting the Repository Code is displayed
    • Here are the options:-
      • Clone Command
        • Clone HTTP
        • Clone SSH
        • Clone GitHub CLI
      • Open with GitHub Desktop
      • Download Zip

Image

 

Sample

If we click on each GitHub Clone Option, we will be offered the git clone command that we should issue to download the targeted repository.

  1. HTTPS
    • https://github.com/labOrg/sample1.git
  2.  SSH
    • git@github.com:labOrg/sample1.git
  3. Git Hub CLI
    • gh repo clone labOrg/sample1

 

Analysis

The machine we are using has not been configured to communicate with our GitHub Server using SSH.

To use SSH we will need to create SSH keys on the client workstation and upload those keys on our GitHub Server.

We will thus draw back and use HTTP.

Attempt Git Clone – HTTPS Protocol

Command

Here is the syntax and sample for the “git clone” command.

Syntax


git clone https://github.com/[organization]/[repository].git

Sample


git clone https://github.com/labOrg/sample1.git

Output

Output Text
 

>git clone https://github.com/DanielAdeniji/sample1.git
Cloning into 'sample1'...
info: please complete authentication in your browser...
remote: Enumerating objects: 55, done.
remote: Counting objects: 100% (55/55), done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (32/32), done.
remote: Total 55 (delta 12), reused 49 (delta 6), pack-reused 0
Receiving objects: 100% (55/55), 10.16 KiB | 1.27 MiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (12/12), done.

Image

 

Summary

Needlessly, took a lot of time and ink to explain an error message.

The error read:-

git@github.com: Permission denied (publickey).
fatal: Could not read from remote repository.
Please make sure you have the correct access rights and the repository exists.

I really wish the error message was a bit more concise.

I like developers who take the time to give more verbose error messages.

I already know that the machine I am on is a virgin and it is not setup for git.

But pity that your man, who is a bit green, yet wants to start using the command shell more.

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