Github’s personal access tokens

A long time ago, I started using BitBucket instead of Github.  Mainly, because *back in in the day*, Github gave free public repositories and BitBucket gave free private repositories.

I had been using git for years and didn’t see much difference between two remotes.  Github was obviously a nicer interface, but BitBucket was much, much more affordable. I never even went to either of the websites anyways with terminal, towerapp, and sourcetree.  Both Github and BitBucket continue to be excellent.  GitLab is also good.

Recently, I had reason to work on a private repo at Github for the first time in a few years.  I was prompted to to turn on 2FA and did so.

I went to clone the repo via terminal and was told my password was wrong.  It wasn’t wrong.  I was under a timer, so I simply downloaded the Desktop app and it worked flawlessly.  Nice product.  I assumed it must because I had been using SSH before and now was using HTTPS to clone?  Whatever, I had things to do.

About a week later, I decided to push an old python project to github and see what the problem was.  It turns out that you need to have a personal access token setup on the github in the developer settings.

This token acts as a stand-in for your password and is saved to your keychain (I’m a mac!).   Future requests are signed using it.  Solved.


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