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Set different user settings conditionally in Git

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As you probably know, when using git you have to set your user name and email address before you can do any commits.

But what if you want to use different values depending on the customer/folder?

I use git both personally, using my own private Github email address, but also for work, where I mostly use my work e-mail address for commits to Azure DevOps. On top of that, I work for different customers where I usually end up with a dedicated user account in the customer’s tenant.

I want an easy way to sign my private commits using my private email address, work-related with my UPN and customer-specific with the user principal name of my account from that customer. Here’s how I did that:

Use an easy folder structure

These steps work best if you have different root directories for work related git repositories and private/public git repositories. In my case, I only use GitHub privately and Azure DevOps for work-related repo’s, so that’s easy.

Therefore, my Git folder structure looks like this on a Windows laptop:


Because I primarily use non-work related git repositories, I use my GitHub user name and email address in my global config.

Basic commands

Some useful commands for viewing and setting config

Creating the conditional includes file

First, I create a file called .gitconfig_work and store this in my documents folder for safe keeping. You can name it whatever you want, but make sure it starts with a dot (.). I created a Git folder in my OneDrive folder for this.

In there, put the settings that apply only for your work-related repos.

	name = John Doe
	email =

Add the conditional include to your global git configuration

Edit your global git config file via a code editor like VSCode. Mine is stored in C:\Users\<username>\.gitconfig

Add the include at the end, to make sure the settings don’t get overwritten again later in the same file.

    name = John Doe
    email =
    signingkey = FAKESIGNINGKEY001
    program = c:/Program Files (x86)/GnuPG/bin/gpg.exe
    gpgsign = true
[includeIf "gitdir/i:C:/Git/AzDevOps/"]
    path = ~/OneDrive - CompanyName/Documents/Git/.gitconfig_work

Test the settings

Depending on the folder and the level your’re in, you should see different value.

Closing notes

Hopefully this article helped you make git a little easier.