Using the SSH protocol, you can connect and authenticate to remote servers and services. With SSH keys, you can connect to GitHub without supplying your username or password at each visit.

When you set up SSH, you'll generate an SSH key and add it to the ssh-agent and then add the key to your GitHub account. Adding the SSH key to the ssh-agent ensures that your SSH key has an extra layer of security through the use of a passphrase. For more information, see "Working with SSH key passphrases."

To use your SSH key with a repository owned by an organization that uses SAML single sign-on, you'll need to authorize it first. For more information, see "Authorizing an SSH key for use with a SAML single sign-on organization."

We recommend that you regularly review your SSH keys list and revoke any that are invalid or have been compromised.

Further reading