Troubleshooting Git Push Errors: A Step-by-Step Guide

Note: This post is part of refreshing Git push errors and SSH key authentication error issues. This learning post is still in active development and updated regularly.

When working on a project in Git, you might encounter various issues when trying to push your changes to a remote repository on GitHub. Recently, I faced a series of errors and successfully resolved them with the assistance from ChatGPT-4o.

Here’s a comprehensive guide for future reference.

SSH setup and connection issues

1. Checking SSH Keys: First, I checked if my SSH keys were correctly set up

ls -al ~/.ssh

output:

drwx------   5 username  staff   160 Jun 20 06:11 .
drwxr-xr-x+ 42 username  staff  1344 Jun 21 06:15 ..
-rw-------   1 username  staff  3389 Nov 17  2020 id_rsa
-rw-r--r--   1 username  staff   747 Nov 17  2020 id_rsa.pub
-rw-r--r--   1 username  staff   799 Mar 23  2021 known_hosts

2. Testing SSH connection: Test the connection with the following command:

ssh -T git@github.com

I encountered an error indicating a potential man-in-the-middle attack or changed host key.

Resolving SSH host key issues

1. Backup and remove existing host key. I backed up my known_hosts file and removed the offending key:

cp ~/.ssh/known_hosts ~/.ssh/known_hosts.bak
ssh-keygen -R github.com

2. Adding new host key:

ssh -T git@github.com

When prompted, I typed yes to add the new key.

Fixing branch issues and setting up remote repository

1. Check local branch issue. Issue the following command:

git branch

Output:

* master

2. Renaming branch to main (if necessary): GitHub uses main as the default branch name. I renamed my branch from master to main:

git branch -m master main

3. Checking remote repositories: Checked if any remote repositories were configured

git remote -v

If no remotes were listed, so I added the correct remote URL

git remote add origin git@github.com:YOUR_GITHUB_USERNAME/YOUR_REPOSITORY.git

4. Verify remote URL with the following command:

git remote -v

output:

origin  git@github.com:YOUR_GITHUB_USERNAME/YOUR_REPOSITORY.git (fetch)
origin  git@github.com:YOUR_GITHUB_USERNAME/YOUR_REPOSITORY.git (push)

5. Pushing to the Remote Repository: Push local branch to the remote repository:

git push -u origin main

Wrapping up, By following these steps, I was able to resolve the SSH key issues, configure my branch correctly, set up the remote repository, and successfully push my changes to GitHub. This guide should help streamline the process for future projects and avoid common pitfalls.

Note: This entire post was prepared using ChatGPT-4o.