Privacy: hide your personal e-mail on GitHub

If you work on Open Source Software chances are that you are exposing your personal or work e-mail address to the public.

If you clone any public repo and you run git log inside of its folder you get a list of commits which includes the e-mail addresses of the authors.

ReactJS - sample commit history.

Don’t get me wrong this is not a bug.

However, I don’t know about you but, I am not comfortable with sharing my personal e-mail address with the entire World.

Then hide it!

GitHub has a feature to keep your e-mail address private and prevent it to show up in their website.

If you are worried about spam or have other privacy concerns you can always use a private GitHub address instead.

You can use the email address <username>@users.noreply.github.com for all operations supported by GitHub Flow in the browser.

Basically do the following from your terminal:

git config --global user.email "username@users.noreply.github.com"

Replace username with your actual GitHub username.

Finally turn on the feature in the GitHub e-mail settings page.

As a consequence of this operation your e-mail address will be username@users.noreply.github.com in the git history too.

Fixing old commits

Keep in mind that the suggested changes will only affect new commits.

If you want to patch the entiry history of a repo GitHub has a simple tutorial that explains how to do so.

PRs and misc

I am not sure if you can patch Pull Requests to repositories of other people or orgs.

It might be possible to submit a PR with the fix but the repo owner should be cool with you pushing with --force I guess.

If you have any idea around this topic please tweet me