If you happen to have a Git repository cloned a machine (let's say machine@work) and you want to retrieve it on another machine (let's say machine@home), you have a better (as in faster and more efficient) option than scp or rsync : git clone.

Git clone of a local repository over SSH

Obviously, you could clone from the same remote repository (let's say Remote) as machine@work, but you may have local branches on machine@work that you specifically want to work on. Pushing local branch from machine@work to Remote is an option, but it could pollute other developers clones and/or you may not have access to Remote from machine@home.

Let's say the clone on machine @work is in directory ~/DEV/myclone, here are the commands to use :

git clone lesaint@lesaint.work.com:~/DEV/myclone/

And that's it !


  • you might be prompted to enter a password to connect over ssh (unless you have a ssh-agent with a loaded key for machine@work)
  • you can specify the path where to clone the repository by adding a third argument like any other clone command
    • git clone lesaint@lesaint.work.com:~/DEV/myclone/ local_clone_name
  • I used the "scp style" syntaxe of the git clone argument
    • the ssh style syntax would be ssh://lesaint@lesaint.work.com/~/DEV/myclone/

Changing remote from machine to the true remote

After cloning from machine @work, you might notice that the remote of the clone of machine @home is machine @work.

To fix that in the event you would happen to access to remote from home and that you would like to push to remote directly :

cd ~/STUFF_FROM_WORK/myclone
git remote set origin lesaint@gitserver.work.com:project.git