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I'm putting together some documentation and don't have access to a non-configured machine to just test this myself, but I'm curious if you need a github account to clone a repo from github to a local machine.

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migrated from Feb 26 '13 at 22:15

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

No. You just use a different URL:

git clone git://

However, the local repo will be "read-only" in the sense that you won't be able to push your changes back to the original repo. You will still able to modify files and commit changes locally, though.

In contrast,

git clone

works only if you have properly set up your environment with the necessary SSH keys and whatnot, but in return you'll get a repository that permits you to commit/push the changes back to the remote repo.

(Sorry for the unintentional ad for GitHub, I just had it in mind.)

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Awesome, thank you for the clarification. I'm aware of the limitations by approaching a clone this way, but it's fine for the context of the process I'm documenting. – Joseph Mainwaring Feb 26 '13 at 20:29
@JosephMainwaring I'm glad to have helped. Please don't forget to accept my answer when you'll be able to do so. – H2CO3 Feb 26 '13 at 20:30

I was following some documentation for a product which required cloning from github. I didn't want to bother setting up an account so I needed to do exactly what was asked here.

The command in the documentation was:

git clone git://

but that just fails for me with.

Cloning into 'fcrepo-message-consumer'...
ssh: Could not resolve hostname nodename nor servname provided, or not known
fatal: Could not read from remote repository.

I tried

git clone git://

as suggested in one of the answers but that failed too with.

Cloning into 'fcrepo-message-consumer'...
fatal: Unable to look up (port 9418) (nodename nor servname provided, or not known)

What finally worked was this:

git clone
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