Cloning a private repository and extracting a mirror clone locally

Cloning a private Git repository and extracting a mirror clone can be essential for creating a complete backup or working offline. In this tutorial, we'll walk through the process of cloning a private repository and extracting a mirror clone on your local machine. We'll cover the steps required to ensure authentication and create a mirror clone of the repository.


- Basic knowledge of Git and command line usage.

- Access to a private repository on a Git hosting service like GitHub or GitLab.

- Git installed on your local machine.

Step 1: Obtain Repository URL and Authentication Credentials:

To clone a private repository, you need to obtain the repository's URL and have appropriate authentication credentials ready. If you're using GitHub, you can generate a Personal Access Token by following these steps:

1. Go to your GitHub account's "Settings" page.

2. Navigate to the "Developer settings" section.

3. Select "Personal access tokens" and click on "Generate new token".

4. Give the token a meaningful name, select the required scopes, and click on "Generate token".

5. Make sure to copy and save the generated token. It won't be visible again.

Step 2: Clone the Private Repository as a Mirror:

Now, let's proceed with cloning the private repository as a mirror on your local machine:

1. Open your terminal or command prompt.

2. Navigate to the desired directory where you want to store the local mirror clone.

3. Run the following command, replacing `<repository-url>` with the URL of your private repository:


git clone --mirror <repository-url>


4. If prompted, enter your authentication credentials, such as your username and Personal Access Token.

Step 3: Extract a Non-Mirror Clone (Optional):

If you want to work with the repository in a non-mirror format, follow these steps to create a non-mirror clone:

1. Navigate into the cloned repository folder:


cd <repository-name>


Replace `<repository-name>` with the name of the cloned repository folder.

2. Run the following command to create a non-mirror clone:


git clone --no-hardlinks --no-local . <destination-folder>


Replace `<destination-folder>` with the desired path where you want to extract the repository.


In this tutorial, we explored the process of cloning a private repository and extracting a mirror clone locally. By following the steps outlined here, you can create a complete backup or work with the repository offline. Remember to keep your authentication credentials secure and never share them with others.

Cloning private repositories and working with Git mirrors allows for better version control and safeguarding of valuable code assets. Whether you need to ensure backups or enable offline development, the ability to clone private repositories and extract mirror clones is a valuable skill in any Git workflow.



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