Keep in sync your Git repos on GitHub, GitLab & Bitbucket


Sharing code online is pretty easy these days. But keeping in sync your repos on multiples places is a bit harder. You will easily find scripts and commands to import/export stuff somewhere. Same thing for read-only mirrors, pretty easy. But having a transparent workflow to be able to push your code on multiple places is not that easy. But hey, it's not hard neither.

You can decide to use GitHub, which the most used solution this days, but maybe, just in case of long outages or because you don’t want to be tied to GitHub that much (for political reasons, or just because they had been acquired by Microsoft and you are afraid of the Skype syndrome), you may want to have not-read-only mirrors of your repos somewhere else.

Here is a nice trick to keep in sync real git repos on multiple places like GitLab and BitBucket, that you can pull and push to, without any efforts after a quick initial setup. Not read-only mirrors. Real repos. And this just be relying on git pull and push features.

Reminder: to be safe setup SSH and Two factor Auth (2FA) for all places (except for BitBucket, cause it’s not compatible with the CLI tool).

Git Tooling

In order to facilitate the setup, we will install some CLI tools for each services.


We will use hub.

For macOS

brew install hub

You will need a GitHub token.

Place it in your home folder in a .github_token file, and load it in your .bash/zshrc like this:

if [[ -f $HOME/.github_token ]] then export GITHUB_TOKEN=$(cat $HOME/.github_token) fi


GitLab CLI is available via rubygem:

gem install gitlab

(You might want to use sudo gem install if you rely on macOS ruby version.)

Please set an endpoint to API

GitLab requires a token and an endpoint (because you can setup a GitLab instance yourself).

For the token, grab your GitLab private token here and use the same solution as GitHub. Here is an example using GitLab “official” online instance that you should add in your .bash/zshrc:

if [[ -f $HOME/.gitlab_token ]] then export GITLAB_API_PRIVATE_TOKEN=$(cat $HOME/.gitlab_token) fi export GITLAB_API_ENDPOINT=""


BitBucket CLI is available via pip:

pip install bitbucket-cli

(You might want to use sudo pip install if you rely on macOS Python version.)

BitBucket does not work well with a token… 2fa is not convenient (and impossible to use with ssh). So you will have to enter login/pwd all the time or put that in clear in a .bitbucket file.

Now that we have all the tools, let's start by creating a repo on each services.

Create a repo on GitHub, GitLab & Bitbucket using CLI

The commands below assume that your username is the same on each services. If that's not the case, just adjust the command by replacing all variables.

We will create/reuse a folder, init a local git repo, and push it to all those services.

Your git repo exists

We will assume that the folder name is the name of the project.

Open a terminal session and do

export GIT_USER_NAME=$USER export GIT_REPO_NAME=$(basename $(pwd))

Adjust variables if the snippet above is not matching your setup.

You don't have a git repo yet

export GIT_USER_NAME=$USER export GIT_REPO_NAME="your-repo" mkdir $GIT_REPO_NAME && cd $GIT_REPO_NAME git init

Create repo on GitHub via CLI

hub create

This command create the repo and add the remote automatically.

Create repo on GitLab via CLI

gitlab create_project $GIT_REPO_NAME "{visibility_level: 20}"

(Public visibility). Source

We will add the remote later, it's part of the trick ;)

Create repo on BitBucket via CLI

bb create --protocol=ssh --scm=git --public $GIT_REPO_NAME

Configuring remotes

Depending on what you want or need, you will have multiple choice to configure your repo.

For a single main repo and simple “mirrors”, you can use this

git remote set-url origin --add${GIT_USER_NAME}/${GIT_REPO_NAME}.git git remote set-url origin --add${GIT_USER_NAME}/${GIT_REPO_NAME}.git

You can check that the commands are ok with

git remote -v

This should give you something like this

origin (fetch) origin (push) origin (push) origin (push)

Now you can just use git push and it will push on all remote 🙂.

⚠️ Note: to enforce ssh instead of https here is a simple trick

git config --global url.ssh:// git config --global url.ssh:// git config --global url.ssh://

Problem is git pull will only pull from the first url.

There is inconsitencies with git push --all (push all branches to default remote) and git pull --all (pull from the first url of the default remote).

tl;dr: we will have to add other remotes to be able to push.

git remote add origin-gitlab${GIT_USER_NAME}/${GIT_REPO_NAME}.git git remote add origin-bitbucket${GIT_USER_NAME}/${GIT_REPO_NAME}.git

You can double check the setup with this command again

git remote -v

Should give you something like this

origin ssh:// (fetch) origin ssh:// (push) origin ssh:// (push) origin ssh:// (push) origin-gitlab ssh:// (fetch) origin-gitlab ssh:// (push) origin-bitbucket ssh:// (fetch) origin-bitbucket ssh:// (push)

Now you can use git push to push to all remotes and use git pull --all to pull from all remotes.

My 2 cents: use an alias to pull --all by default.

If you have a single remote this won’t change anything and will work if you have more than one.

In my .bashrc/.zshrc

alias g="git"

In my .gitconfig

g = pull --all p = push

Now I use g g to pull and g p to push.

Pulling from multiple remotes with different updates

One edge case can be problematic: a commit in master in one repo (eg: pull request on github), and another in another distant repo (eg: merge request on gitlab). You may be able to fetch all those things (if you use pull --rebase by default) but when you will want to push back... You will have a failure unless you force push.

This is the only (edge case) that can be problematic. If you accept PR/MR with care, you should not face this very often.

Note about force push

If you encounter this case and want to force push, be sure that your branch is not protected on


GitLab protect the master branch by default. So force push will not work if you don't change configuration.

I always make one force push or two for the first commit of a project, when CI fail etc (don't juge me). Now you have been warned.

For existing GitHub repos

I didn't find or setup an automated way to do this technique for all repos at once. So each time I work on a project that I want to "backup", I check my memo and run the appropriate command for the places where my repo is missing.

Alternatively, you might be interested by this things


Handling issues and Pull/Merge request

Good question. For that, I don’t have the silver bullet. I think I will use GitHub as the main repo. But if there is outage, I will have fallbacks! That’s the idea of this approach: not being tied that much to a single service.

Commit from web UI

Not a problem. I tried. You commit on the web (eg: comment, notes in README etc). You pull via CLI, you push. Done. The origin you edited on the web will be up to date already, but others will be updated.


Once Install some CLI tools

brew install hub gem install gitlab pip install bitbucket-cli

Note: be sure to have tokens as env var, see the beginning of this post for details.

(Also, configure a git alias that will do pull --all if you want to pull all remote by default.)

For each repos

Export your username (assuming you have the same on all platforms)


For new repo (if your repo already exist on GitHub, go to step below.)

export GIT_REPO_NAME=your-repo mkdir $GIT_REPO_NAME && cd $GIT_REPO_NAME git init hub create

For existing GitHub repo

export GIT_REPO_NAME=$(basename $(pwd)) gitlab create_project $GIT_REPO_NAME "{visibility_level: 20}" bb create --protocol=ssh --scm=git --public $GIT_REPO_NAME

Then, to add remotes

git remote set-url origin --add${GIT_USER_NAME}/${GIT_REPO_NAME}.git git remote set-url origin --add${GIT_USER_NAME}/${GIT_REPO_NAME}.git git remote add origin-gitlab${GIT_USER_NAME}/${GIT_REPO_NAME}.git git remote add origin-bitbucket${GIT_USER_NAME}/${GIT_REPO_NAME}.git

Check that everything is ok

git remote -v

You should get something like

origin ssh:// (fetch) origin ssh:// (push) origin ssh:// (push) origin ssh:// (push) origin-bitbucket ssh:// (push) origin-bitbucket ssh:// (fetch) origin-gitlab ssh:// (fetch) origin-gitlab ssh:// (push)

😇 Now you can just git push and git pull --all!

Bonus: badges

You can add some nices badges to show the redundancy on your project README

[![Repo on GitHub](]( [![Repo on GitLab](]( [![Repo on BitBucket](](

Adjust YOU/YOUR-REPO to your need in the markdown.

It will look like this

I pushed this tl;dr on a repo, maybe I will make a script someday 😄. Well, three repos.