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Sharing a team Heroku account

· 3 min read

Share a Heroku account for a single place to add/remove team members for all shared apps. Permission allocation/revocation made simple! How? Add a new key for each team member to the shared account; access app repos using the heroku-accounts plugin

Currently at Brightbit there's 4-5 team members to add to each Heroku app. And with some projects having two, three or more apps (staging, production, splash, etc) it gets a bit cumbersome adding all of us and it will only get worse with more team mates.

What makes this problem worse is we don't re-bill hosting; we let our clients create an account and then they add us as collaborators. Some clients like this control, some just have us do it for them. Whatever the case, adding a single email for each app is much nicer.

To add to the convenience, if we want to add a team member to every Brightbit project we simply add their key to the team account. And if a team member leaves, we change the password and remove their key: instant permission revocation on every project.

So how do we achieve this? Open your favorite terminal and follow along.

Create a work account with a new key

You can only link an SSH key to one Heroku account at a time (how else would it know what account you were pushing from?), so you'll need to create a new key for your work account.

  1. Install the Heroku accounts plugin by David Dollar:

    heroku plugins:install git://
  2. Add a work account and login using the shared team email/password (don't add anything to your ssh config yet -- we'll get to that):

    heroku accounts:add work
  3. Generate a dedicated ssh key for your work account (this is your personal key -- don't share this with your team):

    ssh-keygen -f ~/.ssh/id_rsa_heroku_work
  4. Add your key to the team Heroku account:

    heroku keys:add ~/.ssh/ --account work
  5. Add the key to a host (so you can push/pull with git):

cat << 'EOF' >> ~/.ssh/config
IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_rsa_heroku_work
IdentitiesOnly yes

Change team heroku repositories

Now to use the account you'll need to replace the hostname with You can do this by removing and re-adding the remote or you can edit your current .git/config.

  1. Here's a 3 liner to modify your current .git/config that should work on any system (it would be a 1 liner if BSD and GNU sed agreed on inline replacement). You'll need to run it on the root of each repository:

    TMP_FILE=$(mktemp /tmp/config.XXXXXXXXXX)
    sed -e "s/" .git/config > $TMP_FILE
    mv $TMP_FILE .git/config
  2. Verify it worked (you'll get a public key denied if it didn't):

    git remote update
  3. You also may want to set your team repo's default Heroku account (you can use --global for a system-wide change):

    git config heroku.account work


  • You won't know who deployed what when you run a heroku releases.

That's all, folks

Mention me on twitter (@ericboehs) if you run into any problems.

Happy coding!