Alberto Ventafridda
Written on

saving my git email from spam

Some weeks ago, I received spam messages from what I believe were people scraping github repositories for emails.
Before that event I never gave too much tought to the email I was using in my commits, but in retrospect it’s obvious that in a public repository the email used to create a commit will be publicly visible.

Every time you create a commit, the email you set in the git configuration will be used for the commit description. You can see these emails by navigating into a local repository and running the command git show.

In fact, it’s even easier than that. If you are a scammer scraping github repositories for emails, you don’t have to clone the whole repository: just add .patch to a commit url to see the full patch info, which includes the commit email. for example this commit from a github mirror of the linux repository contains the following header:

From c3f38fa61af77b49866b006939479069cd451173 Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
From: Linus Torvalds <>
Date: Sun, 2 Jun 2024 15:44:56 -0700
Subject: [PATCH] Linux 6.10-rc2


the wrong solution

My initial solution was to change the email in my public repositories with a fake one:

git config

This worked fine, until one day I realized the terrible mistake i had done: commits created with an email address that is not associated to my github account will not show up in the contribution graph. With this solutions all my green squares were missing!

github email aliases

Github has a cool option that replaces your private email with a noreply github email, which looks like this: You just have to enable “keep my email address private” in the email settings. You can read the details in the github guide for setting your email privacy.

With this solution your email will remain private without loosing precious green squares in the contribution graph.