Easy Multiple Account Management for Heroku

Recently, I migrated all of my personal and business sites to Heroku. Heroku, as you may know, is a fantastic service for hosting ruby applications. Oh, and it’s free!

Like a lot of folks, I keep work and personal items such as email, bank accounts, github, etc in separate accounts. Heroku doesn’t really place nice with multiple accounts.

So how to do we effectively manage multiple Heroku accounts?


The following assumes you are on the Mac OS or *nix system, own multiple Heroku accounts, and have installed the Heroku gem. I should also be point out that you will need to create separate ssh public keys for each account.

Custom Ruby Script

One option is we can use a script such as Keith Gaddis describes over at the Collective Idea blog. With his switcher script, we can switch between two accounts like this:

ruby switcher.rb personal
ruby switcher.rb work

This essentially swaps the credentials file (used by the Heroku gem for authentication) for the account you want to use. This works well enough, however this can be tedious especially if you switch between work and personal projects frequently.

Enter Heroku Accounts Plugin

David Dollar of Heroku recently released an official Heroku plugin called heroku-accounts. With this plugin, we can switch Heroku accounts automatically.

To get started, we first install the plugin:

heroku plugins:install git://github.com/ddollar/heroku-accounts.git

The installation process will download the plugin from github and save it to the ~/.heroku/plugins directory. Now, we can setup each of our Heroku accounts with add command:

heroku accounts:add work

and for our personal account, we can run:

heroku accounts:add personal

The add command will ask you for your Heroku email address and password for each account. The plugin will maintain your account credentials in the ~/.heroku/accounts folder in your home directory. (Passwords are not saved in plain text)

To assign a project to a specific Heroku account, we run the following command in the project root:

heroku accounts:set personal # or work

This will assign a Heroku account to the project by adding an ‘account’ variable to the project’s git config file.


Hooray! Now we can switch Heroku accounts automatically. Awesome.