Ubuntu and ssh-agent

Dear Reader, it turns out that those frightfully clever chaps in the Ubuntu bunker (or it may be the Debian bunker) have done the decent thing and installed ssh-agent so that it runs automagically. This means that to get ssh-agent working on your machine you actually have to do very little, more detail is provided here, but the essentials are:

  1. Generate a private key ssh-keygen -t dsa
  2. Copy this key to the correct place on the remote machine, usually this is ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
  3. Type in ssh-add before you start doing anything fun on the local machine. This requires you to enter your local pass phrase. You can also set up Ubuntu to ask you this pass phrase at login.

2 thoughts on “Ubuntu and ssh-agent

    1. grantingram Post author

      I’d suggest trying ssh-add -c rather than just ssh-add. If you want to remove the identities you have added use ssh-add -D.

      Perhaps I am being wilfully insecure but I tend not to bother entering the pass phrase each time as it is never transmitted over the internet and is useful only when your private key has been stolen. At least according to the guidance.


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