ssh private key password

Ricky Zhou ricky at
Thu Jan 8 21:54:16 UTC 2009

On 2009-01-08 10:42:28 PM, nodata wrote:
> > Then why using ssh-add(1)?!
> To add my key to ssh-agent.
> > 
> > > I also find this a little disconcerting: I don't like giving my private
> > > key's to programs that ask for it.
> > 
> > Neither do I, but this one is _meant_ to do so.
> But can't I chose which program stores my key? I'd rather something with
> less code stores it.
From the ssh-add manpage:

             If ssh-add needs a passphrase, it will read the passphrase from
             the current terminal if it was run from a terminal.  If ssh-add
             does not have a terminal associated with it but DISPLAY and
             SSH_ASKPASS are set, it will execute the program specified by
             SSH_ASKPASS and open an X11 window to read the passphrase.  This
             is particularly useful when calling ssh-add from a .xsession or
             related script.  (Note that on some machines it may be necessary
             to redirect the input from /dev/null to make this work.)

Perhaps the dialog that pops up is the program specified by your
SSH_ASKPASS environmental variable?  I'm pretty sure that this is only
for prompting, and the passphrase still only gets stored by ssh-agent.


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