|SSH-AGENT(1)||General Commands Manual||SSH-AGENT(1)|
ssh-agentis a program to hold private keys used for public key authentication (RSA, DSA, ECDSA, ED25519).
ssh-agentis usually started in the beginning of an X-session or a login session, and all other windows or programs are started as clients to the ssh-agent program. Through use of environment variables the agent can be located and automatically used for authentication when logging in to other machines using ssh(1). The agent initially does not have any private keys. Keys are added using ssh-add(1). Multiple identities may be stored in
ssh-agentconcurrently and ssh(1) will automatically use them if present. ssh-add(1) is also used to remove keys from
ssh-agentand to query the keys that are held in one. The options are as follows:
- Bind the agent to the UNIX-domain socket bind_address. The default is $TMPDIR/ssh-XXXXXXXXXX/agent.<ppid>.
- Generate C-shell commands on
stdout. This is the default if
SHELLlooks like it's a csh style of shell.
- Debug mode. When this option is specified
ssh-agentwill not fork.
- Kill the current agent (given by the
- Generate Bourne shell commands on
stdout. This is the default if
SHELLdoes not look like it's a csh style of shell.
- Set a default value for the maximum lifetime of identities added to the agent. The lifetime may be specified in seconds or in a time format specified in sshd_config(5). A lifetime specified for an identity with ssh-add(1) overrides this value. Without this option the default maximum lifetime is forever.
ssh-agent xterm &. The second is that the agent prints the needed shell commands (either sh(1) or csh(1) syntax can be generated) which can be evaluated in the calling shell, eg
eval `ssh-agent -s`for Bourne-type shells such as sh(1) or ksh(1) and
eval `ssh-agent -c`for csh(1) and derivatives. Later ssh(1) looks at these variables and uses them to establish a connection to the agent. The agent will never send a private key over its request channel. Instead, operations that require a private key will be performed by the agent, and the result will be returned to the requester. This way, private keys are not exposed to clients using the agent. A UNIX-domain socket is created and the name of this socket is stored in the
SSH_AUTH_SOCKenvironment variable. The socket is made accessible only to the current user. This method is easily abused by root or another instance of the same user. The
SSH_AGENT_PIDenvironment variable holds the agent's process ID. The agent exits automatically when the command given on the command line terminates. In Debian,
ssh-agentis installed with the set-group-id bit set, to prevent ptrace(2) attacks retrieving private key material. This has the side-effect of causing the run-time linker to remove certain environment variables which might have security implications for set-id programs, including
TMPDIR. If you need to set any of these environment variables, you will need to do so in the program executed by ssh-agent.
- UNIX-domain sockets used to contain the connection to the authentication agent. These sockets should only be readable by the owner. The sockets should get automatically removed when the agent exits.
SEE ALSO¶ssh(1), ssh-add(1), ssh-keygen(1), sshd(8)
AUTHORS¶OpenSSH is a derivative of the original and free ssh 1.2.12 release by Tatu Ylonen. Aaron Campbell, Bob Beck, Markus Friedl, Niels Provos, Theo de Raadt and Dug Song removed many bugs, re-added newer features and created OpenSSH. Markus Friedl contributed the support for SSH protocol versions 1.5 and 2.0.
|April 16, 2014||Debian|