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ssh-agent


     ssh-agent [-c | -s] -k


DESCRIPTION

     ssh-agent is a program to hold private keys used for public key authenti­
     cation (RSA, DSA).  The idea is that ssh-agent is started in the begin­
     ning of an X-session or a login session, and all other windows or pro­
     grams 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 options are as follows:

     -a bind_address
             Bind the agent to the unix-domain socket bind_address.  The
             default is /tmp/ssh-XXXXXXXX/agent.<ppid>.

     -c      Generate C-shell commands on stdout.  This is the default if
             SHELL looks like it's a csh style of shell.

     -s      Generate Bourne shell commands on stdout.  This is the default if
             SHELL does not look like it's a csh style of shell.

     -k      Kill the current agent (given by the SSH_AGENT_PID environment
             variable).

     -t life
             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(8).  A lifetime specified for an
             identity with ssh-add(1) overrides this value.  Without this
             option the default maximum lifetime is forever.

     -d      Debug mode.  When this option is specified ssh-agent will not
             fork.

     If a commandline is given, this is executed as a subprocess of the agent.
     When the command dies, so does the agent.

     The agent initially does not have any private keys.  Keys are added using
     ssh-add(1).  When executed without arguments, ssh-add(1) adds the files
     $HOME/.ssh/id_rsa, $HOME/.ssh/id_dsa and $HOME/.ssh/identity.  If the
     identity has a passphrase, ssh-add(1) asks for the passphrase (using a
     small X11 application if running under X11, or from the terminal if run­
     ning without X).  It then sends the identity to the agent.  Several iden­
     tities can be stored in the agent; the agent can automatically use any of
     these identities.  ssh-add -l displays the identities currently held by
     the agent.

     The idea is that the agent is run in the user's local PC, laptop, or ter­
     minal.  Authentication data need not be stored on any other machine, and
     authentication passphrases never go over the network.  However, the con­
     nection to the agent is forwarded over SSH remote logins, and the user

     A unix-domain socket is created and the name of this socket is stored in
     the SSH_AUTH_SOCK environment 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_PID environment variable holds the agent's process ID.

     The agent exits automatically when the command given on the command line
     terminates.


FILES

     $HOME/.ssh/identity
             Contains the protocol version 1 RSA authentication identity of
             the user.

     $HOME/.ssh/id_dsa
             Contains the protocol version 2 DSA authentication identity of
             the user.

     $HOME/.ssh/id_rsa
             Contains the protocol version 2 RSA authentication identity of
             the user.

     /tmp/ssh-XXXXXXXX/agent.<ppid>
             Unix-domain sockets used to contain the connection to the authen­
             tication 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 cre­
     ated OpenSSH.  Markus Friedl contributed the support for SSH protocol
     versions 1.5 and 2.0.

BSD                           September 25, 1999                           BSD
  




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