I worked on a project without problem but since I upgraded to 18.04, when I try to use git it prompts a pop-up reading "Enter password to unlock the private key. An application wants access to the private key 'loke@computer', but it is locked".

The problem is that my ssh key doesn't have a password. I can cat it or open it in gedit for instance without my root password.

I still tried using my root password in the pop up, as well as leaving it blank, clicking cancel and trying other passwords but nothing is working and I still can't use git.

I tried this but the first command gave me this error:

Error setting value: Can't overwrite existing read-only value: Value for `/apps/gnome-keyring/daemon-components/ssh' set in a read-only source at the front of your configuration path

and the second command didn't return anything but didn't change my situation either.

So far all the solutions I saw about closing this pop up is to delete your ssh key password, but what do I do if I don't have one to begin with?

2 Answers 2


I encountered the same situation. It is a funny mistake, I set a passphrase when I created the SSH key, so the prompt window was actually asking for the passphrase rather than my account password. When I enter the passphrase the process then went smoothly.

  • Wow! That prompt is so confusing and I wasn't sure which password, passphrase, secret code, anagram or whatever I was supposed to use. Thanks for mentioning passphrase on key. That got me through it.
    – raddevus
    Jan 21, 2021 at 14:13

As I couldn't find a fix for this I decided to go around it by replacing my ssh keys altogether, and my problem disappeared.

I created a new set of keys, overriding the old ones, and uploaded those to my BitBucket, and when I tried again the password prompt didn't appear.

So it definitely looks like a bug, as neither the old keys nor the new ones had a password, and yet they behaved differently?

Note: in the Password and Keys settings, when I clicked Change Passphrase on the old keys it also asked for a password which didn't exist, whereas on the new keys it's just asking me if I want to set a new password.

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