SSH is no longer asking for my private key's passphrase. I don't understand how this happening.

In the past, I have used ksshaskpass to get my ssh key's passphrase from KWallet and unlock my key. I would run the following script whenever I needed to use ssh:

export SSH_ASKPASS=/usr/bin/ksshaskpass
/usr/bin/ssh-add < /dev/null

(side note: I used to have this in my .kde/Autostart/ but about a year ago that stopped working -- KWallet would just hang at login).

As of last week, this script stopped working. Ksshaskpass appeared to be popping up a prompt for me to enter my passphrase. It didn't seem be getting it from KWallet. So I typed my passphrase in the dialog and clicked the checkbox "automatically unlock this key whenever I'm logged in" to remember the password (thinking this would add it to KWallet again). Since doing this, ssh never asks for my passphrase, ever.

This dialog has now appears on my other Kubuntu machine. Here's a screen shot of it: enter image description here

I had mistaken thought this was the ksshaskpass dialog. I now believe it isn't.

  1. What program is this?
  2. How do I undo having checked the check box?
  3. How to I get this program to stop hijacking ksshaskpass?
  4. Who's butt can I kick for moving my cheese?
  • Just to make 300% sure, does ssh-keygen -y require a passphrase ? – stokastic Nov 5 '14 at 9:16

I was able to find out what this application is. I wrote a blog post about it:


The application is gcr-prompter. I removed it from my machine with:

$ sudo aptitude purge gcr
$ sudo apt-get autoremove
$ rm -rf .local/share/keyrings

For KDE: look if gnome-keyring-daemon is running on your system. Then find out, with which application it came to your system (probably gnome libs you needed to run some gnome applications).

I had the same problem. I've killed the gnome-keyring-daemon and tried another ssh connection and no extra window showed up and I was asked to enter my passphrase for every new connection.

I've set the keyring binaries in question to 600 permission. This should help until I resolved this issue completely.

  • Nicole, see my answer explaining how to completely remove this prompt. – Swoogan Apr 2 '15 at 13:54
  1. We need to find "Passwords and Keys" application on our computer and run it.
  2. Now we need to find appropriate entry. In my case needed entry was in "Passwords" -> "Login" -> "Unlock password for: SSH_KEY_USERNAME". So we can search for an SSH passphrase by typing "Unlock password for" in the filter.
  3. To confirm if this is what we are looking for: Right-click -> "Properties" -> "Details" tab, here we should have something like this "unique: ssh-store:/home/USERNAME/.ssh/id_rsa". We also can see our passphrase in "Keys" -> "Password" -> "Show password".
  4. To delete: Right-click -> "Delete".
  5. After this, we probably need to restart our computer.

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