I have Ubuntu Gnome 14.04, up-to-date; nautilus and nautilus-open-terminal are installed and updated:

 [romano:~] % wajig status nautilus nautilus-open-terminal
Package                 Installed       Previous        Now             State
nautilus                1:3.10.1-0ubuntu9.7 1:3.10.1-0ubuntu9.7 1:3.10.1-0ubuntu9.7 install
nautilus-open-terminal  0.20-1          0.20-1          0.20-1          install

I noticed that the ssh-derived commands in the terminals opened by the right-click "Open in terminal" from nautilus windows kept asking my passphrase; upon further investigations, it results that a normal shell, started with CTRL-ALT-T or with the dash, I have:

[romano:~] % env | grep -i ssh                           

while in the "open in terminal" shell I have no trace of that environment variable:

[romano:~/education … -SAP-135/Lab-8] % env | grep -i ssh
[romano:~/education … -SAP-135/Lab-8] 1 %

...and generally, environment variables are passed to this shell:

[romano:~/education … -SAP-135/Lab-8] 1 % env | wc -l      

Why is the SSH_AUTH_SOCK shell variable not passed down? Is it possible to avoid it?


There is a launchpad bug report for this issue: #1411174

  • While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. – Pilot6 Jun 16 '15 at 17:22
  • @Pilot6 --- in general I agree with you, but in this case there is no much more to be said... "it's a bug". Will try to see if I can workaround it (not easy). – Rmano Jun 16 '15 at 19:45

OK, it's a bug. Probably the nautilus issue is launched before the shell that sets up the SSH* variables.



  1. open a terminal
  2. kill the file manager: nautilus -q
  3. restart it again: nautilus & disown %%, in background and detached.
  4. close the terminal

Now the new nautilus session in the desktop is descendent from a shell with the SSH_AUTH_SOCK correctly set up, and the spawned terminal will have it all right.

Until nautilus crashes or die for whatever reason. In that case, repeat.

  • Thanks for this... it is so annoying bug and not solved for a year :( – jk_ Apr 10 '16 at 18:51
  • @jk_ Surprised? It's not a record-setting bug, mind you. Look at bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=377621 --- unfortunately it happens. – Rmano Apr 10 '16 at 19:00

Not sure if this is a good solution, I added the following line into the ~/.profile:

export SSH_AUTH_SOCK=/run/user/1000/keyring/ssh

My key is unlocked on login.

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