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I'm considering using a tool to setup my ssh-agent environment so I only need to enter my ssh key once.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of ssh-ident compared to keychain?

  • I have never heard of your keychain or ssh-ident. Why not to use standard gnome-keyring (preinstalled and configured in Ubuntu) or directly ssh-agent? They do everything you require from them ("I only need to enter my ssh key once."). – Jakuje Dec 7 '16 at 20:09
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    ssh-agent only applies to sub-processes. The two mentioned programs allow you to easily have one long running ssh-agent process per system, rather than the norm of one ssh-agent per login session. (From here). Would gnome-keyring solve this issue? – Tom Hale Dec 7 '16 at 22:42
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    The management (eg securly setting) of SSH_AUTH_SOCK is the raison d'être of the two tools I mention. – Tom Hale Dec 9 '16 at 2:41
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    I would be very interested how you do security and management of environment variable. – Jakuje Dec 9 '16 at 6:40
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    It is not particularly true. The first bash you start is the one where you start you x session and the environment variables are inherited to all the others. – Jakuje Dec 10 '16 at 16:01
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Please look at this answer over on the Unix Stack Exchange site: https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/90869


ssh-key with passphrase, with ssh-ident

ssh-ident is an utility that can manage ssh-agent on your behalf and load identities as necessary. It adds keys only once as they are needed, regardless of how many terminals, SSH or login sessions that require access to an SSH agent.

ssh-key with passphrase, with keychain

keychain is a small utility which manages ssh-agent on your behalf and allows the SSH agent to remain running when the login session ends. On subsequent logins, keychain will connect to the existing SSH agent instance.

| improve this answer | |
  • I figured since I'm posting a link to another StackExchange site that the linked page rule wouldn't apply... apparently each sub-site has their own interpretation of this policy. – CenterOrbit Apr 20 '17 at 2:51
  • Thanks for the edit. And no, this isn't a site-dependent thing. No site on the SE network accepts a link as an answer, not even a link to another SE site. – terdon Apr 20 '17 at 8:08

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