I created the RSA key and uploaded it to the remote machines I wanted to SSH to. However, I realized that, on my local machine, I can SSH straight in without entering my passphrase. On the remote machines, when I want to SSH to another, I have to enter my passphrase as expected.

I don't seem to be running ssh-agent or ssh-ident (or at least running 'service ssh-agent' returns unrecognized service). What could be allowing this to happen? I'd imagine that the passphrase must be stored somewhere, and if it's in plaintext I'd like to disable this function.

  • What about pgrep -fl ssh-agent? – muru Jun 26 '17 at 1:26
  • It doesn't seem to return anything, unfortunately. – Blip Jun 26 '17 at 1:41
  • Doesn't the gnome keyring provide its own agent (gnome-authentication-agent)? it might be worth grepping for just agent and/or running ssh-add -L to see any cached identities – steeldriver Jun 26 '17 at 2:19
  • echo $SSH_AUTH_SOCK -- you are most probably using gnome-keyring, which remembers your passphrase/decrypted key. The ssh-agent is not a service. – Jakuje Jun 26 '17 at 6:01

Thanks @Jakuje, yes it was the keyring. I likely added it to the keyring when creating the key, and it unlocks automatically upon login. Interestingly, the keyring has a "Security" measure or score that I'm not familiar with. I'm guessing it's related to the number of bits?

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