ssh-agent man page on FreeBSD

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SSH-AGENT(1)		  BSD General Commands Manual		  SSH-AGENT(1)

NAME
     ssh-agent — authentication agent

SYNOPSIS
     ssh-agent [-c | -s] [-d] [-a bind_address] [-t life] [command [arg ...]]
     ssh-agent [-c | -s] -k

DESCRIPTION
     ssh-agent is a program to hold private keys used for public key authenti‐
     cation (RSA, DSA).	 The idea is that ssh-agent is started in the begin‐
     ning of an X-session or a login session, and all other windows or pro‐
     grams are started as clients to the ssh-agent program.  Through use of
     environment variables the agent can be located and automatically used for
     authentication when logging in to other machines using ssh(1).

     The options are as follows:

     -a bind_address
	     Bind the agent to the UNIX-domain socket bind_address.  The
	     default is /tmp/ssh-XXXXXXXXXX/agent.<ppid>.

     -c	     Generate C-shell commands on stdout.  This is the default if
	     SHELL looks like it's a csh style of shell.

     -d	     Debug mode.  When this option is specified ssh-agent will not
	     fork.

     -k	     Kill the current agent (given by the SSH_AGENT_PID environment
	     variable).

     -s	     Generate Bourne shell commands on stdout.	This is the default if
	     SHELL does not look like it's a csh style of shell.

     -t life
	     Set a default value for the maximum lifetime of identities added
	     to the agent.  The lifetime may be specified in seconds or in a
	     time format specified in sshd_config(5).  A lifetime specified
	     for an identity with ssh-add(1) overrides this value.  Without
	     this option the default maximum lifetime is forever.

     If a commandline is given, this is executed as a subprocess of the agent.
     When the command dies, so does the agent.

     The agent initially does not have any private keys.  Keys are added using
     ssh-add(1).  When executed without arguments, ssh-add(1) adds the files
     ~/.ssh/id_rsa, ~/.ssh/id_dsa and ~/.ssh/identity.	If the identity has a
     passphrase, ssh-add(1) asks for the passphrase on the terminal if it has
     one or from a small X11 program if running under X11.  If neither of
     these is the case then the authentication will fail.  It then sends the
     identity to the agent.  Several identities can be stored in the agent;
     the agent can automatically use any of these identities.  ssh-add -l dis‐
     plays the identities currently held by the agent.

     The idea is that the agent is run in the user's local PC, laptop, or ter‐
     minal.  Authentication data need not be stored on any other machine, and
     authentication passphrases never go over the network.  However, the con‐
     nection to the agent is forwarded over SSH remote logins, and the user
     can thus use the privileges given by the identities anywhere in the net‐
     work in a secure way.

     There are two main ways to get an agent set up: The first is that the
     agent starts a new subcommand into which some environment variables are
     exported, eg ssh-agent xterm &.  The second is that the agent prints the
     needed shell commands (either sh(1) or csh(1) syntax can be generated)
     which can be evaluated in the calling shell, eg eval `ssh-agent -s` for
     Bourne-type shells such as sh(1) or ksh(1) and eval `ssh-agent -c` for
     csh(1) and derivatives.

     Later ssh(1) looks at these variables and uses them to establish a con‐
     nection to the agent.

     The agent will never send a private key over its request channel.
     Instead, operations that require a private key will be performed by the
     agent, and the result will be returned to the requester.  This way, pri‐
     vate keys are not exposed to clients using the agent.

     A UNIX-domain socket is created and the name of this socket is stored in
     the SSH_AUTH_SOCK environment variable.  The socket is made accessible
     only to the current user.	This method is easily abused by root or
     another instance of the same user.

     The SSH_AGENT_PID environment variable holds the agent's process ID.

     The agent exits automatically when the command given on the command line
     terminates.

FILES
     ~/.ssh/identity
	     Contains the protocol version 1 RSA authentication identity of
	     the user.

     ~/.ssh/id_dsa
	     Contains the protocol version 2 DSA authentication identity of
	     the user.

     ~/.ssh/id_rsa
	     Contains the protocol version 2 RSA authentication identity of
	     the user.

     /tmp/ssh-XXXXXXXXXX/agent.<ppid>
	     UNIX-domain sockets used to contain the connection to the authen‐
	     tication agent.  These sockets should only be readable by the
	     owner.  The sockets should get automatically removed when the
	     agent exits.

SEE ALSO
     ssh(1), ssh-add(1), ssh-keygen(1), sshd(8)

AUTHORS
     OpenSSH is a derivative of the original and free ssh 1.2.12 release by
     Tatu Ylonen.  Aaron Campbell, Bob Beck, Markus Friedl, Niels Provos, Theo
     de Raadt and Dug Song removed many bugs, re-added newer features and cre‐
     ated OpenSSH.  Markus Friedl contributed the support for SSH protocol
     versions 1.5 and 2.0.

BSD			       January 17, 2010				   BSD
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