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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 authentication (RSA, DSA,
     ECDSA).  The idea is that ssh-agent is started in the beginning of an X-session or a login
     session, and all other windows or programs 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
	     $TMPDIR/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,
     ~/.ssh/id_ecdsa 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 auto-
     matically use any of these identities.  ssh-add -l displays the identities currently held by
     the agent.

     The idea is that the agent is run in the user's local PC, laptop, or terminal.  Authentica-
     tion data need not be stored on any other machine, and authentication passphrases never go
     over the network.	However, the connection to the agent is forwarded over SSH remote logins,
     and the user can thus use the privileges given by the identities anywhere in the network 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 deriva-
     tives.

     Later ssh(1) looks at these variables and uses them to establish a connection 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, private 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_ecdsa
	     Contains the protocol version 2 ECDSA authentication identity of the user.

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

     $TMPDIR/ssh-XXXXXXXXXX/agent.<ppid>
	     UNIX-domain sockets used to contain the connection to the authentication agent.
	     These sockets should only be readable by the owner.  The sockets should get automat-
	     ically 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 created OpenSSH.  Markus Friedl contributed the support
     for SSH protocol versions 1.5 and 2.0.

BSD					  April 28, 2017				      BSD
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