SSH-ADD(1) BSD General Commands Manual SSH-ADD(1)
ssh-add -- adds private key identities to the authentication agent
ssh-add [-cDdkLlXxKA] [-t life] [file ...]
ssh-add -s pkcs11
ssh-add -e pkcs11
ssh-add adds private key identities to the authentication agent, ssh-agent(1). When run without arguments, it adds the files ~/.ssh/id_rsa,
~/.ssh/id_dsa, ~/.ssh/id_ecdsa and ~/.ssh/identity. After loading a private key, ssh-add will try to load corresponding certificate informa-
tion from the filename obtained by appending -cert.pub to the name of the private key file. Alternative file names can be given on the com-
If any file requires a passphrase, ssh-add asks for the passphrase from the user. The passphrase is read from the user's tty. ssh-add
retries the last passphrase if multiple identity files are given.
The authentication agent must be running and the SSH_AUTH_SOCK environment variable must contain the name of its socket for ssh-add to work.
The options are as follows:
-c Indicates that added identities should be subject to confirmation before being used for authentication. Confirmation is performed by
the SSH_ASKPASS program mentioned below. Successful confirmation is signaled by a zero exit status from the SSH_ASKPASS program,
rather than text entered into the requester.
-D Deletes all identities from the agent.
-d Instead of adding identities, removes identities from the agent. If ssh-add has been run without arguments, the keys for the default
identities and their corresponding certificates will be removed. Otherwise, the argument list will be interpreted as a list of paths
to public key files to specify keys and certificates to be removed from the agent. If no public key is found at a given path,
ssh-add will append .pub and retry.
Remove keys provided by the PKCS#11 shared library pkcs11.
-k When loading keys into or deleting keys from the agent, process plain private keys only and skip certificates.
-L Lists public key parameters of all identities currently represented by the agent.
-l Lists fingerprints of all identities currently represented by the agent.
Add keys provided by the PKCS#11 shared library pkcs11.
Set a maximum lifetime when adding identities to an agent. The lifetime may be specified in seconds or in a time format specified in
-X Unlock the agent.
-x Lock the agent with a password.
-K When adding identities, each passphrase will also be stored in your keychain. When removing identities with -d, each passphrase will
be removed from your keychain.
-A Add identities to the agent using any passphrases stored in your keychain.
DISPLAY and SSH_ASKPASS
If ssh-add needs a passphrase, it will read the passphrase from the current terminal if it was run from a terminal. If ssh-add does
not have a terminal associated with it but DISPLAY and SSH_ASKPASS are set, it will execute the program specified by SSH_ASKPASS and
open an X11 window to read the passphrase. This is particularly useful when calling ssh-add from a .xsession or related script.
(Note that on some machines it may be necessary to redirect the input from /dev/null to make this work.)
Identifies the path of a UNIX-domain socket used to communicate with the agent.
Contains the protocol version 1 RSA authentication identity of the user.
Contains the protocol version 2 DSA authentication identity of the user.
Contains the protocol version 2 ECDSA authentication identity of the user.
Contains the protocol version 2 RSA authentication identity of the user.
Identity files should not be readable by anyone but the user. Note that ssh-add ignores identity files if they are accessible by others.
Exit status is 0 on success, 1 if the specified command fails, and 2 if ssh-add is unable to contact the authentication agent.
ssh(1), ssh-agent(1), ssh-keygen(1), sshd(8)
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.
December 3, 2012 BSD