ssh-agent - authentication agent
ssh-agent [-c | -s ] [-k] [ command [args...]]
ssh-agent is a program to hold private keys used for public
key authentication (RSA, DSA). ssh-agent is often started at
the beginning of a login session. 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 log-
ging in to other machines using ssh(1). (See System Adminis-
tration Guide: Security Services.)
If a command line 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), which sends the identity to the
agent. Several identities can be stored in the agent; the
agent can automatically use any of these identities. Use the
-l option in ssh-add(1) to display the identities currently
held by the agent.
The agent is run in the user's local host. Authentication
data need not be stored on any other machine, and authenti-
cation passphrases never go over the network. However, if
the connection to the agent is forwarded over SSH remote
logins, the user can use the privileges given by the identi-
ties anywhere in the network in a secure way.
There are two main ways to get an agent setup. Either you
let the agent start a new subcommand into which some
environment variables are exported, or you let the agent
print the needed shell commands (either sh(1) or csh(1) syn-
tax can be generated) which can be evalled in the calling
shell. Later, use ssh(1) to look at these variables and use
them to establish a connection to the agent.
A unix-domain socket is created (/tmp/ssh-
XXXXXXXX/agent.pid) 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
The agent exits automatically when the command given on the
command line terminates.
The following options are supported:
-c Generates C-shell commands on stdout. This is the
default if SHELL indicates that it is a csh style of
-k Kills the current agent (given by the SSH_AGENT_PID
-s Generates Bourne shell commands on stdout. This is the
default if SHELL does not indicate that it is a csh
style of shell.
The following exit values are returned:
0 Successful completion.
1 An error occurred.
Unix-domain sockets used to contain the connection to
the authentication agent. These sockets should only be
readable by the owner. The sockets are removed when
the agent exits.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attri-
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
| Availability | SUNWsshu |
ssh(1), ssh-add(1), ssh-keygen(1), sshd(1M), attributes(5)
System Administration Guide: Security Services
To view license terms, attribution, and copyright for
OpenSSH, the default path is
/var/sadm/pkg/SUNWsshdr/install/copyright. If the Solaris
operating environment has been installed anywhere other than
the default, modify the given path to access the file at the
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, added newer features and created Open SSH. Markus
Friedl contributed the support for SSH protocol versions 1.4
Man(1) output converted with