Generating SSH Keys - SSH Agents and integration with GNOME
Written by Sam Moffatt   
Tuesday, 16 October 2007 05:15
Article Index
Generating SSH Keys
Generating a key
Transferring your key
Using an SSH Agent
Keychain and SSH
Wrapping Up
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SSH Agents and GNOME

GNOME runs its own session agent when it starts, which has the advantage that every application started in a GNOME desktop session is aware of an SSH Agent. This means that applications like Nautilus and even applications started in terminals on the desktop can access the agent. There isn't anything needed to do to start it, though you do need to add your key again. However using the terminal to add your key isn't the best way of doing things, especially if you want to prompt the user when they login, so it is useful to install and askpass helper program.

For Debian, you can install a few options such as:

* gtk-led-askpass

* ssh-askpass-fullscreen

* ssh-askpass-gnome

* ssh-askpass

I use ssh-askpass-fullscreen and gtk-led-askpass at home and work respectively to enter my password on login. Once one of these packages are installed we can add 'ssh-add' to our GNOME start up list and it will graphically ask us for our passphrase. Within GNOME go to the Session Manager configuration application to add a new application on the third tab. All you need to do is click add and type 'ssh-add'. Under Debian, the session manager is found under the User Menu. Once you've added the key, applications like Nautilus will start using it to log into SSH server.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 April 2008 06:57