FYI : FiSh connection over SSH fails : midnight commander freezing

Markus Friedl markus at
Mon Oct 8 03:29:52 EST 2001

On Sun, Oct 07, 2001 at 05:04:46PM +0200, Hans Peter Stroebel wrote:
> It`s about a bug and a yet half-implemented feature in the mc fish (File 
> transfer over shell) virtual file system support.
> The FiSh filesystem allows the user to treat files on a remote server over a 
> shell (ssh/rsh) connection as if they were local files, including the 
> transfer of files over the shell connection from one filesystem to another.
> This feature works fine over a ssh connection if ssh authenticates the user 
> with a RSA key that is not protected with any passphrase.
> If ssh requires any user interaction (passphrase request) instead, it does so 
> on /dev/tty. mc cannot handle this I/O on /dev/tty yet and freezes. This 
> problem should affect mc on all operating systems.
> We're thinking about several solutions :

you could abuse ssh-askpass:

if $DISPLAY is set and stdin is not a tty then
ssh executes $SSH_ASKPASS and waits for the userinput
on stdin.


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