openssh-agent polling

Damien Miller djm at
Thu Sep 13 14:42:54 EST 2007

On Wed, 12 Sep 2007, Alan Jenkins wrote:

> This may be a stupid question - but why does ssh-agent fork off a 
> child and then exec the subcommand in the *parent* process?  It forces 
> the agent in the child process to poll the parent, so it can exit when 
> the parent finishes.  If the agent was the parent process, it could 
> use wait() instead.  I'm sure there's some reason.
> It'd be nice to take ssh-agent off the list of polling processes you 
> get with powertop[1], however far down it is.

I don't understand what you mean by polling - once started, ssh-agent
spends all its time sitting in select() waiting for requests.


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