PATCH: Support for encrypted host keys

Daniel Kahn Gillmor dkg at
Wed Feb 1 01:56:27 EST 2012

Hi Zev--

On 01/28/2012 04:25 AM, Zev Weiss wrote:
> I recently found myself wanting to run sshd with passphrase-protected host keys rather than the usual unencrypted format, and was somewhat surprised to discover that sshd did not support this.  I'm not sure if there's any particular reason for that, but I've developed the below patch (relative to current CVS at time of writing) that implements this.  It prompts for the passphrase when the daemon is started, similarly to Apache's behavior with encrypted SSL certificates.

Can i ask what threats you hope to mitigate with this approach?  What
are your concerns about having a cleartext ~/.ssh/known_hosts?

Also, you might want to file this at, so
that the suggestion and the patch don't get lost in the mailing list
archive if they're not immediately accepted or applied.



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