making the passphrase prompt more clear

Aidan Feldman aidan.feldman at
Wed Sep 3 08:52:21 EST 2014

I am going to preface this email by saying that I know very little
about OpenSSH internals, the protocol, etc.

I do a lot of work with novice programmers, and one step that comes up
relatively early is generating SSH keys.  In case you haven't done it
in a while, the output looks like this:

$ ssh-keygen -t rsa
Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/Users/aidan/.ssh/id_rsa):
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):

When that last step comes up, I am regularly asked, "Does it mean the
system password, or a new one?"  A slight tweak of the language could
easily eliminate that confusion... something like "Enter passphrase
for the new key" or "Enter new passphrase".

I would happily submit the patch myself if it wouldn't take a few
hours for me to figure out how to do so :-)  Thanks!

More information about the openssh-unix-dev mailing list