Using two agents

Nico Kadel-Garcia nkadel at
Sun May 31 11:09:46 AEST 2015

On Sat, May 30, 2015 at 2:41 PM, Peter Stuge <peter at> wrote:
> Nico Kadel-Garcia wrote:
>> Mind you, I've never been complete thrilled with ssh-agent.
> Then look into extending it, or writing a new one which does what you
> want.

My underlying, long-term concern with ssh-agent is my underlying
concern with private SSH keys. There's currently no way to enforce
secure handling of them on the client side. The almost inevitable
result is that people simply use unencrypted private keys, whether or
not they're accumulated in an ssh-agent for access to multiple
systems. And even intelligent, educated developers and sysadmins copy
unencrypted private SSH keys around to remote hosts, wehter or not
they are willing to use ssh-agent, because it's simpler.

There are some helpful stopgaps to unlock and store access to a
shareable ssh-agent for unattended system operations, such as using
the 'keychain' perl script to configure and access SSH keys for an
'rsnapshot' or similar rsync over SSH based access. But the normal
procedure is to not bother, and simply use unencryped private SSH

This is, in fact, written into dozens of "chef" and "puppet" system
management cookbooks. I've been trying to spend time there trying to
provide better handling of private keys, and boy, it's an uphill

>> If you really want to segregate credentials for different environments
> The agent knows who is asking it about using a key, so you could
> certainly have a single agent which applies a policy based on that.
> //Peter
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