ssh-add </dev/null and SSH_ASKPASS

Marius Gedminas marius at
Fri Apr 24 16:19:30 UTC 2009

On Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 08:58:46AM -0600, Hatem Nassrat wrote:
> piping /dev/null to ssh-add, or running ssh-add not from a TTY causes
> SSH_ASKPASS to be triggered on all OS and Desktops including
> (K)Ubuntu.
> Similarly under Ubuntu (Gnome) trying to ssh to a machine will pop-up
> SSH_ASKPASS whether or not a valid TTY is present. This is not the
> case with Kubuntu, how can I make Kubuntu be the same in that
> respect...

Unfortunately I don't know how exactly is Ubuntu's magic is implemented.

I've been using this shell script as a wrapper for ssh for a while:

  if [ -n "$SSH_AGENT_PID" ]; then
    # See if ssh-agent has any identities, and if not, add some
    ssh-add -l > /dev/null || ssh-add
  exec /usr/bin/ssh "$@"

If you change it to invoke ssh-add </dev/null and put it somewhere in
$PATH before /usr/bin (~/bin is a good place), it should do what you

Marius Gedminas
Windows 98: Not Plug & Play, but Bug & Pay!
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