[Bug 314899] [NEW] User is prompted for password for irrelevant public key

Quentin Smith quentin at mit.edu
Wed Jan 7 23:23:21 GMT 2009

Public bug reported:

Ubuntu release: 8.10 (also exists in 8.04)
openssh-client package version: 1:5.1p1-3ubuntu1

When ssh'ing to any server, ssh prompts using a GUI dialog box for the
password for any public keys in ~/.ssh, even if those public keys can't
be used to authenticate to the server.

If you run ssh -vvv, you can see that the prompts happen before ssh even
tries the publickey authentication method. In my particular use case, I
am able to authenticate to servers with gssapi-with-mic, but I am still
prompted in the GUI for my key's password before gssapi-with-mic
authentication is tried. (This is not ssh choosing the wrong
authentication method to try first; after canceling the prompt for my
passphrase, the ssh client does try other authentication methods before

This bug is even seen when running ssh-agent and some but not all of the
keys in ~/.ssh are loaded; ssh will prompt for the passphrases for
unloaded keys before trying the keys that are already loaded.

Pressing cancel at any passphrase dialog boxes eventually lets ssh
continue with the authentication successfully.

** Affects: openssh (Ubuntu)
     Importance: Undecided
         Status: New

User is prompted for password for irrelevant public key
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