gpg-agent, ssh-agent, and keychain confusion

Norman Walsh ndw at
Thu Jun 1 13:03:17 UTC 2006

Are gpg-agent, ssh-agent, and keychain really supposed to get along?

If you start gpg-agent, it exports SSH_AUTH_SOCK

If you start ssh-agent, it exports SSH_AUTH_SOCK

No matter which you start first, the second provides a different
socket, so it would appear that they don't get along.

After gpg-agent is installed, the X11 boot process no longer starts
ssh-agent (because the SSH_AUTH_SOCK is already defined).

But if you run keychain, it does attempt to start ssh-agent at which
point either ssh-add or gpg is confused.

It appears that starting gpg-agent is sufficient; gpg-agent handles
both ssh connections and gnupg keys.

But in that case keychain seems broken.

Somewhere, there's some incompatibility here.

                                        Be seeing you,

Norman Walsh <ndw at> | Human history becomes more and more a            | race between education and
                              | catastrophe.--H. G. Wells
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