SSH-ADD(1) BSD General Commands Manual SSH-ADD(1)
ssh-add — adds private key identities to the authentication agent
ssh-add [-cDdkLlXx] [-t life] [file …]
ssh-add -s pkcs11
ssh-add -e pkcs11
ssh-add adds private key identities to the authentication agent,
ssh-agent(1). When run without arguments, it adds the files
~/.ssh/id_rsa, ~/.ssh/id_dsa, ~/.ssh/id_ecdsa, ~/.ssh/id_ed25519 and
~/.ssh/identity. After loading a private key, ssh-add will try to load
corresponding certificate information from the filename obtained by
appending -cert.pub to the name of the private key file. Alternative
file names can be given on the command line.
If any file requires a passphrase, ssh-add asks for the passphrase from
the user. The passphrase is read from the user’s tty. ssh-add retries
the last passphrase if multiple identity files are given.
The authentication agent must be running and the SSH_AUTH_SOCK environ‐
ment variable must contain the name of its socket for ssh-add to work.
The options are as follows:
-c Indicates that added identities should be subject to confirma‐
tion before being used for authentication. Confirmation is
performed by the SSH_ASKPASS program mentioned below. Success‐
ful confirmation is signaled by a zero exit status from the
SSH_ASKPASS program, rather than text entered into the
-D Deletes all identities from the agent.
-d Instead of adding identities, removes identities from the
agent. If ssh-add has been run without arguments, the keys for
the default identities and their corresponding certificates
will be removed. Otherwise, the argument list will be inter‐
preted as a list of paths to public key files to specify keys
and certificates to be removed from the agent. If no public
key is found at a given path, ssh-add will append .pub and
Remove keys provided by the PKCS#11 shared library pkcs11.
-k When loading keys into or deleting keys from the agent, process
plain private keys only and skip certificates.
-L Lists public key parameters of all identities currently repre‐
sented by the agent.
-l Lists fingerprints of all identities currently represented by
Add keys provided by the PKCS#11 shared library pkcs11.
Set a maximum lifetime when adding identities to an agent. The
lifetime may be specified in seconds or in a time format speci‐
fied in sshd_config(5).
-X Unlock the agent.
-x Lock the agent with a password.
DISPLAY and SSH_ASKPASS
If ssh-add needs a passphrase, it will read the passphrase from
the current terminal if it was run from a terminal. If ssh-add
does not have a terminal associated with it but DISPLAY and
SSH_ASKPASS are set, it will execute the program specified by
SSH_ASKPASS and open an X11 window to read the passphrase.
This is particularly useful when calling ssh-add from a
.xsession or related script. (Note that on some machines it
may be necessary to redirect the input from /dev/null to make
Identifies the path of a UNIX-domain socket used to communicate
with the agent.
Contains the protocol version 1 RSA authentication identity of
Contains the protocol version 2 DSA authentication identity of
Contains the protocol version 2 ECDSA authentication identity
of the user.
Contains the protocol version 2 ED25519 authentication identity
of the user.
Contains the protocol version 2 RSA authentication identity of
Identity files should not be readable by anyone but the user. Note
that ssh-add ignores identity files if they are accessible by others.
EXIT STATUS top
Exit status is 0 on success, 1 if the specified command fails, and 2 if
ssh-add is unable to contact the authentication agent.
SEE ALSO top
ssh(1), ssh-agent(1), ssh-keygen(1), sshd(8)
OpenSSH is a derivative of the original and free ssh 1.2.12 release by
Tatu Ylonen. Aaron Campbell, Bob Beck, Markus Friedl, Niels Provos,
Theo de Raadt and Dug Song removed many bugs, re-added newer features
and created OpenSSH. Markus Friedl contributed the support for SSH
protocol versions 1.5 and 2.0.
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BSD December 31, 2014 BSD