I have a bash session on tty2 and an ssh-agent process belonging to me (same user id) from a previous session (TTY = ?)

On tty2, ssh-add says : Could not open a connection to your authentication agent.

Do I have to start an eval $(ssh-agent) each time I log in, even when there's already an ssh-agent process running ? But then at the end, I will have many ssh-agent process instances running :-(

EDIT : I would like to use my already running ssh-agent process.

I found a way to contact my already running ssh-agent like this :

export SSH_AUTH_SOCK=$(find /tmp/ssh-*/ -user $USER -type s -name "agent.*" 2>/dev/null | head -1)
export SSH_AGENT_PID=$(echo $SSH_AUTH_SOCK | cut -d. -f2)

but I'm not sure this is very secure.

EDIT 2: The command eval $(ssh-agent) starts a new instance of the ssh-agent process every time I run this command :-(

migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 22 '18 at 9:12

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You could eval and save the ssh-agent output at the same time,

eval $(ssh-agent | tee agent.env)

then from other terminals or subsequent sessions,

source agent.env

Tighten up the permissions to be slightly more secure,

chmod go-rwx agent.env
  • I guess there is security issue here. If one gets access to the root privilege and is a bad person, he could still all my ssh-agent keys :-( – SebMa Mar 30 '18 at 15:12
  • 1
    @SebMa I think that root user can use the private keys but not still them. From the man page: The agent will never send a private key over its request channel. Instead, operations that require a private key will be performed by the agent, and the result will be returned to the requester. – Ortomala Lokni Mar 30 '18 at 16:16
  • @OrtomalaLokni You are absolutely right, that was a typo, I meant use instead of still :) – SebMa Mar 30 '18 at 17:58
  • @SebMa If a malicious person gets root access, then your SSH keys are the least of your problems. – Kusalananda Apr 22 '18 at 9:26
  • @Kusalananda Yes and no : If someone uses my SSH keys, he/she can do bad things with my identity on remotes servers, and I would have to pay these consequences. – SebMa Apr 22 '18 at 14:13

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