I've been trying to setup my forward agent on my device so I can Git commit & git push from a remote server.

I go through the normal commands to get setup:

eval "$(ssh-agent)"

If I do ssh-add -l on my local machine I can see both keys have been added.

I then go to ssh to my server, e.g. ssh server.compang.co.uk -A

And now if I do ssh-add -l I get the following error with my two keys listed below "RSA & DSA":

error fetching identities for protocol 1: agent refused operation

Any thoughts on how to get around this? I'm running out of ideas.

1 Answer 1


According to a hearsay, it's only a warning. To use private keys from the original machine 1 when logged in to another machine 2, one has to add them with ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_{rsa,ecdsa,...} to the ssh-agent session in machine 1. They will show up in the output of ssh-add -l on machine 2.

Connecting from machine 2 machine 3 does not need copying private keys, thanks to "agent forwarding". (Failing to connect from machine 2 to machine 3 may be due to missing the private key expected by machine 3 in the ssh-add command executed on machine 1).

I also found that there is no need to start ssh-agent on machine 2.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.