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SSH-ADD(1) General Commands Manual SSH-ADD(1)

NAME

ssh-addAdds private key identities to the authentication agent

SYNOPSIS

ssh-add [-cDdkLlqXx] [-E fingerprint_hash] [-t life] [file ...]

ssh-add -s pkcs11 [-S xstore]

ssh-add -e pkcs11

DESCRIPTION

ssh-add adds private key identities to the authentication agent, ssh-agent(1). In addition identity may contain X.509 certificate that match private key. For RSA, ECDSA or DSA identity may contain extra X.509 certificates. Agent uses extra certificates along with certificates from system default X.509 store to build chain of certificates leading to a trusted certificate authority. When run without arguments, it adds the files ~/.ssh/id_rsa, ~/.ssh/id_dsa, ~/.ssh/id_ecdsa, and ~/.ssh/id_ed25519. 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 environment 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 confirmation before being used for authentication. Confirmation is performed by ssh-askpass(1). Successful confirmation is signaled by a zero exit status from ssh-askpass(1), rather than text entered into the requester.
-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 interpreted 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 retry.
-E fingerprint_hash
Specifies the hash algorithm used when displaying key fingerprints. Valid options are: “md5” and “sha256”. The default is “sha256”.
-e pkcs11
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 represented by the agent. X.509 certificates are displayed with their “Distinguished Name”.
-l
Lists fingerprints of all identities currently represented by the agent.
-q
Be quiet after a successful operation.
-s pkcs11
Add keys provided by the PKCS#11 shared library pkcs11.
-S xstore
File with extra X.509 certificates in PEM format concatenated together. Certificates are added to X.509 store and together with those from system default store are used in public key algorithms in RFC 6187 format if applicable. Note that currently only EC keys support such format.
-t life
Set a maximum lifetime when adding identities to an agent. The lifetime may be specified in seconds or in a time format specified in sshd_config(5).
-X
Unlock the agent.
-x
Lock the agent with a password.

ENVIRONMENT

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 that may open a X11 window to read the passphrase. Note if SSH_ASKPASS is not set will be executed program ssh-askpass located in “libexec” directory. 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 this work.)
SSH_AUTH_SOCK
Identifies the path of a UNIX-domain socket used to communicate with the agent.

FILES

~/.ssh/id_dsa
Contains the DSA authentication identity of the user.
~/.ssh/id_ecdsa
Contains the ECDSA authentication identity of the user.
~/.ssh/id_ed25519
Contains the Ed25519 authentication identity of the user.
~/.ssh/id_rsa
Contains the RSA authentication identity of the user.
For RSA, ECDSA or DSA identity file may contain X.509 certificate that match it. In addition file may contain extra X.509 certificates. Extra certificates along with certificates from X.509 store are used to build chain of certificates leading to a trusted certificate authority if required by public key algorithm format.
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

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

ssh(1), ssh-agent(1), ssh-askpass(1), ssh-keygen(1), sshd(8)

AUTHORS

PKIX-SSH 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. Roumen Petrov contributed support for X.509 certificates.
December 19, 2018 PKIX-SSH

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