ssh-agent and ordering of keys

Vincent Hoffman vince at
Wed Nov 11 15:09:50 UTC 2009

Hi all,
            I've a bit of an annoying problem that hopefully someone
here has delt with before.  I have a large(ish) number of ssh keys as i
like to keep things nicely seperated, I also use longish passphrases. To
deal with long pass phrases I have started to use ssh-agent, which is
working nicely but since i have a large number of keys and ssh-agent
doesnt let you specify a particular key for a particular machine (I was
using host and IdentiyFile lines in ~/.ssh/config before) I'm starting
to hit a problem where I'm unable to log in to a machine as I'm hitting
the MaxAuthTries value in sshd_config.  I know i could just bung the
MaxAuthTries value up to 20 or so on all my servers but I dont really
want to, I'd rather a way of specifying which ssh key ssh-agent uses for
a specific host, (like i said it ignores the IdentiyFile lines in the
config file and ignores the -i switch to ssh itself.) Any ideas welcome.


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