ssh-agent and ordering of keys

Matthias Apitz guru at
Wed Nov 11 15:40:45 UTC 2009

El día Wednesday, November 11, 2009 a las 03:09:44PM +0000, Vincent Hoffman escribió:

> 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.

I have never used this, but you could start different ssh-agent(1) and
loading the key(s) you want to use to one or the other and let ssh(1)
ask the dedicated ssh-agent(1) for a given host by some shell wrapping
(i.e. mapping the -i filename to the correct ssh-agent(1) socket);


Matthias Apitz
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