comparing SSH key and passphrase auth vs. an SSH key *with* a passphrase ...

Bernt Hansson bah at
Fri Sep 12 00:26:03 UTC 2014

On 2014-09-12 00:04, John Case wrote:
> Hi,
> I've always used SSH with simply a password.  This has always worked
> fine for me.
> Lately, I've been thinking that I might like to increase my security by
> using *both* a UNIX password and an SSH key.  That is, I can't log in
> unless I have my password and my key.  However, it doesn't look like SSH
> supports this - either you do unix password OR you do SSH key, it
> doesn't look like there is any way to do both.
> However, what I could do is only use an SSH key, but set a passphrase on
> that key.  The only difference here is that my safety is all bound up in
> SSH, whereas before it was distributed between SSH and the OS.
> So I'm curious...
> What's the difference between using a UNIX password combined with an SSH
> key (if that actually worked, which it doesn't) and using an SSH key
> with a passphrase attached ?  Is one of these better than the other ?
> Are they the same ?
> What's the difference ?

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