problems with ssh-agent after running MATE desktop

tech-lists tech-lists at
Thu May 24 14:42:02 UTC 2018

Hello lists,

For over a decade I've used windowmaker for my freebsd desktop. For easy 
ssh/sftp access to sites, before starting windowmaker with xinit, I run 
'agent' which is a tcsh alias for the following:

rm -f "$HOME"/.ssh/`hostname`.agent ; ssh-agent | grep -v echo > 
"$HOME"/.ssh/`hostname`.agent ; source "$HOME"/.ssh/`hostname`.agent ; 

it prompts me for my ssh keyphrase. Then I start xinit, and all windows 
subsequently opened in xorg/windowmaker have this key in their 
environment loaded. Connecting to another server is as easy as ssh 
name at server.

However, this does not happen if MATE is loaded from xinit. It is as if 
I had not loaded the key at all before starting MATE. I get this error:

sign_and_send_pubkey: signing failed: agent refused operation

If I then run 'agent', prompts me for the keyphrase, then it works 
normally. But I have to repeat this in every single opened terminal.

What do I have to do to stop MATE from clobbering (or whatever it's 
doing - I don't know where to start with this) ssh-add?

for context: recent freebsd-stable/amd64 and ports


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