ssh-agent on Ubuntu Xenial

tl;dr

If you remove gnome-keyring from Ubuntu 16 (Xenial), ssh-agent should then start and work properly with no further changes.

sudo apt-get remove gnome-keyring gnome-keyring:i386
echo gnome-keyring hold | sudo dpkg --set-selections
echo gnome-keyring:i386 hold | sudo dpkg --set-selections

The second line is to stop the package being reinstalled without you asking for it.

Details

When I upgraded from Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), I lost any functioning ssh agent. On 14, I was using gnome-keyring, but that stopped working after upgrade.

In 16, gnome-keyring was running, but not prompting for ssh passphrases. ssh-agent was not being started at all. It looked like I could either fix gnome-keyring (maybe need to enable ssh module?) or start and use ssh-agent instead. It seemed ssh-agent was configured to run already, however it still was not started. Maybe it’s configured not to start if you use the gnome-keyring?

ssh-agent seems to be the better choice anyway, for various reasons, including that gnome-keyring does not support ed25519 keys.


© 2016