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SSH Agent Cheatsheet

SSH Agent (ssh-agent) is a really useful tool for managing your SSH keys, so that you can quickly log into systems that use private SSH keys. This is especially useful in the world of CI/CD when one needs to access private repositories through SSH keys when tokens can't be used.

Unfortunately, all the options are "shorthand", and there are no longhand equivalents. E.g. -D to delete, instead of --delete.

Table of Contents

Key Management

Add Key

ssh-add my-private-key

If this private key required a passphrase, you will be prompted for it.

Remove Key

ssh-add -d my-private-key

List Keys

If you want a short list of the key length, hash, and name, then use:

ssh-add -l
3072 SHA256:XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX8Havf+G/ydzf7pXihNyxEf4 programster@stu-bitfenix (RSA)
2048 SHA256:XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXCierjcubIBVI7Z1cy8skMNY programster@stuart-r7-1700 (RSA)

If you want the full public keys to be output, then use:

ssh-add -L


Last updated: 23rd August 2022
First published: 29th July 2021