Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I installed my SSH private key in ~/.ssh/id_rsa. There is no passphrase associated with the key, however, whenever I connect to an SSH server, a dialog pops up and asks me to enter my password to access the id_rsa file.

If I cancel the dialog or enter an empty passphrase and click OK, the Terminal prompts me for a passphrase.

I have verified that the key is valid and does not require a password by connecting with the same key via other machines.

Something odd about my particular set-up is causing the problem but I can't figure it out. I'm currently running OSX 10.7.1 but the same problem was occurring with OSX 10.6.8

share|improve this question
    
Did you try selecting "Remember password in my keychain" in the authentication dialog? –  Chris Page Sep 13 '11 at 20:13
    
Yes, I've tried selecting the remember checkbox. I've also tried using a blank password and clicking OK and also simply canceling the dialog box. But all of this seems beside the point: It should NOT be prompting me for a passphrase because there is no passphrase associated with the key. It is a private, passwordless key. –  JeremyT Sep 20 '11 at 22:21
    
Ah, I see. Please file a bug report at developer.apple.com/bugreporter to make sure Apple knows this is a problem for you. –  Chris Page Sep 21 '11 at 7:57

1 Answer 1

I had this same problem. However, when a generated a new password-less private key, using the following command:

ssh-keygen -b 1024 -t rsa -f id_rsa -P ""

I no longer saw the password prompt.

Additionally, ssh-add failed to add the old key, but added the new one as expected.

I generated the old key on Leopard in 2009, using what ever version of OpenSSL I had grabbed, built and installed back then (that Mac died, so I can't log in and check what I was running). Something about that key was incompatible with Lion's native SSL libraries.

I backed up my old key, so if anyone wants to suggest some checks, to identify the key's specific properties, let me what to check and I'll report back.

Another clue - I noticed that my old id_rsa.pub file had extended attributes. i.e. it's permissions flags looked like this r--------@ instead of r--------

xattr -l id_rsa.pub.old

returned:

com.macromates.caret: {
    column = 0;
    line = 1;
}

cruft left over from TextMate. I don't know if removing it would have fixed the issue without my having to replace the key. I think it's unlikely.

In case you (future reader) are seeing the same thing, you can remove the extended attribute as follows:

 xattr -d com.macromates.caret id_rsa.pub.old

You can stop TextMate from adding them by first exiting TextMate and then issuing this command:

defaults write com.macromates.textmate OakDocumentDisableFSMetaData 1
share|improve this answer
    
My original file didn't have any extended properties, but it was generated by putty-keygen on Windows; when I recreated a new private/public key pair without a passphrase, it worked like a charm. –  cori May 11 '13 at 14:55

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.