Connect with null passphrases (fwd)

Many thanks to all that so kindly replied to my help request, all your suggestions were very useful. Misteriously, what fixed the problem for me was to recompile my ssh using a different compiler... once I reinstalled it all my problems disappeared!

Cheers to all and thanks again

John Stefani
jstefani _at_

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2006 08:04:02 -0500 (EST)
From: John Stefani <jstefani@xxxxxxxx>
To: secureshell@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Connect with null passphrases

Hello Everybody,

I have some cron jobs that use ssh (version 4.4p1) to connect to other servers and run certain tasks. The users in question sometimes are real users, sometimes fictitious users that I created only for running the cron job. I changed to *NP* the password field of /etc/shadow for the fictitious users on the servers the cron jobs connect to, and all works happily. Here's my problem: those servers to which the cron job tries to connect to as a real user, who has a real password, does not allow ssh connections with null passphrases. I can't set the password field in /etc/shadow to *NP* because sometimes I have to connect as the real user. Does someone know how I can connect automatically to a server, using ssh, as a user that has a password, but with a null passphrase? Hope the above was not too confusing...

Absolutely any thoughts or workarounds will be much appreciated.

John Stefani
jstefani _at_