Re: PEM_read_PrivateKey failed

From: Darren Dunham (
Date: 01/16/03

From: Darren Dunham <>
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 22:16:02 GMT

Mark Lundy <> wrote:
> (Richard E. Silverman) wrote in message news:<>...
>> So it prompts you for your key passphrase, everything looks normal up to
>> there... and then what happens? You don't say or show whether you get
>> logged in or not. What is the problem?

> Please excuse the following oversight. I was focusing on what I was
> trying to do, now what I wanted to do.

> What I'm attempting to do is to allow ssh and scp without a password
> or passphrase.

The general way to do that is..

1) Don't put a passphrase on the key or
2) Run ssh-agent and type your passphrase in once (perhaps when you log

I'd use #2.

> I need to use these in a script. I've looked all over, and tried
> several how-to's to figure out how to do this.

If you have a script that *must* run unattended, then use a
passphraseless key, and secure the key. It should be no more dangerous
than putting the password for an account in a script.

If you change the key periodically, that would probably be good, too.

Also you can restrict the actions permitted by the keyholder.
Definitely a good idea for a passphraseless access key.

> I was under the impression that distributing the keys would allow me
> to do this.

It does, but if the key is encrypted (passphrase) it must be decrypted

Darren Dunham                                 
Unix System Administrator                    Taos - The SysAdmin Company
Got some Dr Pepper?                           San Francisco, CA bay area
         < This line left intentionally blank to confuse you. >

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