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Enable OpenSSH authentication agent – How to do it

by | Oct 25, 2021

Wondering how to enable openssh authentication agent? We can help you.

As part of our Server Management Services, we assist our customers with several cPanel queries.

Today, let us see how our Support techs proceed to enable it.

How to enable OpenSSH authentication agent?

Usually, ssh-agent and ssh-add that are commonly used for authentication while using the SSH protocol for Git in Linux/Mac developer environment to Windows.

While WSL2 grants you access to a native Linux environment.

Some prefer to use PowerShell to accomplish some of the tasks.

For PowerShell users, previously you have to install OpenSSHUtils to get access to ssh-agent.

Windows 10 already ships with OpenSSH Authentication Agent, which is disable by default.

Hence, if you execute ssh-agent in PowerShell, you will get the following error.

unable to start ssh-agent service, error :1058

Enabling SSH Agent using PowerShell

PowerShell should be run as Administrator to be able to execute the below steps

Set-Service -Name ssh-agent -StartupType Automatic
Set-Service -Name ssh-agent -Status Running

Enabling SSH agent from Services

1. Firstly, open Services(Start Menu -> Type “Services”)
2. Then, select OpenSSH Authentication Agent Alt Text
3. Finally, set StartupType to Automatic

Then, you should be able to execute ssh-keygen, ssh-agent, and ssh-add from PowerShell.

PS C:\Users\name> ssh-add
Enter passphrase for C:\Users\name/.ssh/id_rsa:
Identity added: C:\Users\name/.ssh/id_rsa ([email protected])

[Stuck in between? We’d be glad to assist you]

Conclusion

In short, today we saw steps followed by our Support Techs to enable OpenSSH agent.

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