Start ssh-agent/ssh-add only if you really use ssh or friends
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Start gpg-agent/ssh-add automatically when you use ssh or friends.

(C) Martin Väth (martin at This project is under the MIT license.

This script acts as a frontend for ssh and friends which asks you for the passphrase of keys automatically, running gpg-agent and ssh-add if necessary (but usually only once).

New project

Version 4.0 is a ground-up rewrite with different internals and usage. For instance, instead of being based on the keychain script, this project now completely relies on gpg-agent's functionality to replace ssh-agent. Also the way it is supposed to be called has completely been thought over.

Installation and Usage

To install sshstart simply copy bin/* somewhere into your $PATH and use ssh-wrap, rsync-wrap, etc. instead of ssh, rsync, etc. In order to set correct environment variables for non-wrapped commands, put

eval "`sshstart -e`"

in your shell startup file. It might also be convenient to put e.g.

alias ssh='ssh-wrap --'
alias rsync='rsync-wrap --'

in your shell startup file to let 'ssh' ask for your keys only once.

To get more help run sshstart -h.

For zsh completion support also copy 'zsh/*into a directory of your zsh's$fpath`.

You may also need from in your $PATH.

For Gentoo, there is an ebuild in the mv repository (available by app-select/eselect-repository or app-portage/layman).