Monthly Archives: March 2012

Connect to ssh-agent automatically when you login without GUI

For many years now it is a commonly known good practice to use ssh public key authentication to login to remote servers, and that ssh-agent can store your passphrase so that you don’t have to enter it every time you login with your keys.

However, ssh-agent is not exactly convenient to use:

  1. You have to start ssh-agent and add your keys in it at some point (ideally the first time you login)
  2. If there is an existing ssh-agent process running you want to reuse it rather than running yet another one

If you are using a Linux desktop (with a GUI), then the above is probably easy to do, hopefully even hassle-free and automatic with a keychain tool that takes care of starting ssh-agent when you login and storing all your passphrases.

However, if you are not using a Linux desktop then your best option is to concoct some home-brew hack that you add to your ~/.bash_profile to make it automatic every time you log in. Here’s my own concoction that has evolved over the years into something readable, kept up to date on my wiki:

bashoneliners 1.0

This is the first official release of and here’s the list of main features.

  1. Post practical or just pure awesome one-liners to share with the world, with explanations
  2. Post alternative one-liners that improve on another one-liner posted by someone else
  3. Post questions that can be answered by an appropriate one-liner
  4. Receive email notifications on posts and comments on your one-liners and questions
  5. Follow one-liners on twitter @bashoneliners or on rss
  6. Follow upcoming features on Trello
  7. Follow project news on the mailing list
  8. Request new features on the online poll
  9. Membership with openid authentication only, because you shouldn’t have to remember yet another password!
  10. Members can add basic profile info such as display name, twitter url, homepage url
  11. Simple search and advanced search to query specific fields, with whole word option
  12. Tags, generated automatically from the one-liner itself when posting or saving, and useful as quick search links
  13. Solid support of mobile devices and small screens, thanks to Bootstrap 2.0 from Twitter
  14. Explanation and Limitations fields, with Markdown formatting and preview function.

Updates on

  • Logo! Replaced the old logo with a new one on Launchpad and Twitter.
  • Twitter posts: do not include the summary, only the one-liner, to pack the most important information in the tweet, and now the site uses a URL shortener to give as much room for the one-liner as possible.
  • Comments: the comments are expanded by default when posting a comment or when visiting the dedicated page of a single one-liner
  • Advanced search: in case of no matches, the page will also show what was searched, otherwise it was not clear whether the AJAX search was working or not.
  • Installation: added pip requirements file (see in the README.txt how to use), and made the site more robust even if some python modules are missing (like tweepy or openid), or when some configuration is missing (twitter API params, URL shortener API params)
  • Bugfixes