SSH Agent Forwarding with tmux
1 min read

SSH Agent Forwarding with tmux

My workstation setup is like this:

  • From my Macbook Pro, I SSH into my Linux Desktop
  • Once I'm SSHed in, I open my tmux sesson. I usually do this with an alias: alias s='ssh jwon-desktop -t tmux a || tmux new -s main'

However, I only want to keep my private key on 1 machine (my macbook) and forward the agent to my desktop.

This normally works with SSH forwarding in your ~/.ssh/config file, but it breaks when you detach/reattach to your tmux session.

The solution to this is outlined here:

In essence, you just need to add to your ~/.bashrc:

# Launch SSH agent if not running
if ! ps aux |grep $(whoami) |grep ssh-agent |grep -v grep >/dev/null; then ssh-agent ; fi

# Link the latest ssh-agent socket
ln -sf $(find /tmp -maxdepth 2 -type s -name "agent*" -user $USER -printf '%T@ %p\n' 2>/dev/null |sort -n|tail -1|cut -d' ' -f2) ~/.ssh/ssh_auth_sock

export SSH_AUTH_SOCK=~/.ssh/ssh_auth_sock

And in your ~/.tmux.conf:

set -g update-environment -r
setenv -g SSH_AUTH_SOCK $HOME/.ssh/ssh_auth_sock

It's super simple and everything just works. 🙂

Happy tmuxing!