Manage SSH passphrases

eval is not available in nushell, so run:

^ssh-agent -c
    | lines
    | first 2
    | parse "setenv {name} {value};"
    | transpose -r
    | into record
    | load-env


Adding this to your will however start a new ssh-agent process every time you start a new terminal. See the workarounds.


You can work around this behavior by checking if a ssh-agent is already running on your user, and start one if none is:

do --env {
    let ssh_agent_file = (
        $nu.temp-path | path join $"ssh-agent-($env.USER? | default $env.USERNAME).nuon"

    if ($ssh_agent_file | path exists) {
        let ssh_agent_env = open ($ssh_agent_file)
        if ($"/proc/($ssh_agent_env.SSH_AGENT_PID)" | path exists) {
            load-env $ssh_agent_env
        } else {
            rm $ssh_agent_file

    let ssh_agent_env = ^ssh-agent -c
        | lines
        | first 2
        | parse "setenv {name} {value};"
        | transpose --header-row
        | into record
    load-env $ssh_agent_env
    $ssh_agent_env | save --force $ssh_agent_file

Non-nushell workarounds

However, the commonly recommended approach involves running an ssh-agent so it establishes an user-wide socket for processes to connect to.

Here are two common ways to achieve this.

DE/WM config

You can incorporate it into your Desktop Environment (DE) or Compositor's configuration using the following command:

ssh-agent -D -a /run/user/1000/ssh-agent.socket
# You can also set this socket path as an environment variable using the same config file

This a good option for you if you're using a Windows Manager or a Compositor since you're likely to know its syntax.

As a service

Alternatively, you can enable it as an user service. OpenSSH typically includes a systemd service and the ArchLinux wiki systemd/Useropen in new window page covers how to enable services per user with systemd.

However, if you're using a different service manager, please refer its own documentation to create a user service that utilizes the aforementioned command.

To enable Nushell to access this socket, you need to add its path as $env.SSH_AUTH_SOCK like so:

$env.SSH_AUTH_SOCK = $"($env.XDG_RUNTIME_DIR)/ssh-agent.socket"