Jason,

I understood what you were trying to do when you first mailed the list. I provided a suggestion (invoking ssh with -vvv) as to how to further troubleshoot the problem. You should do something like this:

Test 1:
(with ssh_config ForwardAgent=yes)
desktop$ ssh -vvv server1
server1$ ssh server2

Test 2:
(with ssh_config ForwardAgent=yes)
desktop$ ssh server1
server1$ ssh -vvv server2

The debug output can be overwhelming, so it is good to isolate the output to individual hops. The debug info should tell you what was sent, who got it, and where there is a hold-up.

As for my question on the public keys, I wanted to know if the key for one user was the same for another. Forwarding the Agent will allow for added private-keys to be used via the forward. If the users on the second hop do not have a valid public-key, then the forwarding will not work.

I tested that setting ForwardAgent=yes does work from my desktop system to a intermediate server and then the final destination. The Desktop had the valid private key and the intermediate and final destination had the corresponding public-key. It worked.

Then again, I am using non-red-hat systems. I hope my email gives you hope and another avenue for troubleshooting your problem.

John H.

On Thu, 5 Oct 2006, Jason Powers wrote:

> Date: Thu, 05 Oct 2006 13:28:34 -0400
> From: Jason Powers
> To: John Paul Heaton
> Cc: secureshell@securityfocus.com
> Subject: Re: Agent Forwarding Question for the list
>
> I'm not making keys for these service users. I'm going to use them to run
> scripts and monitors in the way our present (RH7.2-based) setup does. I put
> my public key in the .ssh/authorized_keys file for each of these users. I
> have to run ssh-agent/ssh-add on my local machine, then I can jump right into
> the first server as whichever service user account I've set up this way. That
> part already works. It's hopping to the next server that asks for a password.
>
> Most of the documentation I found suggests it's possible to do this, and I
> can already do it with ssh-3.2.9-1 on our old setup. I wonder if there is
> something specific about redhat's build of openssh or pam that will intercept
> these requests, or if there is a directive I must set in
> ssh_config|sshd_config or /etc/pam.d/sshd to allow it. Our old setup also
> allows jumping to/through root users, but there may be different rules for
> that in a Fedora 5 configuration as well.
>
> When I'm running tails on all the logs, the ssh connection reqest never shows
> up on the second server, so I strongly suspect that PAM is intercepting the
> request and asking for a password. However, I was determined to ask the
> experts in case it was a common mistake or something that simply is not
> possible under openssh.
>
> By setting my public key in system users I should be able to jump from one
> machine to the next, or scp files around. Say in the ideal setup for
> development servers I'd have a cronuser, scriptuser, monitoruser, cvsuser,
> and root (I know it's poor security) all configured with my public key and
> that I could jump in and out of each not only from my own Linux Desktop, but
> through each user to each user on other servers in the development chain.
> After reading all the documentation and FAQs I could find, I had assumed
> ssh-agent on the desktop and agent forwarding on the servers would be
> sufficient, but something is blocking the forwarding, or I'm way off and this
> isn't how it's meant to work.
>
> Thanks
>
> Jason Powers
>
> John Paul Heaton wrote:
>> You can get a detailed idea of what ssh is doing by using the -v flag. You
>> can get more detail by using more v's, up to three, like -vvv. It is a a
>> good way to see what ssh is doing.
>>
>> As for your problem, does the "otheruser" have the same public-key as
>> "someuser" in the authorized_keys file?
>>
>> John
>>
>> On Wed, 4 Oct 2006, Jason Powers wrote:
>>
>>> Date: Wed, 04 Oct 2006 18:18:02 -0400
>>> From: Jason Powers
>>> To: secureshell@securityfocus.com
>>> Subject: Agent Forwarding Question for the list
>>> Resent-Date: Thu, 5 Oct 2006 08:53:26 -0600 (MDT)
>>> Resent-From: secureshell-return-8989@securityfocus.com
>>>
>>> I have looked through the archives and googled this pretty thoroughly, I'm
>>> having a tough time finding someone else who has asked the same question
>>> previously. There's a lot of information about openssh, but surprisingly
>>> little detail about port forwarding. Either it works for everyone all the
>>> time, or my configuration is a little bit particular compared to others.
>>>
>>> We would like to change from ssh2 to openssh for all of our linux servers.
>>> I am testing new equipment with Fedora Core 5 with openssh configured out
>>> of the box. I have no need to forward X11 windows, I just want to be able
>>> to jump from machine to machine with a terminal, ssh and scp, and use
>>> different accounts without having to type a password. A lot of our
>>> production process revolves around this, so it pretty much has to work for
>>> me to convert us.
>>>
>>> I made users and keys with openssh instead of using the old ones, put them
>>> in the accounts I wanted to jump to on multiple servers. I set the perms
>>> on the authorized_keys files to 600. I set the ssh_config file in /etc/ to
>>> say ForwardAgent yes.
>>>
>>> Now let's say that I have a linux desktop and two linux servers, assuming
>>> I've configured things correctly, then from the desktop box I should be
>>> able to:
>>>
>>> me@desktop> ssh-add
>>> (type pass for key)
>>> me@desktop> ssh someuser@server1
>>>
>>> now from that terminal
>>> someuser@server1> ssh otheruser@server2
>>>
>>> It asks me for a password when I try to jump to the second server. I can
>>> put the password in and it works, but I think at this point it should be
>>> forwarding the key.
>>>
>>> I have tail -f running on the secure log on each machine in question so I
>>> can see if there's anything happening.
>>>
>>> It does not enter into the log on the target machine that I am attempting
>>> to open a connection while it waits for a password, so I was thinking that
>>> pam may be intercepting the request and demanding one.
>>>
>>> Has anyone known pam to do such a thing?
>>> Am I seeing a common non-error?
>>> Is this a situation where ssh-agent on the servers may be interfering with
>>> the one from the desktop?
>>> Do I have to turn on X11forwarding to get agent forwarding on these
>>> servers, which don't even have x installed?
>>> Does this have something to do with xauth on the servers, or is that only
>>> for x11 forwarding?
>>>
>>> Thanks
>>>
>>> Jason Powers
>>>

>>
>> --------------------------------------------
>> -- John Heaton - Computer System Engineer --
>> -- George Mason University --
>> -- Information Technology Unit --
>> -- Systems Engineering (ESM) --
>> -- * email: jheaton@gmu.edu --
>> -- * phone: 703.993.3558 --
>> --------------------------------------------

>


--------------------------------------------
-- John Heaton - Computer System Engineer --
-- George Mason University --
-- Information Technology Unit --
-- Systems Engineering (ESM) --
-- * email: jheaton@gmu.edu --
-- * phone: 703.993.3558 --
--------------------------------------------