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How to automate SSH in Linux (so you don't have to put in your password)
Spencer Stirling

This website says it all (scroll about halfway through that article).

I did run into an issue with the "keychain" utility described in the article. He tells you to put the lines

keychain id_dsa
. ~/.keychain/[yourhostname]-sh

into your .bash_profile file located in your home directory. The first line prompts you for your password to slip onto the keychain, and must only be run once per machine reboot.

The second line, however, "sources" the file "~/.keychain/[yourhostname]-sh" which contains a couple of environmental variables. These environmental variables will need to be "sourced" for EVERY shell (and cron job). To make it sourced for every shell (say when you open up an xterm in X Windows) you need to add the same line "~/.keychain/[yourhostname]-sh" to your .bashrc file. You will ALSO need to add the same line to any cron scripts that you program in order for them to use the SSH utilities without asking for a password.

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