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Server Applications

SSH Agent

Home Page Release Notes License:
Open source; $0

Current Version: 1.1 (May 10, 2005)

SSH Agent is a graphical front-end to some of the OpenSSH tools included with Mac OS X. Specifically, it allows you to start an ssh-agent, generate identities, and add identities to an agent. Additionally, it allows you to make the ssh-agent global so that, for example, Project Builder and CVL can use it to do version control over SSH, and it has some functionality to set-up a secure tunnel.

Version 1.1 adds/changes the following:

  • Conceptually, SSH Agent has changed from a window on the ssh-agent process to an ssh identity manager. This has the following consequences:
    • ssh identities are no longer treated as documents. Instead, SSH Agent's main window is a view on the identities in your .ssh directory.
    • Instead of adding identities to the agent, the interface let's you activate identities. Identities can be flagged as Default, and the preferences lets you add the Default identities when the application is launched.
    • There is an Agent Inspector which shows the details of the ssh-agent process. (It also allows you to detach the application from the process, allowing faceless operation.)
  • Other changes:
    • Different preferences format. If you're only trying out 1.1 make sure you backup your nl.uu.phil.* preferences.
    • Eye candy: An animated bubble showing the number of active identities and more beautiful icons.
  • Missing, incomplete, or broken:
    • The keychain interaction might be broken.
    • The version checking code is incomplete.
    • No documentation, except this page.
    • No source package yet.
    • No internationalization.

User Reviews

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Also See . . .

Can't find what you're looking for? Try a search:

Also, if you have an older Mac, be sure to check out the "Classic" applications page for more options.

Finally, take a look at ALEMIA if you think you know that name of an application, but aren't quite sure.

Built Into Mac OS X

Mac OS X has a huge amount of TCP/IP-based server software built into it that I don't specifically cover here. Your "Sharing" Preference Pane allows you to enable and disable these services with a click of the mouse. The software running behind the scenes to provide many of these services is generally of the open source variety. The standard release of Mac OS X includes, among many others:

  • Apache httpd (web server; enabled via the Sharing Preference Pane).
  • Postfix (mail server; see Mac OS X Hints for more information).
  • tnftpd (FTP server; enabled via the Sharing Preference Pane).
  • OpenSSH (Secure Shell server; enabled via the Sharing Preference Pane via "Remote Login" but additionally configurable via selected applications listed on this page).
  • BIND (Domain Name System server; see Mac OS X Hints for more information).
  • Samba (Windows file sharing; enabled via the Sharing Preference Pane).
  • XFree86 (X Window server; enabled via the "X11" application in your "Utilities" folder, if you elected to install it with Mac OS X).

Of course, Mac OS X Server includes many more, in addition to offering more recent versions of many of the above servers.

Related Links

Graham Orndorff has written a superb collection of articles on setting up email servers and secure email clients on Mac OS X.

Also Consider . . .

These are applications that are newer and of potential interest, but which I haven't yet selected for permanent inclusion. Have a look, and let me know if you think they deserve to be part of the permanent collection!