I want to use an SSH-Private-Key generated on Debian 7 with my MacOS-Machine. So I copied id_rsa and id_rsa.pub to .ssh/ on my Mac. The Key is recognized, but every time I enter my passphrase the message "Saving password to keychain failed" and the login fails.

Do I have to convert the key in any way?

Thanks in advance.

  • 2
    Can you try adding the (same) passphrase again with ssh-keygen -p -f ~/.ssh/id_rsa?
    – slhck
    Sep 30, 2013 at 11:08

1 Answer 1


Use first ssh-add in the terminal before using ssh. Like this OS X doesn't present you the GUI dialog of the ssh agent (and thus the error you see regarding the keychain, can be avoided).

The key doesn't have to be converted to use it. Just check the permissions of your private key: They should be 0600 owned by you.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .