ssh-agent systemd user service failed to start, trying to set environment in Upstart way.

Bug #1689299 reported by Ratchanan Srirattanamet on 2017-05-08
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
openssh (Ubuntu)
Colin Watson

Bug Description

"systemctl --user status ssh-agent.service" give me the following info:
agent-launch[11327]: initctl: Name "com.ubuntu.Upstart" does not exist

As I'm running Systemd session instead of Upstart one, it shouldn't try to run initctl. So, I take a look at /usr/lib/openssh/agent-launcher. And this is what's in the file:

if type initctl >/dev/null 2>&1; then
    initctl set-env --global SSH_AUTH_SOCK=$S

So, the script checks if Upstart is installed, but doesn't actually check if the current session is Upstart session or not. It has to check if $UPSTART_SESSION is defined or not.

$ lsb_release -a
LSB Version: core-9.20160110ubuntu5-amd64:core-9.20160110ubuntu5-noarch:printing-9.20160110ubuntu5-amd64:printing-9.20160110ubuntu5-noarch:security-9.20160110ubuntu5-amd64:security-9.20160110ubuntu5-noarch
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 17.04
Release: 17.04
Codename: zesty

$ LANG=C apt policy openssh-client
  Installed: 1:7.4p1-10
  Candidate: 1:7.4p1-10
  Version table:
 *** 1:7.4p1-10 500
        500 zesty/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 17.04
Package: openssh-client 1:7.4p1-10
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 4.10.0-20.22-generic 4.10.8
Uname: Linux 4.10.0-20-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.20.4-0ubuntu4
Architecture: amd64
CurrentDesktop: Unity:Unity7
Date: Mon May 8 17:51:09 2017
InstallationDate: Installed on 2013-04-23 (1475 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 13.04 "Raring Ringtail" - Alpha amd64 (20130402.1)
 ssh-askpass N/A
 libpam-ssh N/A
 keychain N/A
 ssh-askpass-gnome 1:7.4p1-10
SSHClientVersion: OpenSSH_7.4p1 Ubuntu-10, OpenSSL 1.0.2g 1 Mar 2016
SourcePackage: openssh
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to zesty on 2017-04-29 (9 days ago)

Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

Good catch, thanks. Fixed in my Debian tree for my next upload.

Changed in openssh (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Colin Watson (cjwatson)
importance: Undecided → High
status: New → Fix Committed

Colin, could you please SRU this fix to Zesty as well?

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package openssh - 1:7.5p1-5ubuntu1

openssh (1:7.5p1-5ubuntu1) artful; urgency=low

  * Merge from Debian unstable. Remaining changes:
    - Cherrypick updated patchset to open up sandbox, when openssl engine calls
    into OpenCryptoki for hardware accelerated encryption. LP: #1686618

openssh (1:7.5p1-5) unstable; urgency=medium

  * Upload to unstable.
  * Fix syntax error in debian/copyright.

openssh (1:7.5p1-4) experimental; urgency=medium

  * Drop README.Debian section on privilege separation, as it's no longer
  * Only call "initctl set-env" from agent-launch if $UPSTART_SESSION is set
    (LP: #1689299).
  * Fix incoming compression statistics (thanks, Russell Coker; closes:
  * Relicense debian/* under a two-clause BSD licence for bidirectional
    compatibility with upstream, with permission from Matthew Vernon and

 -- Dimitri John Ledkov <email address hidden> Fri, 28 Jul 2017 14:13:11 +0100

Changed in openssh (Ubuntu):
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
Niklas Holm (niklas-holm) wrote :

I don't get why this fix isn't backported to zesty yet since it's such a trivial fix. I spent hours troubleshooting this before finding the cause.

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