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How the problem started

For some reason I did not have my id_rsa.pub file in ~/.ssh. So I copied it off one of my servers to ~/.ssh/ on my machine... so that I have it, so I can copy it to servers when I want to access them using my SSH key.

Strange behavior from SSH

With the ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub file present I get a GUI popup asking me to enter my SSH password when I try connect to servers in a terminal emulator? (instead of ssh asking in the terminal as it always has)

Workaround

If I move the ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub file to another dir, then it asks for the SSH password in the terminal as normally expected.

SSH_ASKPASS is not present or involved

echo "$SSH_ASKPASS" returns nothing. I ran unset SSH_ASKPASS anyway. (unsetenv does not exist on my machine). There is no SSH_ASKPASS variable on my machine, and it is not the determining factor, the determining factor is the presence of ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub

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