Ealier I already wrote about using the gnome-keyring-daemon to automatically unlock the SSH key when logging into XFCE. The method I described in the latter of my posts had the drawback of launching a complete GNOME session together with all its associated services.

The way the developers of the daemon intended it to work uses DBUS to inject the global variables pointing the various sockets to be used by SSH and GnuPG into the global session environment. However XFCE does not support this injection which currently is one of the magic things happening when launching the GNOME environment at login time.

More information on the current state of the issue can be found in Redhat's Bugzilla in bug 551508. The workaround depicted there is to place the following into your ~/.profile file (or any other file evaluated during session initialization):

# add gnome-keyring-daemon to env
export `gnome-keyring-daemon --start`