SSH from my Mac is very slow

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SSH from my Mac is very slow, but scp works fast.

Chances are that X forwarding is not set up properly and you are waiting for it to time out.
Either use the -x option to start ssh without X forwarding, or try to enable X authentication by saying the following on the Mac:

 xauth generate :0 .


Also see this blog entry on mactip.blogspot.com