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Thread: HOWTO: Encrypted directory with EncFS

  1. #1
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    HOWTO: Encrypted directory with EncFS

    This guide describes how to create encrypted directories. These can come in handy for laptop users, password lists and the like.

    1. Install the software
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install encfs fuse-utils
    sudo modprobe fuse
    And since we don't want to modprobe each time we reboot, add "fuse" to /etc/modules (without quotes, on a line of its own)

    2. Add yourself to the fuse group
    The installer creates a fuse group and to use fusermount you need to be in this group. You can do this with your favourite GUI admin tool or command line:
    Code:
    sudo adduser <your username> fuse
    3. Create a directory where your encrypted stuff will be stored
    I put mine in my home dir, but you can put it anywhere you like.
    Code:
    mkdir ~/encrypted
    4. Create a mountpoint
    This is the directory where you will mount the encrypted directory. Through this path you can access the encrypted files.
    Code:
    mkdir ~/temp_encr
    5. Create the encrypted system and mount it
    The first time you try to mount the directory, encfs will create the encrypted filesystem. It works like the regular mount:
    Code:
    encfs <folder to mount> <mount point>
    So for this example:
    Code:
    encfs /home/<your username>/encrypted /home/<your username>/temp_encr
    Note that encfs wants absolute paths, i.e. starting with a /

    6. Do the work
    Put some files in your ~/temp_encr folder and look in the ~/encrypted one: they will show up there, encrypted.

    7. Unmount the encrypted filesystem
    Unmounting is as easy as
    Code:
    fusermount -u /home/<your username>/temp_encr
    8. Goto step 5
    Repeat! EncFS will only create the filesystem once, after that first time it will ask for a password and mount your directory.


    Remember to keep the two directories apart: in this example the "encrypted" folder holds your encrypted data and should not be used directly. The gateway to access this data is "temp_encr" or whatever you want to call it.


    Sites used:
    http://arg0.net/wiki/encfs - the main EncFS site
    how-to-mount-a-remote-ssh-filesystem-using-sshfs
    Last edited by remmelt; March 22nd, 2006 at 06:24 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: HOWTO: Encrypted directory with EncFS

    Several observations:

    • You need load the kernel module permanently, if you don't want to use modprobe every time. That's easy to fix:
      Code:
      sudo <your_editor> /etc/modules
      Add fuse to the list and you're done.
    • The system won't recognize you as a memeber of the fuse group until you reboot.
    • While encfs wants absolute paths, you can let the shell do the expansion for you:
      Code:
      encfs ~/.my_hidden_encrypted_dir ~/my_visible_unencrypted_dir
      fusermount -u ~/my_visible_unencrypted_dir
    Last edited by dradul; June 12th, 2006 at 02:47 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: HOWTO: Encrypted directory with EncFS

    Thanks, I forgot to add that about the modprobe.

  4. #4
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    Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

    Re: HOWTO: Encrypted directory with EncFS

    Good howto, this is just what i've been looking for for some time. Works great!
    The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.

  5. #5
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    Re: HOWTO: Encrypted directory with EncFS

    I can not get this to work on on dapper. Has anyone gotten it to work on Dapper yet?

  6. #6
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    Re: HOWTO: Encrypted directory with EncFS

    Quote Originally Posted by jgrantham
    I can not get this to work on on dapper. Has anyone gotten it to work on Dapper yet?
    Since late January this year. Did you take note of my observations to the how-to?

  7. #7
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    Xubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: HOWTO: Encrypted directory with EncFS

    Wow, amazing! Thank you very much, this is something that I've (too) looked for some time. Yea, I wanted to encrypt a directory and not the whole fs. This is just what I've needed.. thanks!

  8. #8
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: HOWTO: Encrypted directory with EncFS

    Quote Originally Posted by remmelt
    This guide describes how to create encrypted directories. These can come in handy for laptop users, password lists and the like.

    1. Install the software
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install encfs fuse-utils
    sudo modprobe fuse
    And since we don't want to modprobe each time we reboot, add "fuse" to /etc/modules (without quotes, on a line of its own)

    2. Add yourself to the fuse group
    The installer creates a fuse group and to use fusermount you need to be in this group. You can do this with your favourite GUI admin tool or command line:
    Code:
    sudo adduser <your username> fuse
    Remember to keep the two directories apart: in this example the "encrypted" folder holds your encrypted data and should not be used directly. The gateway to access this data is "temp_encr" or whatever you want to call it.


    Sites used:
    http://arg0.net/wiki/encfs - the main EncFS site
    how-to-mount-a-remote-ssh-filesystem-using-sshfs
    Thank's a lot for this.I built up amd64 packages of the newest versons and it works very fine.
    This were on a Ubuntu 6.06 LTS - Dapper Drake system.
    It seems like fuse don't create any new group now.Did not add myself to anything.
    But thanks for the info,and if anyone want the newest amd64 debs just send me a mail.

  9. #9
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    Stockport, UK
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    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: HOWTO: Encrypted directory with EncFS

    Hey thanks for that.

    Now for KDE users who dont want to keep going into a terminal to mount their encrypted folder, I found this page on the Gentoo wiki -

    http://gentoo-wiki.com/TIP_EncFS#Usi...DE_.26_Kdialog

    To make it work in Kubuntu you need to change the references of "/usr/kde/3.4/bin/kdialog" to "/usr/bin/kdialog" - but then it works like a charm.

    My menu entry looks like:

    ./mountsafe.sh /full/path/to/encrypted/.store /full/path/to/revealed/store - run as root, with a work path of ~

    Hope it's helpful.
    Last edited by hippyjim; June 19th, 2006 at 12:17 AM.
    "No thanks, I prefer them this colour. Now, what was I doing?"

  10. #10
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    Re: HOWTO: Encrypted directory with EncFS

    Quote Originally Posted by hippyjim
    Hey thanks for that.

    Now for KDE users who dont want to keep going into a terminal to mount their encrypted folder, I found this page on the Gentoo wiki -

    http://gentoo-wiki.com/TIP_EncFS#Usi...DE_.26_Kdialog

    To make it work in Kubuntu you need to change the references of "/usr/kde/3.4/bin/kdialog" to "/usr/bin/kdialog" - but then it works like a charm.

    My menu entry looks like:

    ./mountsafe.sh /full/path/to/encrypted/.store /full/path/to/revealed/store - run as root, with a work path of ~

    Hope it's helpful.
    Works great. Thanks!

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