How to encrypt a folder using EncFS in Linux

You can encrypt a single local folder on your computer using EncFS. EncFS will encrypt your data as you create it. Therefore, it requires 2 folders – one to hold the encrypted data and one to hold the decrypted data.

This method can be used on a Ubuntu or Fedora desktop to synchronize only encrypted folders to cloud storage like Ubuntu One, Sky Drive, Wuala, SpiderOak, Google Drive and others. Basically, many of these cloud storage services provide you the space, ensure your data is encrypted while in transmission, but they do not provide you encryption when your data is finally copied or synchronized there, to ensure no one can peek into your data. It can also be used in instances where you need to have additional encryption on certain folders on your computer.

To enable EncFS on your Ubuntu computer, open a terminal window and first install the encfs packages as follows:
$ sudo apt-get install encfs <enter>

Now you need to set up the EncFS encryption where encrypted-data will contain the encrypted data and decrypted-data is where encfs will decrypt encrypted-data folder contents. You need to answer y if you want the folders created and enter a password when asked to.
$ encfs ~/encrypted-data ~/decrypted-data <enter>

Please choose from one of the following options:
enter “x” for expert configuration mode,
enter “p” for pre-configured paranoia mode,
anything else, or an empty line will select standard mode.
?>
p <enter>
Paranoia configuration selected.

Configuration finished. The filesystem to be created has
the following properties:
Filesystem cipher: “ssl/aes”, version 3:0:2
Filename encoding: “nameio/block”, version 3:0:1
Key Size: 256 bits
Block Size: 1024 bytes, including 8 byte MAC header
Each file contains 8 byte header with unique IV data.
Filenames encoded using IV chaining mode.
File data IV is chained to filename IV.
File holes passed through to ciphertext.

————————– WARNING ————————–
The external initialization-vector chaining option has been
enabled. This option disables the use of hard links on the
filesystem. Without hard links, some programs may not work.
The programs ‘mutt’ and ‘procmail’ are known to fail. For
more information, please see the encfs mailing list.
If you would like to choose another configuration setting,
please press CTRL-C now to abort and start over.

Now you will need to enter a password for your filesystem.
You will need to remember this password, as there is absolutely
no recovery mechanism. However, the password can be changed
later using encfsctl.

New Encfs Password: <enter password>
Verify Encfs Password: <re-enter password>

You will get back to the $ prompt. bove will do the set up and also mount your decrypted-folder. Make sure you copy your content into the decrypted-data folder. It will appear encrypted in encrypted-data folder. If you unmount, then you will not find any information in the decrypted-data folder as it has been stored encrypted in the encrypted-data folder. Do not delete a file named .encfs.xml from the encrypted-data folder.

To unmount, see this post http://www.askmeaboutlinux.com/?p=2010.
To mount, see this post http://www.askmeaboutlinux.com/?p=2015.

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