How to store encrypted data in your Ubuntu One cloud storage space

Ubuntu One is a cloud storage service. It provides you with 5GB free, personal storage space that you can use to synchronize your data across several computing devices. You can have a file you saved on it from your desktop, made accessible on your smartphone, tablet or any other computer.

Ubuntu One transmits the data securely over the internet from your computer. However, it does not store the data encrypted on the storage space it provides. It is upto you to encrypt your data while it stays on the Ubuntu One storage space. Since Ubuntu One is a public, free service, you need to ensure that your data stays secure from anyone who wants to read it. Below, we explain how that can be done.

  1. Visit http://one.ubuntu.com and create storage space for yourself.
  2. Open a terminal window in Ubuntu.
  3. $ mkdir "Ubuntu One"<enter>.  This is the folder that will be synchronized to the cloud storage space provided by Ubuntu One.
  4. $ mkdir "Ubuntu One (decrypted)"<enter>
  5. Make sure that you have created your encrypted folder using the steps at this link http://www.askmeaboutlinux.com/?p=2008
  6. $ encfs "~/Ubuntu One" "~/Ubuntu One (decrypted)"<enter>
  7. To enhance security of your cloud storage, use the command in 8. below rather than the one in 6. above, after you have moved the .encfs6.xml file from “Ubuntu One” to any other folder on your computer. In the command below, we have moved the file to “$HOME/.keys/” folder. Also, remember that if you want to access it from another computer, you will need to copy the .encfs.xml file there too.
  8. $ ENCFS6_CONFIG="$HOME/.keys/.encfs6.xml" encfs "~/Ubunton One" "~/Ubuntu One (decrypted)" <enter>

Now you can create your files in the “~/Ubuntu One (decrypted)” folder and they will be visible to you. As you created files in the decrypted folder, they were encrypted into the “~/Ubuntu One” folder. If you look at the files in the encrypted folder, they will be garbled and unreadable.

Unmount the decrypted folder using the steps explained at http://www.askmeaboutlinux.com/?p=2010.

Now, in the Dash, look for the Ubuntu One application. Click to open it, and synchronize the Ubuntu One folder only. That way, you ensure that you only put encrypted data up onto the Ubuntu One Cloud Storage space.

If you need to decrypt this data on any other platform, see this link on BoxCryptor. It is compatible with EncFS.

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