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EncFS is a userspace cryptographic file-system, and aims to secure data with the minimum hassle. It uses FUSE to mount an encrypted directory onto another directory specified by the user. It does not use a loopback system like some other comparable systems such as TrueCrypt and dm-crypt.

This has a number of advantages and disadvantages compared to these systems. Firstly, it does not require any root privileges to implement; any user can create a repository of encrypted files. Secondly, one does not need to create a single file and create a filesystem within that; it works on existing filesystem without modifications.

This does create a few disadvantages, though; because the encrypted files are not stored in their own file, someone who obtains access to the system can still see the underlying directory structure, the number of files, their sizes and when they were modified. They cannot see the contents, however.

This particular method of securing data is obviously not perfect, but there are situations in which it is useful.


Install the Template:Package Official package using pacman:

# pacman -S encfs


To create a secured repository, type:

$ encfs ~/.DIRNAME ~/DIRNAME

This will be followed by a prompt about whether you want to go with the default (paranoid options) or expert configuration. The latter allows specifying algorithms and other options. The former is a fairly secure default setup. After entering a key for the encryption, the encoded filesystem will created and mounted. The encoded files are stored, in this example, at Template:Filename, and their unencrypted versions in Template:Filename.

To unmount the file-system, type:

$ fusermount -u ~/DIRNAME

To remount the filesystem, issue the first command, and enter the key useded to encode it. Once this has been entered, the filesystem will be mounted again.