EncFS

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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 file-system within that; it works on existing file-system 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.

Installation

Install the Template:Package Official package using pacman:

# pacman -S encfs

Usage

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 file-system will be 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 file-system, issue the first command, and enter the key used to encode it. Once this has been entered, the file-system will be mounted again.