From ArchWiki

From gocryptfs:

gocryptfs uses file-based encryption that is implemented as a mountable FUSE filesystem. Each file in gocryptfs is stored one corresponding encrypted file on the hard disk.
The highlights are: Scrypt password hashing, GCM encryption for all file contents, EME wide-block encryption for file names with a per-directory IV.

See the gocryptfs project home for further introduction of its features, benchmarks, etc. See Data-at-rest encryption#Comparison table for an overview of alternative methods and EncFS for the direct alternative.

  • To achieve its design goal of authenticated encryption, gocryptfs implements a AES-EME encryption mode (for filenames, the content is encrypted using standard libraries). While the EME mode is not widely used/audited yet, gocryptfs encryption modes bring integrity protection for the data.
  • See the project's tracking bug report regarding findings of the first security audit for more information.


Install gocryptfs or gocryptfs-gitAUR.

As a FUSE filesystem, gocryptfs is fully configurable by the user and stores its configuration files in the user's directory paths.


See gocryptfs(1) and its examples first. As a first-time user, check the gocryptfs best practices next.

Upon initialization of the cryptography for a directory, the master key is output before it is cryptographically wrapped in the gocryptfs.conf file. It can be used to recreate the configuration with a restore procedure. If it happens that the master key itself is lost but the configuration file available, see gocryptfs-xray(1) for how to output it again with the encryption password.

  • Execute gocryptfs -speed to test throughput for available encryption modes. The automatic selection will choose the fastest mode available for the system.
  • A -fido2 option allows the convenience of U2F hardware tokens to initialize and mount the encrypted data. Be aware token features, for example PIN entry, cannot be toggled currently and can be different for token models.

Example using normal mode

Create cipher directory to store encrypted data, and plain directory to access them decrypted. Then, run gocryptfs initialization to setup encryption.

$ mkdir cipher plain
$ gocryptfs -init cipher
Choose a password for protecting your files.

Your master key is:

To open the encrypted directory cipher and access it from plain:

$ gocryptfs cipher plain
Decrypting master key
Filesystem mounted and ready

You now have a working gocryptfs that is stored in cipher and mounted to plain. You can verify this by creating a blank file in the plain directory. This file will show up encrypted in the cipher directory.

$ touch plain/test.txt
$ ls cipher
  gocryptfs.conf  gocryptfs.diriv  ZSuIZVzYDy5-TbhWKY-ciA==

Example using reverse mode

A major application for file-based encryption methods are encrypted backups. FUSE-based filesystems are flexible for this, since they allow a wide array of backup destinations using standard tools. For example, a gocryptfs-encrypted FUSE mount point can be easily created directly on a Samba/NFS share or Dropbox location, synchronized to a remote host with rsync, or just be manually copied to a remote backup storage.

Warning: By default the gocryptfs.conf file is stored within the backup directory for convenience. If you upload the gocryptfs.conf file to an online source, your backup can be decrypted if your password is known or cracked. Using a strong password will lower the chances of a successful attack. [1] You can choose to use a gocryptfs.conf file from another location by providing the -config option along with the path to your configuration file.

The reverse mode of gocryptfs is particularly useful for creating encrypted backups, since it requires virtually no extra storage capacity on the machine to back up.

The following shows an example of user archie creating a backup of /home/archie:

First, archie initializes the configuration for the home directory:

$ gocryptfs -init -reverse /home/archie
Choose a password for protecting your files.

Second, an empty directory for the encrypted view of the home directory is created and mounted:

$ mkdir /tmp/crypt
$ gocryptfs -reverse /home/archie /tmp/crypt
Decrypting master key

Your master key is:
Filesystem mounted and ready.
Tip: A number of options to exclude files or directories from the reverse mount are available; see gocryptfs(1) § EXCLUDING_FILES. Note that with software like rsync errors or warnings may occur if exclusions are done later only.[2]

Third, archie creates a backup of the encrypted directory, a simple local copy for this example:

$ cp -a /tmp/crypt /tmp/backup

and done.

The encrypted directory can stay mounted for the user session, or be unmounted manually:

$ fusermount -u /tmp/crypt
$ rmdir /tmp/crypt

To restore from the encrypted backup, a plain-text view is mounted using gocryptfs's normal mode:

$ mkdir /tmp/restore
$ gocryptfs /tmp/backup/ /tmp/restore
Decrypting master key
Filesystem mounted and ready.

Now the required files can be restored.

GUI wrappers

There are a couple of applications available that provide a graphical user interface for gocryptfs.


A Qt/C++ GUI application that manages gocryptfs, eCryptfs, cryfs, EncFS, fscrypt, and securefs encrypted folders. It can also connect to SSH servers using SSHFS. Install it from sirikaliAUR.


A bash script gocryptfs-ui provides a simple zenity GUI around the gocryptfs command line utility to mount and unmount an encrypted directory. It includes a desktop launcher. Install it from gocryptfs-uiAUR.


cryptor is a vala/gtk3 based application providing a GUI to create and mount encrypted directories. It can store configuration files with a list of encrypted directories, has tray-icon support and includes a desktop launcher. Install it from cryptorAUR.

See also

  • A first security audit of gocryptfs
  • RFC 5297 Synthetic Initialization Vector (SIV) Authenticated Encryption Using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)