Thursday, 24 September 2009

Howto: A simple encrypted folder using Cryptkeeper.

I required a simple solution to easily secure some data, a single folder that could be encrypted and require a password to decipher being the ideal solution. A quick google soon pointed me to a couple fo options, Truecrypt and Cryptkeeper. Truecrypt seemed far more than I required but Cryptkeeper was perfect for my use.

To get it installed and any extra dependencies issue the following from a terminal or Synaptic if you prefer.

sudo apt-get install cryptkeeper

You can then start Cryptkeeper from the
menu >> Applications >> System Tools >> Cryptkeeper It will launch to your System Tray, click the icon and choose "New encrypted folder". Give it a name in the top entry on the dialogue, and a location on your hard disks to have the encrypted folder in the lower part. Click "Forward" then enter your password, its pretty darned important not to lose this password as it will not be recoverable if you ever lose it, and that means the data won't be either.

Once that is done nautilus will open your new encrypted folder which is currently empty.
You can now move the data you want making secure into this folder, when you are done, click on the Cryptkeeper System Tray icon again and "untick" the folder that you had just created. Once unmounted the data cannot be read and the folder will become hidden from view. When hidden the folder is simply renamed with a dot preceding it, so if you do get curious and navigate into it you will find your file names and the content they hold is encrypted and unreadable.

To access the data again just click the icon and "tick" the box next to the entry to remount it and make the data accessible, the files in the folder can be read as normal by any applications and resaved again directly in place. Its incredibly simple, usable and ample security for the data I want to keep private, little more than personal letters in my case and I think that is the case with most home users.


roberto said...

i've done it and i have cryptkeeper among my applications but it doesn start...any idea?

Subban said...

Have you tried running "cryptkeeper" from a terminal?

If not, give that a go and see if it has an error message. If it is missing anything it is likely to let you know there.

keeree said...

I forgot my password for Cryptkeeper!

What can I do? I am ready to get rid of the encrypted folder.


Subbass said...

To the best of my knowledge there is no way to recover the password, I wouldn't expect there to be either with a decent level of encryption.

You asked, "What can I do?". The simple answer is not a lot that I know of. Trying very, very hard to remember it is about your only chance I am sorry to say.

John S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John S said...

Great application! I work in a foreign government's ministry and need to keep some things confidential, so just the ticket.

However, I am having trouble across Linux distributions. I created a folder in one (Xubuntu) but can't access it in another (Linux Mint). I couldn't find any help on the subject of cross distribution usage, so tried the "Import EncFS folder" option. During the import process it could certainly see the existing folder (hidden in My Documents, a directory/data partition shared by all distributions), but when I try to mount it from the tray applet, after entering my password, a window saying "Creating new encrypted volume" appears but nothing happens after that, the folder is still invisible and not listed as mounted in the applet right click menu.

By the way, how good is the encryption?


Anonymous said...

Cryptkeeper icon not showing in panel in Ubuntu 11.04 - Solution

As cryptkeeper is a GNOME system tray applet, it is not able to show icon in Unity.
The workaround to show the icon in the top panel is given below
Install dconf-tools package
Click Applications icon. Type terminal and click at Terminal
In terminal that opens run the below command
Configuration editor opens
Navigate to Desktop > Unity > Panel
Now change the value of systray-whitelist to
['JavaEmbeddedFrame', 'Wine', 'Skype', 'Dropbox', 'Cryptkeeper']
Close it

Subbass said...


Thank you for taking the time to post that solution for 11.04.

I haven't upgraded to the newer Ubuntu yet but I am sure that will help others.

Anonymous said...

I had a problem with Cyrpt Keeper in Ubuntu 12.04. when I clicked on the icon the 'keys' symbol did not appear in the top panel. Typing:

sudo gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Panel systray-whitelist "['all']"

Into a terminal window from my root directory fixed it.