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encrypt folders linuxEasily add encrypted folders to your Linux computer. Locking down your files doesn’t get any easier than CryptKeeper, a shockingly simple piece of encryption software that locks down individual folders. Just tell CryptKeeper where you’d like your new encrypted folder to be and what password you’d like to protect it with.

In the past we’ve covered Truecrypt, which makes encrypted folders others cannot view How To Make Encrypted Folders Others Can't View with Truecrypt 7 How To Make Encrypted Folders Others Can't View with Truecrypt 7 Read More . That’s a great program for Linux, Mac and Windows computers – there’s even an upcoming MakeUseOf manual with in-depth coverage of all its features. Stay tuned for that.

CryptKeeper has its own advantages, however. It does one thing and does it very well. If all you want is a specific folder on your computer to be protected from prying eyes, CryptKeeper has you covered. Since this is all CryptKeeper does, it’s simpler in many ways than Truecrypt.

Encrypting Your Files

CryptKeeper runs in your system tray. Click the icon and you’ll see your encrypted drives:

encrypt folders linux

The first time you click this you’ll see the preferences. Take a look at them and you’ll have the options above. If you already have a EncFS file, you can import it easily. If you don’t know what that means, simply click “New Encrypted Folder” to get started.

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You’ll see a window for creating your folder:

encrypt files linux

Figure out where you want your encrypted folder to be, and what you want it to be called. Then you’ll have to pick a password for the encrypted folder. Remember that if you forget this password, you’ve basically deleted your encrypted folders. Be sure to create a strong password that you won’t forget How To Create A Good Password That You Will Not Forget How To Create A Good Password That You Will Not Forget Read More .

Once you’ve created your encrypted folder, you’ll see it in your file browser:

encrypt folders linux

As you can see, the system mounts the encrypted folder as a “drive”. You can easily move files in and out of this drive just as you would with any other. Moving large files into this folder may be a slow process; encryption takes a while. Still, the security is worth it.

Installation

Installing software on Linux is easy. Just fire up your system’s package manager and install the “cryptkeeper” package. If you’re on Ubuntu it’s even easier: simply click here to install CryptKeeper.

Once you’ve installed CryptKeeper you’ll find the software in your menu. Fire it up!

Get It Working In Unity

Fire it up in Ubunty 11.04, however, and you’ll notice that nothing happens. This is because Unity abandoned the old system tray in favour of indicator applets Re-Add Functionality To Ubuntu's Tray With Indicator Applets Re-Add Functionality To Ubuntu's Tray With Indicator Applets Add new functionality to your Ubuntu panel. Whether you want to see the weather at a glance, disable your touchpad or manage your clipboard, indicator applets are what you're looking for. As of Ubuntu 11.04,... Read More . Never fear, though; there is a fix. Simply type these two commands:

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Panel systray-whitelist "['JavaEmbeddedFrame', 'Wine', 'Skype', 'Cryptkeeper']"
setsid unity

The first command allows certain programs to show up in the system tray; the second restarts Unity. Hopefully, with future versions of CryptKeeper, this will not be necessary.

If you’re interested, I found the above commands in a bug report about this issue.

Conclusion

Encrypting files is essential if you want to ensure they’re safe. Losing your computer to a thief is bad enough. Having people access your personal files could be even worse. This is a great way to protect yourself.

Do you have any additional safety tips? Share them in the comments below, along with any alternative programs for this process.

  1. Mindokan
    June 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Why not to use the default encrypted system?

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