HOWTO: Encrypted directory with EncFS

This guide describes how to create encrypted directories. These can come in handy for laptop users, password lists and the like.

1. Install the software


sudo apt-get install encfs fuse-utils

sudo modprobe fuse

And since we don’t want to modprobe each time we reboot, add “fuse” to /etc/modules (without quotes, on a line of its own)

2. Add yourself to the fuse group

The installer creates a fuse group and to use fusermount you need to be in this group. You can do this with your favourite GUI admin tool or command line:


sudo adduser fuse

3. Create a directory where your encrypted stuff will be stored

I put mine in my home dir, but you can put it anywhere you like.


mkdir ~/encrypted

4. Create a mountpoint

This is the directory where you will mount the encrypted directory. Through this path you can access the encrypted files.


mkdir ~/temp_encr

5. Create the encrypted system and mount it

The first time you try to mount the directory, encfs will create the encrypted filesystem. It works like the regular mount:



So for this example:


encfs /home//encrypted /home//temp_encr

Note that encfs wants absolute paths, i.e. starting with a /

6. Do the work

Put some files in your ~/temp_encr folder and look in the ~/encrypted one: they will show up there, encrypted.

7. Unmount the encrypted filesystem

Unmounting is as easy as


fusermount -u /home//temp_encr

8. Goto step 5

Repeat! EncFS will only create the filesystem once, after that first time it will ask for a password and mount your directory.

Remember to keep the two directories apart: in this example the “encrypted” folder holds your encrypted data and should not be used directly. The gateway to access this data is “temp_encr” or whatever you want to call it.

Sites used: – the main EncFS site


HOWTO: Encrypted directory with EncFS – Ubuntu Forums.