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TrueCrypt on Linux (Ubuntu) February 6, 2011

Posted by NAyK in Open Source, Ubuntu.
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11 comments

I’m in a security phase… encrypting everything. Working with Windows, TrueCrypt is an excellent solution. However I wanted to see how encryption would work on my Linux distro Ubuntu 10.10.

Downloading TrueCrypt was easy… if you know what to select. I selected standard 32bit.

Installation was a little more tricky. As I wasn’t sure what to do. I double clicked the icon but wasn’t quite sure what to do next to install.I first clicked run, but it didn’t work. Then I clicked “run in terminal” and that seemed to work.

I couldn’t find much help in the beginning (until later after figuring it out I found these excellent sites:

http://www.randyjensenonline.com/blog/installing-truecrypt-51a-on-ubuntu-804

After installation, I wanted to create a TrueCrypt volume. When it asked which file format did I want to encrypt the new partition, I choose EXT4. However, when the formatting finished (and it is much faster to format in Linux than in Windows), I found that TrueCrypt was just not opening. It was giving me a file error saying the partition could not be mounted.

I decided to redo the process and this time choose to create a new TrueCrypt partition as an FAT drive. Again it was quite fast, and this time it worked.

I quickly mounted my drive and put in all the files I wanted to encrypt.

However, I realised that if I closed the TrueCrypt window, I was not able to unmount the partition, because it asked for root privileges. Updated later (after some comments suggested I clarify): There is an icon called truecrypt1 (mounted). And that gives the option to unmount. When I clicked to unmount, it didn’t do it. That was what I was noticing. Similarly, in the Nautilus browser, there was an eject option on the drive. But when I clicked it, it didn’t allow me to unmount with the following error: umount: /media/truecrypt1 is not in the fstab (and you are not root)

Of course there was a TrueCrypt icon in the notification bar. If I clicked that, the TrueCrypt window opened up and I was able to quickly unmount as I have been able to do in Windows. (Back to original post)

As a result, I have had to keep the Window open whenever I use the TrueCrypt programme, which is a pain, but not insurmountable.

I also preferred the windows Drive Letter way of mounting a partition. Somehow the number method felt more… alienating. It’s the same in a Mac (in which I also installed TrueCrypt). Doesn’t feel as inviting, but it does work.

But all in all, TrueCrypt, by itself, is an excellent encryption software. It’s linux version (and the Mac version) doesn’t seem to be as polished as the Windows version (which is surprising, because TrueCrypt is open-source), still it’s handy to use. So far I haven’t found any major glitches, so it is an excellent tool for security enthusiasts.

Another excellent help site: http://linuxandfriends.com/2010/02/03/how-to-truecrypt-setup-on-ubuntu-linux/

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