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I am using ecryptfs for my home directory. I now want to switch to an SSD but my home dir is currently 350gb in size and I don't have the money to buy an ssd that size. What I got is a 128gb ssd that I want to install the root system on, as well as the "base" of my home directory (incl. source code, configuration files, i.e. the files used most often). All the subdirectories that contain lots of data but are rarely accessed (music, pictures, documents) I want to keep on a plain hdd and just link the directories in. However esp. for pictures and documents I really do want to keep encryption.

Is there an official / efficient / easy / secure way to soft-link directories from another location into my home directory and also being encrypted? Ideally ecryptfs would handle this automatically, however auto-mounting of these directories (preferably at least semi-automatically but definitely securely) would be an acceptable compromise.

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You can accomplish this using mount.ecryptfs_private's alias feature. From the manpage:

   mount.ecryptfs_private  is a mount helper utility for non-root users to
   cryptographically mount a private directory, ~/Private by default.

   This program  optionally  takes  one  argument,  ALIAS.   If  ALIAS  is
   omitted, the program will default to using "Private" using:
    - $HOME/.Private as the SOURCE
    - $HOME/Private as the DESTINATION
    - $HOME/.ecryptfs/Private.sig for the key signatures.

   If ALIAS is specified, then the program will look for an fstab(5) style
   configuration in:
    - $HOME/.ecryptfs/ALIAS.conf and for key signature(s) in:
    - $HOME/.ecryptfs/ALIAS.sig
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Okay, this is a rather hidden feature :-) Reading the associated bug report, it looks like this is still rather experimental. For example the man page is all of the documentation available without any examples/details. It is also not automatic, and it doesn't seem to support filename encryption. – Frank Feb 23 '12 at 6:21
Good point. It is a little hidden. I'll put together a detailed blog post about it (which is generally how I introduce new features to eCryptfs), and link to it back here. Thanks for the feedback! – Dustin Kirkland Feb 23 '12 at 11:12
A few years have passed. On my system at least (Mint 17) The man page for mount.ecryptfs_private now recommends using ecryptfs-mount-private instead ). Both tools are developed by Dustin Kirkland, the author of this answer. – mc0e Feb 5 at 12:29

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