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I have just installed fresh 13.04. I've chosen to encrypt the entire installation, but the installer later asked me whether I wanted to encrypt personal folder under /home. What should I choose?

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marked as duplicate by Radu Rădeanu, Eric Carvalho, Seth, Andrea Corbellini, Jorge Castro Aug 26 '13 at 13:30

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Encrypting your home folder will let you have your data protected by the account's password.

If you are logged into your account you won't be asked to insert the password, but, if you want to access the files while you're logged out (with another username for example) you'll be asked for.

In my opinion I think is better to have it, with a strong password, to prevent leak of data from people who takes you HDD off and try to read data in it.

Watch out that by encrypting the home folder when you access the files in it the reading time will be a little more than having it unencrypted

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I know what it means "to encrypt" I am asking -- Do I need to encrypt home folder if I previously chose to encrypt the entire Ubuntu installation. – Andrey Smirnov Aug 23 '13 at 5:22
Well, if you're the only user in the pc I think no, cause you only know the password of the entire system and who has access to that means that has also access to your profile data. Otherwise, if someone other is using your pc and knows the disk (or ubuntu installation) password and you don't want to let him view your data in any way, well, you should encrypt it :) – Denys Vitali Aug 24 '13 at 0:22
Thank you! You completely have clarified that for me! – Andrey Smirnov Aug 24 '13 at 12:51

The encryption on your home folder is your choice. It makes it so you have to input a password every time you attempt to open your home folder. I usually don't but I don't need anything hidden.

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By encrypting home, will be possible to access the data after you login. Except owned users, other users will need some commands and your password to see data.

Be aware! Encryption of home folder will decrease your free space significantly!

It is better to encrypt with LVM, whole disk partition, except the computer is used by other people.

If you want to keep just some files secret, why dont you install truecrypt?

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Encrypting your home (usually done with eCryptfs) does not decrease your free space "significantly", it "rounds up" each file's size by something like 12k or 16k. So a tiny 500 byte file would take up 16k, but a 1MB file would be only 16k bigger. Truecrypt is currently unsupported & the authors recommend using other tools, such as eCryptfs, cryptsetup (LUKS/dm-crypt), EncFS – Xen2050 Dec 22 '14 at 21:19

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