Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm aware of this post, but my problem is slightly different.

I have two partitions, one with my old Ubuntu 10.04, and one with my current Ubuntu 12.04. My old home is encrypted using ecryptfs, but I'm unsure what password I used when I set it up; the only thing I'm sure of is that I know my previous login password, and that when I log in in my previous Ubuntu, all my data is there.

Now I didn't forget that password, I'm just not sure what it is and I'd like to make a few "trials", but I'm not sure if I should begin with the sudo ecryptfs-add-passphrase --fnek right away. My previous login password is different from my current one.

ecryptfs-mount-private seems to run in the console, but no Private folders shows up in my home then, and I don't get any error message (and no message at all for that matter). When I click on the Access-Your-Private-Data.desktop in my old home, I see a console window that opens and shuts down right away. Finally ecryptfs-setup-private returns ERROR: wrapped-passphrase file already exists, use --force to overwrite. which means it's already setup correctly I guess?

Thanks in advance for your help!


Now that I think about it, I don't need to have these encrypted actually, I guess I just wanted to try out a nice feature of Ubuntu in my previous distro. Since I'm still able to login there, I don't mind "disabling" the encryption altogether if it's simpler than getting this pb fixed :)

share|improve this question

I think you want ecryptfs-recover-private to "recover data from [your] encrypted home or encrypted private partitions. It is useful to run this from a LiveISO or a recovery image." It can use your old login passphrase to unwrap your ecrypfs mount passphrase and access your data.

You could also use ecryptfs-unwrap-passphrase with your old login passphrase to find out what the ecryptfs mount passphrase is directly.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.