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Last night I had about 190GB of free space on my 500GB HDD. Today I have about 80GB free. I ran df and discovered that my /home/jon/.Private folder is currently using 80% of my hard drive.

What. The. Hell.

I really don't need to encrypt my files that bad. Can anyone tell me why I've lost so much space to this, and what I can do to recover as much free space as possible?

I realize that I'm not going to get back 330-something odd GB of space, but I lost 100GB overnight. I'm new enough to Ubuntu (and Linux in general) that I don't want to proceed without a firm understanding of what's going on here.

Thanks in advance, guys.

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1 Answer 1

Since its contents are encrypted, you are unlikely to be able to tell much by looking at the files in ~/.Private directly.

Instead, you'd be better off looking at the unencrypted view of those same files in ~/Private. The ecryptfs system has quite a low overhead, so if ~/.Private is large it is likely because you've placed a lot of data in ~/Private (or a program running on your behalf has done so).

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I'm currently not using that environment since I noticed that my free space was steadily diminishing so I can't check directly, but I could swear that I don't actually have a ~/Private directory. Is that even possible or am I just missing the obvious? –  newuser Jan 24 '12 at 3:22
    
Yep, I'm back in Ubuntu and there is no ~/Private. What does that mean? –  newuser Jan 24 '12 at 3:31
    
Is it possible that you deleted the ~/Private directory at some point? That wouldn't have cleared the encrypted files found within. Assuming the key also hasn't been removed, you could try running mkdir ~/Private followed by ecryptfs-mount-private in a terminal might be enough to regain access. –  James Henstridge Jan 24 '12 at 5:24
    
You might also find help.ubuntu.com/community/EncryptedPrivateDirectory useful in understanding how the system works. –  James Henstridge Jan 24 '12 at 5:26
    
ecryptfs-mount-private did not restore anything to ~/Private after I created the directory. Using sudo ecryptfs-mount-private prompted me for my passphrase. Thankfully (and totally by accident) I remember my passphrase, but after entering it I get an error: fopen: No such file or directory. –  newuser Jan 24 '12 at 14:24

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