Long story short:

Currently I have a /home partition (with no os installed, no root partition) encrypted with ecryptfs. Following numerous tutorials and guides, I have successfully mounted the decrypted folder from a Live Ubuntu 18.04 USB at /tmp/ecryptfs.5vNHafiU. I can see all my files and have access to them perfectly fine. However, I have no idea what to do now. All the tutorials stops at this point.

I would like to replace the encrypted /home partition with the decrypted data.

After that, I plan to install Ubuntu using that /home partition. Apparently the data will be preserved as long as I uncheck the 'format' box for the partition. I don't think I can do it when it's still encrypted, correct me if I'm wrong please.

Any help will be greatly appreciated :)

  • How much data do you have on this partition? Can you copy it off to a usb drive? If so copy it off, do your Ubuntu install and copy the data back. Alternatively can you make enough space on your existing drive for a new partition and copy it there?
    – PonJar
    Dec 20, 2019 at 8:25

1 Answer 1


I've solved the problem quite quickly after I posted. Sorry for not posting this immediately.

What I did:

I had about 300 Gb of data on a 1Tb drive. So I created another partition large enough to hold the data, mounted it and copied everything to the new partition using the cp command.

cp -R /tmp/ecryptfs.5vNHafiU /NEW_PARTITION/MOUNTPOINT the extention of the ecryptfs folder will be different for yours.

At this point I could've used the standard ubuntu live usb install method, however I came across a bug report post saying that it would fail, where the op's system was, very similar to mine, completely destroyed(bit of an exaggeration).

Instead, I ran the ubuntu boot repair. To be frank I am not sure what it did, I'm certain that it reinstalled GRUB, but apparently it reinstalled ubuntu as well since that's what happened.

P.S I noticed that PonJar also commented this method, I much appreciate that.

  • By the way, I feel the need to comment on the extraordinarily long time that the copying took. Normally moving that partition using gparted would take about 2 hours, whereas this took more than 6 hours. I'm not sure why.
    – Kenivia
    Dec 20, 2019 at 9:52

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