Just trying to set up a secondary user after install on 12.04. My last system was 10.04 and it allowed me to create a new user with an encrypted home partition but when creating a new user on 12.04 there is no option to encrypt home partition. Do I need to install another package or am I missing something?


It is a bug of 12.04, see here.

You can workaround creating the user from terminal. The command is:
adduser --encrypt-home username (change "username" for the user name you want).

  • The --encrypt-home switch is also missing. $ sudo useradd --encrypt-home newuser useradd: unrecognised option '--encrypt-home' $ uname -a Linux username -VGN-FZ11S 3.2.0-24-generic-pae ... i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux
    – user61193
    May 7 '12 at 2:23
  • 4
    @Richard Did you run useradd or adduser? Both commands exist, but adduser is the one you want. (Also you'll need to run it as root with sudo, i.e., sudo adduser --encrypt-home username.) Jun 1 '12 at 5:42
  • 1
    for 15.10 I had to install package ecryptfs-utils before I could use --encrypt-home
    – Jim Ford
    Mar 1 '16 at 16:10

This seems to be fixed at the command line level.

sudo adduser --encrypt-home username 

(Change "username" for the user name you want.)

Just worked for me in an up to date 12.04 Precise Pangolin ie.it created a new user with an encrypted home directory.

If you receive an error message :

adduser: unable to find a program named « ecryptfs-setup-private » in $PATH"...

Adding the package « ecryptfs-utils » solves this problem (thanks, apt-file...) :

apt-get install ecryptfs-utils
  • if accessing the user using su, make sure to run ecryptfs-mount-private Oct 31 '17 at 5:53

You just need another user & group admin tool:

sudo apt-get install gnome-system-tools

Then go to dash and search for Users and Groups. Add a new user and check "Encrypt home folder to protect sensitive data". Remember to take extra precautions if you don't want sensitive data to leak into the log files (eg. /var/log/), temp files (eg. /tmp), the swap space, etc.

  • Doesn't seem to work under 14.04.
    – detly
    Jan 15 '15 at 9:46
  • Did not work in 18.04.
    – SaTa
    Sep 15 '19 at 21:41

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