Previously, I had installed 10.10 with three partitions - sda1-/boot(ext2) sda2-/(btrfs) sda3- /home(btrfs). And I have chosen encrypted home folder. Now on same machine I have installed 10.04 (LTS) with choosing new /boot on same sda1, / on same sda2 (ext4) and sda3(home) left untouched from earlier install.

My problem is that now I cant access/mount my previous home with ecryptfs-mount-private util with the passphrase of earlier home user. Here is the ERROR: Encrypted private directory is not setup properly. I have also installed btrfs utilities.

So are there any solutions/workarounds to gain access to $home on different partition.

2 Answers 2


Lucky you! I just had the same problem and wrote a script that will facilitate mounting ecryptfs Folders with FNEK.

sudo su -

Then open nano/vim/your editor of choice and create a file ecryptfs-fnek-helper.sh with the following contents:


# Thanks to https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ecryptfs-utils/+bug/455709

echo "Where is the /home with the .ecryptfs mounted? (default=/mnt/home)"
read home_ecryptfs
if [ -z "$home_ecryptfs" ]; then

echo "Whose encrypted home would you like to mount?"
read user
if [ -z "$user" ]; then
    echo "You have to enter a user!"

echo "What is the user's password?"
read -s password
if [ -z "$password" ]; then
    echo "You have to enter a password!"

echo "Where would you like to mount it? (Default: /mnt/[username])"
read target
if [ -z "$target" ]; then
mkdir -p $target


echo I will be mounting $private into $target.

echo "Clearing the keyring."
keyctl clear @u
keyctl list @u

echo "Unwrapping passphrase and inserting it into key:"
printf "%s" $password | ecryptfs-insert-wrapped-passphrase-into-keyring $wrapped -

keyctl list @u

echo -e "\e[0;92mPassphrase:"
echo -e '\e[1;92m'`printf "%s" $password | ecryptfs-unwrap-passphrase $wrapped - `'\e[0m'
echo -e "\e[0;96mFilename Encryption Key (FNEK) Signature:"
echo -e '\e[1;96m'`tail -n1 $sig`'\e[0m'
echo -e "Mounting now! Be sure to enable FNEK!"
mount.ecryptfs $private $target -o ecryptfs_cipher=aes,ecryptfs_key_bytes=16,key=passphrase

This will unwrap your passphrase and add it to the keyring. It will also display the passhprase and the correct FNEK signature, so you can copy/paste them when prompted by mount.ecryptfs.

Make the file executable and run it while still in su:

chmod +x ecryptfs-fnek-helper.sh

You could try to decrypt your home directory with the following command:

sudo ecryptfs-add-passphrase --fnek
sudo mount -t ecryptfs /home/username /home/username -o key=passphrase,ecryptfs_cipher=aes,ecryptfs_key_bytes=16,ecryptfs_passthrough=n,,ecryptfs_enable_filename_crypto=yes

If you have not encrypted the file names, remove the passphrase related commands/args. You could find more information about mouting ecryptfs here. Best Regards.

  • Nope. That didnt helped to gain access. It seems it has mounted the same home dir w/o any change. The two files(symlinks) are still there. On both with encryptfs mounted dir and on original dir. Files are - Access-Your-Private-Data.desktop and README.txt $ ls /media/drive/user1/ Access-Your-Private-Data.desktop README.txt $ sudo ecryptfs-add-passphrase --fnek Passphrase: Inserted auth tok with sig [series of numbers] into the user session keyring Inserted auth tok with sig [series of numbers] into the user session keyring
    – user10379
    Mar 24, 2011 at 14:55
  • $ sudo mount -t ecryptfs /media/drive/user1/ /mnt -o key=passphrase,ecryptfs_cipher=aes,ecryptfs_key_bytes=16,ecryptfs_passthrough=n,,ecryptfs_enable_filename_crypto=yes Passphrase: Filename Encryption Key (FNEK) Signature [series of numbers]: [FNEK_given from series] Attempting to mount with the following options: ecryptfs_unlink_sigs ecryptfs_fnek_sig=[Given fnek] ecryptfs_key_bytes=16 ecryptfs_cipher=aes ecryptfs_sig=[signature] Mounted eCryptfs $ ls /mnt Access-Your-Private-Data.desktop README.txt
    – user10379
    Mar 24, 2011 at 14:55
  • bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ecryptfs-utils/+bug/455709 Unfortunately passing the FNEK sig does not work with -o. Apr 8, 2011 at 20:14

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