Since EncFs is deemed unsecure it is not adviced to use it. It's planned to be fixed in the next version, but it would be unwise to start using it now while it's insecure. eCryptfs is secure and you can have a private directory in your home dir with:
And follow the direction. It will make .Private as encrypted directory and Private as the where it's mounted. With the option
--noautomount it won't mount until you doubleclick "Access my private data" inside the Private directory.
The current version of EncFs has known security flaws covered in January 2014. Please read the report before preceding using EncFs.
Based on you comments you should have a look at encfs. I have been using this long before Ubuntu got
ecyptfs and even though I keep my files private under
~/Private today I still have my old
~/safe which i use for sensitive information that doesn't need to be mounted all the time.
# install encfs
sudo apt-get install encfs
# setup. directories need to be absolute paths
# this is for mounting the fs (or create for first time mount)
encfs -i 10 $SAFE_ENC $SAFE
The first time you run this you'll be asked if you want to create a new encrypted filesystem. Just pressiong RETURN creates one with default options. The option
-i 10 will make the drive get unmounted if there has been ten minutes of inactivity. Remember not to do
cd $SAFE or to keep it open in a file manager since it's considered activity.
If you have several systems that are going to access this (eg. by having $SAFE_ENC in a cloud storage) you should create it with the oldest version of Ubuntu you have or else it might not work on that system if it gets created with a newer system. (it's possible but you need to specify options that are compatible) I've used this since 2006 and am very happy with it.
Encfs has several applications. E.g. lately I have started using it for my USB thumb drive as well. I have a 16GB thumb that has 2GB live ubuntu-presistence with a 14GB which the live system mounts after asking for password. When using it from other systems i mount the drive manually in the terminal, but it would be trivial to get my systems to identify it as my safe drive and mount it with my keyring. I also mount it on my Windows work machine.
When setting this up I found there are some supplimentary packages that can be used to manage encfs from the desktop environment and get it mouted like ecryptfs.