I have Ubuntu installed on my laptop with the home folder encrypted.

Yesterday while trying to remove duplicate files in my music, photos and documents, I used fdupes on my entire home folder.

I've deleted a lot of small files around the home that probably had the same size, so they were indicated as duplicated files.

Just after doing it I realised I'd probably messed up something, but the system continued working.

This morning when I've tried to log in as my user, after entering the password and pressing enter it just flashed dark and returned to the login screen.

Is there a way to repair the system?

I know that there is a way to try to recuperate the files in my home from a live usb, but after that I would have to reinstall the system and reconfigure everything. If possible I would like to repair the system rather than do that.

A good thing is that I have a backup around two month old done with dejadup from which I could probably copy the small file that is missing and is making impossible to log in.


Yes, it is possible in recovery mode or with a LiveCD, if you didn't delete the key file (and remember your pass phrase).

From your description I suspect you use ecryptfs to encrypt your home directory. Ubuntu Community has an extensive help page about it. Section 7 is likely going to be of high interest to you.

  • OK, I've seen that with this method I can access my files in my encrypted home, I'm copying the files on an external hard drive now. But before I reinstall everything: is there a way to repair the system? – Newton Sep 26 '13 at 13:43

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