I've been using Ubuntu 14.04 for a few months (as a beginner)! A couple days ago I changed the user name to NEWUSER and got stuck at the login screen afterwards, though being able to login from the command line (using Ctrl+Alt+F1). I searched a lot and made changes on lightdm, gdm, .Xauthority, etc. Now I can login but it doesn't show anything after login. However, I created another user SECONDUSER with admin right and it works just fine.

Then I found that (I guess) my home folder is encrypted! When I login with NEWUSER from the command line I see this message:

cannot chmod into mountpoint

and when I do ls, I see:

Access-Your-Private-Data.Desktop    README.TXT

In README.TXT, it says I should do:


but it returns:

Encrypted private directory is not setup properly

Also, when I try to enter the home directory of NEWUSER using SECONDUSER, it returns:

Permission denied

Anyways, I need to fix the NEWUSER to be able to use it like before and access my data. Any help, possibly with detailed commands is appreciated.

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure how you changed your user name to NEWUSER, generally running adduser is a good way to create a new user, and leave the old users alone, or there are some gnome gui tools for users & groups too...

It sounds like your original user had an encrypted home using ecryptfs, but you've either modified the user to have a new name & password, or created a new user using your old user home (which is encrypted). With ecryptfs, the user login passphrase is normally used to decrypt your home, and if you don't change the passphrase the right way then you can't automatically decrypt your home anymore.

A quick way to get access to your encrypted home should be to run ecryptfs-recover-private, it should search for & attempt to mount any encrypted private directories it finds. Then you could move the home files to a new user, or attempt to fix the old user account.

And take a look at man ecryptfs and the man pages for the other ecryptfs- tools like ecryptfs-migrate-home, ecryptfs-unwrap-passphrase to keep a copy of the actual encryption key as a secure backup, maybe even ecryptfs-add-passphrase.

  • Thanks. I did ecryptfs-recover-private and managed to move the recovered data to the SECONDUSER. I still don't see anything after login with NEWUSER. Do you think there is a solution to that? Or can I assume that everything is moved to SECONDUSER and I can delete the NEWUSER? Please excuse me for my limited Ubuntu knowledge.
    – Al.
    Dec 14, 2014 at 1:53

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