When I installed Ubuntu 15.04 I chose to encrypt the home folder.

Now I have changed the user password and I can still access the home folder. Does this mean that the home folder encryption key has also been changed or could someone access my home folder if they know my old password?


It depends ...

When you change your login password with the command line, it updates you login password without updating the ecryptfs password. This is to prevent other users (well root really) from accessing your encrypted data by changing your password. If you change the password with this method, your old password can be used to decrypt the data.

When you change your login password with the graphical tools, it updates both your login password and the ecryptfs password. With this your data will be decrypted automatically when you log in and can not be accessed with the old password.

See http://bodhizazen.com/Tutorials/Ecryptfs#Password for additional information.

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  • Well, I have changed the password through the graphical interface. I could access the home folder after I logged out and logged in, but after I rebooted, I can't login now because the login screen keeps reloading. When I login wiht ctrl+alt+f3 I get "signature not found in user keyring". I tried to ecryptfs-rewrap-passphrase but I end up with error unwrapping passphrase failed [-13]. What do I do? – stanny Jun 24 '15 at 6:51
  • That is a different problem and if you changed the password with the graphical tool I would file a bug report. You can try data recovery - howtogeek.com/116297/… – Panther Jun 24 '15 at 13:06
  • I'm really not sure about what exactly I did trying to mitigate the problem, so I don't think I could provide enough info for the bug report. Luckily, I had a backup of my files. Thanks, though! – stanny Jun 27 '15 at 19:12

If you want to use the same password/passphrase for both logging in and decrypting your home directory and want to change your passphase use the utility: 'ecryptfs-rewrap-passphrase'.

1) Change your passpharse:

ecryptfs-rewrap-passphrase /home/username/.ecryptfs/wrapped-passphrase
Old wrapping passphrase: 
New wrapping passphrase: 
New wrapping passphrase (again):

2) Change the user password/phrase to match for auto login and mounting

passwd <username>

Note: You will probably need to install 'ecryptfs-utils'

sudo apt-get install ecryptfs-utils
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