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I want to encrypt a USB stick, and be able to decrypt it on Windows as well as Ubuntu. How do I do this & what programs do I need to use?

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Veracrypt is an open-source encryption package that will certainly do this since there are versions of the software for both Linux and Windows.

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    Hello I downloaded this and tried it. The problem I have with it, is that it requires the software is on every machine I plug my USB into. Is there an alternative where I can just provide the key rather than install software on every single computer I need to use my USB on? – john smith Aug 25 '15 at 11:30
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    I use the install-on-all-machines method. However, Veracrypt has a "portable" mode (veracrypt.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Portable%20Mode) that will run from the USB under Windows. I didn't check further to see about multiple operating systems. – CentaurusA Aug 25 '15 at 16:28
  • I just tried to mount an encrypted container i created on Windows, from Linux (same machine x86_64) and it doesn't accept the password. Meaning incompatibility. Very disappointed by that. Although Veracrypt is still the best free + open source encryption software i know. – KeyC0de Jul 28 '17 at 21:34
  • @RestlessC0bra Did you double-check the password? I use the same Veracrypt container, stored on a dedicated data partition, accessed through both Linux and Windows on a dual-boot machine. – CentaurusA Aug 17 '17 at 2:49
  • I did quadruple checked it. Maybe i'll check again some other time. It works from an external disk, with NTFS though, on Windows again. – KeyC0de Aug 17 '17 at 2:54
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https://github.com/t-d-k/LibreCrypt implements LUKS compatible encryption on Windows.

I haven't tried, but LUKS is the main Linux disk encryption method, with kernel support, so I think it might work.

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  • By the author: ... I cannot recommend using LibreCrypt with these bugs – Pablo Bianchi Jun 7 at 1:45
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There is an other portable software, which I found on German Ubuntu Wiki: It is called gpg4usb. I tested it: On a public Windows PC it works with Guest rights. But unfortunately it worked only for text files, and not JPG or PDF. And thus it can also not encrypt whole partitions.

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Perhaps this might help, from Wikipedia:

Software solutions such as dm-crypt, FreeOTFE, Data Protecto and TrueCrypt allow the contents of a USB drive to be encrypted automatically and transparently. Also, Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate Editions and Windows Server 2008 R2 provide USB drive encryption using BitLocker to Go. The Apple Computer Mac OS X operating system has provided software for disc data encryption since Mac OS X Panther was issued in 2003 (see also: Disk Utility).[10]

Additional software can be installed on an external USB drive to prevent access to files in case the drive becomes lost or stolen. Installing software on company computers may help track and minimize risk by recording the interactions between any USB drive and the computer and storing them in a centralized database.

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