Last weekend I upgraded Ubuntu from 12.04 to 14.04.

After the upgrade I logged-in using my old user and password, and I noticed that my home folder is empty, except encrypted files (I logged-in using the same user and password that I used when it asked me to encrypt the home folder).

I think that when I upgraded, the files were encrypted and for some reason after the upgrade it didn't decrypt them automatically, like it always does when logging in, and now I don't have access to my files from my own user.

I tried to decrypt them manually using every solution that I found on Google, including ecryptfs-recover-private and ecryptfs-unwrap-passphrase but it didn't fix the problem, and the error message claims that my log-in passphrase isn't correct. But I'm sure that my password is correct otherwise I wouldn't be able to log in to my old user.

Please notice that I wasn't asked to remember any other passphrase when I was asked to encrypt my files.

I think there might be a bug with this feature because I saw many posts of people that suffered from the same problem and couldn't find a solution for that.

I'm very sad that I lost all my files just because of upgrading. :( I'd be happy to hear any ideas that you have... Appreciate your help!!!

PS- I'm quite new here in the Ubuntu community

As you can see in the attached image, I'm able to use my login passphrase for sudo, but when I try to use the same passphrase for ecryptfs-unwrap-passphrase, it says it's incorrect, and I'm sure that I didn't use any other passphrase

1 Answer 1


You may be able to recover it by decrypting the file /home/username/.ecryptfs/wrapped-passphrase using your login passphrase.

ecryptfs-unwrap-passphrase /home/username/.ecryptfs/wrapped-passphrase Type your login passphrase to reveal the mount passphrase.

If your login passphrase matches the passphrase used to encrypt the wrapped-passphrase file, your mount passphrase will be written to screen. Record and protect this data accordingly.

If you have lost your wrapped-passphrase file, and you did not record your mount passphrase, it is impossible to access your encrypted data.

References (UbuntuHelp)

  • I didn't lose the wrapped-passphrase file as I'm able to access this file using the ecryptfs-unwrap-passphrase. I will attach a screenshot that shows it. Thanks a lot!
    – lostBits
    Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 19:21

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