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I am looking for a way to encrypt a single directory on my computer that is not automatically mounted/decrypted on logon. I tried to create a private-directory and also created and encrypted a random directory on a separate hard drive with eCryptfs for testing purposes. However, I fail to mount the test-directory in the terminal and the private-directory is automatically mounted on logon.

What I'm actually looking for would be a way to encrypt one directory and have it mount and unmount interactively from the file manager (e.g. right click menu: mount/enter passphrase, unmount) or something similar. With my unmounted directories, I just see an empty folder when trying to access it, instead of being prompted with entering a passphrase or something similar.

Is that even possible and how could I do this?

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There is a project called "SiriKali"[1] that offers a GUI solution for creating and managing ecryptfs volumes among others from a normal user account and it should do what you want. For it to work,you must also install "ecryptfs-simple" tool since it the tool that actually does the volume creation and mounting.

Both projects have packages for various versions of ubuntu and i did the testing on ubuntu 16.10.

ps; i am the developer of Sirikali project.

[1] https://github.com/mhogomchungu/sirikali

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After some research, I found out that the option ecryptfs-setup-private -noautomount can be used to make the directory mount separately from the user logon according to this page in the Ubuntu Manpages. That will create a .desktop-file in the newly created, encrypted Private folder in the home-directory which can be clicked and will prompt to enter the passphrase to decrypt the folder.

Alternatively, it can be decrypted by entering ecryptfs-mount-private in the terminal and later be encrypted again with ecryptfs-umount-private (that's "U"mount, not "UN"mount).

Not exactly what I was looking for, but works well enough and the terminal command is actually quite fast, especially when calling it with arrow-up when being used often or using TAB-autocomplete after entering ecryptfs-m / ecrpytfs-um respectively.

Note: I still would advise against creating a custom encrypted folder other than the automatically set-up Private folder, unless having experience with this way of encryption, since I still was not able to make the custom folder work correctly. Going with the Private folder setup seems to be the safer choice for more inexperienced users (like myself).

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