How To: Install TrueCrypt in Ubuntu Linux

Setup / Install Truecrypt in Ubuntu Linux – This easy guide will help you do it the simple way.

TrueCrypt is an open source software that helps you set up and maintain an on-the-fly encrypted volume. On the fly encryption means data is automatically encrypted or decrypted right before they are loaded or saved, without any user intervention.

You need a keyfile and /or a password to access the data stored in an encrypted volume (file). TrueCrypt encrypts the entire filesystem – including file names, folder names, contents of every file, free space, meta data and so on.

TrueCrypt is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

Note: The steps listed below are the same to install Truecrypt in Fedora and OpenSuse as well. With the exception that you have to download the respective packages for your Linux distribution.

You can setup/install Truecrypt in Ubuntu Linux in the following steps.

Step 1 : Download and install TrueCrypt for Ubuntu

You can download TrueCrypt as Ubuntu deb file from its website. Once downloaded, unpack the archive and double-click on the installer to run the setup. After installation, you  will find TrueCrypt  at the following  Gnome Menu location – Applications > Accessories > TrueCrypt.

Truecrypt gnome menu
TrueCrypt GNOME Menu

Step 2:  Create an encrypted volume for TrueCrypt

The first thing you have to do after you install TrueCrypt in Ubuntu is to create an encrypted volume which will be used to store all your sensitive data. The following are the steps involved in creating an encrypted volume.

Run TrueCrypt.

In the TrueCrypt  main interface shown below, click on the “Create Volume” button to start the TrueCrypt volume creation wizard.

TrueCrypt interface
TrueCrypt Main Interface

In the TrueCrypt volume creation wizard, select “Create an encrypted file container” option. Click “Next”.

TrueCrypt Volume Creation Wizard
TrueCrypt Volume Creation Wizard

Select the volume type

You can choose the standard volume type or the hidden volume type. Accept the defaults and click “Next”.

Select The Volume Type in TrueCrypt
Select The Volume Type in TrueCrypt

Set Volume Location

Now you have to choose the name of the volume file and the location where you want to store the volume file. A new file will be created. If you choose an existing file, it will be overwritten. So give a unique name for your TrueCrypt volume file.

TrueCrypt Volume Location
Choose the volume file location

For example, the name I gave for my TrueCrypt volume is encrypted-file and is saved in my home directory. Click Next.

Choose the encryption algorithm and hash algorithm

The default encryption choice “AES” is fine. Click Next.

TrueCrypt Encryption Options
TrueCrypt encryption options

Select the maximum size for your volume

Make sure it is less than the free space available on your computer. 1 GB is a good value.

TrueCrypt Volume Size
TrueCrypt Volume Size

Set the volume password

You can optionally associate a keyfile with your password. Choose a password consisting of more than 20 characters. If you choose a short password, TrueCrypt will warn you.

TrueCrypt Volume Password
Enter the TrueCrypt volume password

Format the volume file

There are four options available namely – none, EXT2, EXT3, and FAT. Choose the file system type you want for your TrueCrypt volume file. If you are using TrueCrypt in Windows, you should use FAT.
Click Next.

TrueCrypt Format Options
TrueCrypt Format Options

Choose whether you want cross-platform support for your mounted volumes.

Click Next.

TrueCrypt Mount Options
TrueCrypt Cross-platform Support

Format the TrueCrypt volume file by clicking the “Format” button.

TrueCrypt Format Volume
Begin formatting the TrueCrypt Volume

Format in progress…

TrueCrypt Format Volume
TrueCrypt volume formatting in progress

Provide Administrator Password

Next you will be prompted for your computer administrator or user password. Enter it in the dialog box. Click OK.

Enter Linux root password
Enter Linux root / Ubuntu super user password

The TrueCrypt volume has been successfully created.

TrueCrypt Volume Created
TrueCrypt volume has been created

Step 3: Mount the TrueCrypt volume

This is done from the TrueCrypt main dialog as shown in the following picture.

TrueCrypt Mount the Volume
Mount a volume in TrueCrypt
  1. Select the encrypted volume file.
  2. Select an empty slot. TrueCrypt offers over 60 slots to mount more than one encrypted volume.
  3. Click on the “Mount” button to mount the encrypted file.
    In my case the volume was mounted at the /media/truecrypt1 directory.

Dismount a TrueCrypt Volume

To dismount the TrueCrypt volume, do the following :

Dismount the TrueCrypt volume
Dismount the TrueCrypt volume
  1. Select the requisite slot which contains the TrueCrypt volume.
  2. Click on “Dismount” button as shown in the picture above.

Uses of TrueCrypt

TrueCrypt is an encryption tool which helps you safeguard your data from falling into hostile hands.

You can use TrueCrypt to –

  • Create a virtual encrypted disk.
  • Encrypt an entire partition or storage device.
  • Encrypt the system drive or partition.

TrueCrypt supports steganography by way of hidden volumes and hidden operating systems (An OS that is installed in a hidden TrueCrypt volume).