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For a while now I've been using SquashFS for my monthly backups (usually onto optical media with dvdisaster recovery information). The format is reasonably convenient: good compression, can be mounted directly on Linux, command line support everywhere else.

However, it unfortunately does not support any form of transparent encryption. Hence, I have been forced to manually GPG the files before burning them. This also makes extraction difficult: I need to decrypt a multi-gigabyte file before I can mount it.

I am therefore looking for suggestions for archive formats that:

  • Can be mounted, either natively of through FUSE or provide some means of transparent access.
  • Support transparent encryption and decryption (so no need to copy and decrypt the entire archive to pull out one file).
  • Support extended attributes and UNIX file permissions.
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

FUSE should be your friend with the help of EncFS (only encryption) or lessfs (encryption and compression)

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Do you happen to have any references on how lessfs can be used for backups in a portable way. Everything on the net appears to be related to large RAID arrays. – Freddie Witherden Mar 7 '11 at 21:45
    
What do you mean with "in a portable way"? Do you need to mount the images on Windows or something? – Aaron Digulla Mar 8 '11 at 9:17

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