Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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.
share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

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

share|improve this answer
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

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.