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I've been running Linux Mint for a couple months and now I want to apply some encryption to certain data-sensitive folders.

I've read that Ubuntu has an installation option to encrypt everything in the /home folder, but I don't remember having that option when I installed Mint, and it seems way too complicated to encrypt it post-install.

But I don't need to protect everything like that, I just want to protect the sensitive folders against the common thief who might happen to have a hacker buddy, not the FBI or Japanese Mafia who might have a crew of forensic data experts and high-end equipment. So I'm planning to create a Truecrypt volume and put the sensitive folders in there.

That includes not just the folders I created, but also some of the data folders created by applications, such as .mozilla and .thunderbird. If I moved .mozilla and other similar application folders into the Truecrypt volume, and then created symbolic links to their new location, would those applications continue to function as is?

I'm also aware of the security holes involved with the swap partition, but that's another topic for another time.

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most likely - as long as there's no trouble with mounting the folder, and its there when the apps expect it. – Journeyman Geek Apr 3 '11 at 12:22
cant think of a reason they wouldn't work – Arctor Apr 3 '11 at 12:24
OK, I'll try it out and report back. – Mike Rowave Apr 3 '11 at 20:58
It worked seamlessly. – Mike Rowave Apr 8 '11 at 15:25

Depending what folders you encrypt, upgrades might become difficult. Also, you might need to use a second password to unlock it. However, fully encrypting the entire home directory the "ubuntu" way is actually a matter of running a single command now..

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Thanks, I'll look into that. But encryptfs doesn't encrypt filenames, so I may still have to end up using a Truecrypt volume for some things. – Mike Rowave Apr 3 '11 at 17:06
Correction: I see the current version of ecryptfs can encrypt filenames. – Mike Rowave Apr 4 '11 at 23:29

The main problem I could foresee would that if you start a program before mounting your truecrypt volume, then that program might decide to blow away the dead symlink and replace it with a new data file or folder. I don't know if any programs will do this.

For Mozilla apps in particular (Firefox, Thunderbird, etc.), if you start the application with the -ProfileManager option, you can create a new profile and choose your own folder in which to store that profile. In this way, you would not require any symlinks at all.

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