Managing EncFS stashes on Linux is a breeze thanks to Gnome EncFS Manager. Once installed, it gives the users an easy to understand UI that allows them to create encrypted archives anywhere on their Linux PC quickly. To use this software, you need to be running Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora or OpenSUSE. If you don’t use any of these operating systems, you’ll need to download the Gnome EncFS Manager source code and build everything from source.
Install Gnome EncFS Manager
To get started with the installation, open up a terminal and follow the instructions that correspond to your Linux distribution.
On Ubuntu, Gnome EncFS Manager is installable via a PPA. Open up a terminal and enter the command below to enable the new software source.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gencfsm
After adding the new PPA to Ubuntu, you’ll need to run the refresh command. Running the update command is very important because, without it, Ubuntu won’t see the new software source. Run apt update to refresh Ubuntu’s software selections.
sudo apt update
Running the apt update command will reveal new software updates for Ubuntu. Don’t ignore these! Instead, use the apt upgrade command to ensure that Ubuntu is up to date.
sudo apt upgrade -y
When everything is up to date, feel free to use apt to install Gnome EncFS Manager.
sudo apt install gnome-encfs-manager
Need to uninstall Gnome EncFS Manager? Try this command:
sudo apt remove gnome-encfs-manager
There’s no fancy PPA available to install Gnome EncFS Manager on Debian. Luckily, the developer has packages available for download. Officially, Debian 7, 8 and 9 have support. To install, open up a terminal window and use the wget tool to download the packages.
Using the dpkg tool, install the downloaded Debian package to your PC.
sudo dpkg -i gnome-encfs-manager_1.8.19_*.deb
Running the dpkg tool should be all you need to get Gnome EncFS Manager on Debian. That said, if some dependency issues occur, you’ll need to correct them.
sudo apt-get install -f
Gnome EncFS Manager is available to Arch Linux users via the AUR. To start the installation, open a terminal and use the Pacman package tool to sync the latest version of the Git package.
sudo pacman -S git
Now that Git is working on Arch Linux, use it to download the latest snapshot of the Gnome EncFS Manager pkgbuild.
git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/gnome-encfs-manager-bin.git
Using CD, move the terminal into the newly cloned gnome–encfs-manager-bin folder.
Inside the gnome-encfs-manager-bin, start the package generation process by executing the makepkg command.
Note: running makepkg should automatically install any necessary dependency files. However, sometimes things break. If some dependencies don’t install, you’ll need to fix it manually. Go to the official page here to find the required dependency files that are necessary to run the program.
The latest version of Gnome EncFS Manager is available for Fedora 26, which is an old version. However, there shouldn’t be too much difficulty running this package on Fedora 27 and 28. If, for some reason, the package doesn’t work right on your release, consider skipping the Fedora-specific instructions in favor of building this program from source.
To install the program, open up a terminal and use the DNF installation tool to get it working.
sudo dnf install https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/moritzmolch:/gencfsm/Fedora_26/x86_64/gnome-encfs-manager-1.8.19-300.1.x86_64.rpm -y
Gnome EncFS Manager’s source code is automatically built in the OBS, which is OpenSUSE technology. For this reason, there are packages available for all current versions of OpenSUSE. To install Gnome EncFS Manager on any of them, go to this page, select your Suse release and click the “install” button.
Using Gnome EncFS Manager
Create a new EncFS stash in the Gnome EncFS Manager by clicking “Manager” menu, then “Create or import stash.”
During the creation process, you’ll be asked to specify the directory (or drive) to create a stash in. The default location is “.Private”, which works for most cases. However, if you dislike the default location, it’s easy to change: check the button below the default option, then click the browse button.
Clicking the browse icon will bring up an open file dialog box. Using this dialog box, browse for the folder you’d like to turn into an EncFS stash.
Skip over the “mount” option and move on to the password section.
In the password box, write a secure and memorable password, and click the “create” button to make the stash.
When a new EncFS stash is created, the Gnome EncFS tool will automatically mount it. Users can access this stash as a device in the file manager, and it will appear as if it’s just a hard drive.
To lock files away, click on the device in your file manager and place files and folders into it.
Users can access created stashes at any time by opening Gnome EncFS Manager, and checking the box that says “mounted.”
Unmounting an EncFS stash within Gnome EncFS Manager is done by de-selecting the check-box next to any stash that says “mounted.” Alternatively, close Gnome EncFS Manager to automatically umount all stashes.