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How To Secure Cloud Data On Linux With Cryptomator

Online storage services (aka cloud drives) are necessary for anyone who needs data to be accessible anywhere and everywhere, a reliable backup, or to send or save files easily. These services are easy to use, fast and work on most platforms. However, for as neat and convenient as they may be, they come at the price of privacy. Not many cloud services provide encryption which is why it’s up to users to secure cloud data before they upload it.

If you’re a Linux user and you regularly rely on cloud storage services but grow weary of large corporations searching through your files, consider trying out Cryptomator It’s a tool that acts as a go-between for your data in the cloud, to increase privacy. Cryptomator works by encrypting files before they upload, and decrypting them as they download to ensure ultimate privacy.

Note: this tool isn’t just for Linux users. They also have apps for Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. Learn more here!

Install Cryptomator

Ubuntu

Installing Cryptomator for the Ubuntu desktop involves activating a third-party PPA. Using a PPA for software such as this is a good thing, as it allows for constant updates directly from the developer. To add the official PPA, open up a terminal window and enter the command below.

The official Cryptomator PPA has support for Ubuntu version 15.04+, as well as operating systems based on Ubuntu like Linux Mint, Elementary OS, KDE Neon, etc.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sebastian-stenzel/cryptomator

The Cryptomator official PPA is in Ubuntu. However, no software can install it just yet. First, you’ll need to run the update and upgrade commands.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade -y

When updating finishes up, it’s time to install the software on Ubuntu.

sudo apt install cryptomator

Debian

Need Cryptomator for Debian? If so, you’ll need to download the stand-alone Debian package file instead of activating a third-party software source. Going this route on Debian isn’t that big of a deal. However, updates won’t be automatic, and you’ll need to re-download the Cryptomator Debian package file for each new version.

Go to the official website and click download under the Debian section. Choose your version of Debian (32-bit or 64-bit). Once downloaded, open the terminal and use the CD command to move to ~/Downloads.

cd ~/Downloads

Inside the Downloads folder, use the dpkg package tool to install the latest version of Cryptomater.

sudo dpkg -i cryptomator-*-amd64.deb

or

sudo dpkg -i cryptomator-*-i386.deb

As the package installs, you may run into dependency issues and errors. No, Debian isn’t broke. The package just wasn’t able to automatically install all the required dependency files. Instead, you’ll need to do it manually.

sudo apt install -f

After install -f finishes up, Cryptomater should be ready to use on Debian!

Arch Linux

Cryptomator doesn’t have an official Arch Linux package ready for installation. Instead, the official download page asks Arch users to install the program on their PC via the AUR. To do this, you’ll first need to sync the latest version of the Git package to your computer using Pacman.

sudo pacman -S git

Next, using Git, grab the latest version of the Cryptomator pkgbuild from the Arch AUR.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/cryptomator.git

CD into the newly cloned cryptomator directory to start the building process.

cd cryptomator

Inside the sources folder, use makepkg to call the PKGBUILD file you’ve just downloaded. Doing this is usually automatic. All required dependencies and libraries are installed, and the package builds. However, sometimes things can go wrong, or dependencies aren’t installed correctly. If you run into any of these issues, you’ll need to fix it manually. Visit the official Cryptomator AUR page for more information and guidance.

makepkg -si

Fedora And OpenSUSE

Both Fedora and OpenSUSE enjoy support for this program via a downloadable RPM file. To start off, go to the Redhat download page here. Select the “RPM” option to start the download.

Once downloaded, open up a terminal do the following:

cd ~/Downloads

Fedora

sudo dnf install cryptomator-*-amd64.rpm

or

sudo dnf install cryptomator-1.3.2-i386.rpm

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install cryptomator-*-amd64.rpm

or

sudo zypper install cryptomator-1.3.2-i386.rpm

Other Linuxes Via JAR

If your Linux distribution isn’t on the Download page for Cryptomator, there’s still a way to run it. Start off by installing the latest Java Runtime Environment for your Linux operating system. Not sure how? Refer to your distribution’s entry on Java Runtime. Alternatively, check the official Oracle page on it.

With Java working, go to the Java JAR download page for Cryptomator and download it. Then, open up a terminal and launch the jar with:

cd ~/Downloads

java -jar Cryptomator-SNAPSHOT-*.jar

Set Up Cryptomator

Using Cryptomator starts by creating a new “vault.” Open the app and click the + icon in the bottom left to build a new encrypted vault for your data. Navigate to the root Dropbox, MEGA or NextCloud directory inside of your home folder.

Inside the root cloud directory, write the name of the new vault in the save box and click “save” to create the vault.

After creating the new vault, go back to the Cryptomator window and enter a secure password for the newly created cloud vault.

Unlock the new vault by inputting the new password. Entering the passcode will mount the data vault and decrypt it.

Once the vault is open, place all of the data you’d like to store inside it. When done, click the “lock vault” button.

With the Cryptomator vault locked, the process is complete, and there’s nothing left to do. The cloud syncing application will sync your vault right up to the service fully encrypted!

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