Saturday, July 9, 2016

How To Install & Use VeraCrypt In Linux An Alternative To TrueCrypt [COMPLETE TUTORIAL]

Install and use veracrypt in linux
VeraCrypt is a free, open source and cross platform data encryption tool. It's an alternative to TrueCrypt(project discontinued), the popular encryption tool for all Operating systems. VeraCrypt is an easy to use tool. In this article I will walk you through the complete process of installing & using VeraCrypt in any Linux distributions such as Debian, Arch, Ubuntu, Linux Mint etc. So let's get started.


VeraCrypt is a free file encryption tool based on the popular encryption tool, TrueCrypt.  The TrueCrypt project was suddenly discontinued and people started searching for any alternative. Although some prove that TrueCrypt is still usable because there is no vulnerability in the code. You can know more about TrueCrypt in my other post here.

VeraCrypt was started after the TrueCrypt was discontinued. Most TrueCrypt users switched to VeraCrypt because it's the closest you can get in terms of functionalities and user interface. 

Download VeraCrypt

Download VeraCrypt for Linux
VeraCrypt can be downloaded from the official website. It's just a tar file that you will need to extract it on your hard drive. 

How To Install VeraCrypt In Linux

After you have downloaded the .tar.gz file from the official website, extract it somewhere on your hard disk. You can install it through terminal and gui both. If you want to install VeraCrypt through Terminal then use the console file otherwise use gui files. In this article I will be installing using GUI file.

Open Terminal

First of all open terminal and cd into the extracted VeraCrypt directory.
Open terminal to install veracrypt

Execute Setup

Start the setup using the below command - 
$ sudo bash veracrypt-1.17-setup-gui-x64

Your filename may be different if you're using different VeraCrypt version.
Now you should see the GUI setup to install VeraCrypt. Click 'Install VeraCrypt'.
Install veracrypt in linux through GUI
Accept VeraCrypt terms and conditions
accept veracrypt terms & conditions
Start the installation
Veracrypt installation starts
The installation will begin in a separate console. It takes few seconds to finish. Enter to exit the console after installation.
VeraCrypt installation begins
Now VeraCrypt is installed. Read below to know how to use VeraCrypt.

How To Use VeraCrypt To Encrypt Files

Open VeraCrypt from application menu. 
start veracrypt from application menu
To create an encrypted container, create a file on your hard disk. 
create veracrypt file container
veracrypt file container
Select a drive slot and click create volume to create an encrypted volume with VeraCrypt.
select veracrypt volume slot and create volume
With VeraCrypt you can create an encrypted container within the file that we created in above step. But you can also encrypt external partitions such as external hard drive or USB/Flash drive. In this tutorial we'll create an encrypted file container. 
veracrypt volume craeation wizard
You can create two types of encrypted file containers with VeraCrypt. The first one is Standard VeraCrypt volume type that behaves just like a file and it's visible to everyone. In Standard VeraCrypt volume you can keep your file and lock them with a strong password.

The second type of container is Hidden VeraCrypt volume. As the name suggests it's hidden. You can guess what benefits you get with VeraCrypt hidden volume. It's not visible to anyone.

In this tutorial we'll create a Standard VeraCrypt volume.
select veracrypt volume type
Now select the text file that you created in the step above.
select file for creating veracrypt encrypted container
select veracrypt file container file
In the next step select the Encryption Algorithm. I am selecting AES you can google to know more about Encryption Algorithm.

Select Hash Algorithm, you can google to know more about Hash Algorithm.
choose file container encryption algorithm and has algorithm
In the next step select the size of your encrypted file container. The minimum container size can be 292KB.
enter encrypted volume size
Now set a complex password for your container. You will require this password in order to access files that are stored in the container.

You can also use a keyfile to open your encrypted file container. But I don't consider this option safer because you have to secure that file and in case any one else has that keyfile then your encrypted container can be unlocked. The better is creating a complex password that you can remember.
enter encrypted volume password
Select the filesystem for you container. You can choose FAT because it works with most of the OSes.
choose volume format FAT, NTFS etc
Now move your mouse on the window. It will increase cryptographic strength of the encryption keys. The longer you move the better it is. 
generate strong cryptographic keys
When you are done click format. The formatting will start and the volume will be created.
veracrypt creating encrypted file container
VeraCrypt encrypted volume created

Mount Encrypted File Container

From VeraCrypt, browse and select the file that you created and encrypted. Remember you have created your text file an encrypted container.
mount veracrypt encrypted volume
Notice that how some bytes text file is now 1 GB. It is now the container. Select it and click mount.
browse encrypted volume
Click mount after browsing the container. 
VeraCrypt mount encrypted volume
Enter password that you set while creating the container. Once you're done with your correct password, the container will be mounted and ready to be used.
VeraCrypt enter password to mount encrypted volume
Double click the mounted volume to open it. 
Double click to open mounted veracrypt volume
You can copy and paste the files in this volume. All the files are secure when you dismount this volume. To access the files in the container you will require to enter password again. So it's easy to access your files when you need to. 
Store secrets files in encrypted veracrypt volume
NOTE - The encrypted volume is just like the file, so it can be deleted as well. Please keep it safe otherwise you will delete all your secrets files by deleting this encrypted volume.

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