TrueCrypt is a well known and trusted open source application for encryption. It allows you to create and manage an encrypted volumes that can be used seamlessly and transparently.

TrueCrypt on Ubuntu isn’t new, I have written about it before. The new TrueCrypt 5 includes a GTK graphical user interface for Linux users, system partition encryption with pre-boot authentication (Windows only), and improved performance.

Installing TrueCrypt 5 in Ubuntu is easy:

  1. Go to TrueCrypt’s download page and download the DEB package for Ubuntu. You will need to extract it from the .tar.gz download.
  2. Install the package.
  3. Launch TrueCrypt from the terminal by running truecrypt. You may want to create a menu item for it.

The new interface on Linux is almost identical to the one on Windows:
TrueCrypt 5

It’s a simple process to create a new encrypted file or device using the wizard.

TrueCrypt 5 wizard

After selecting the device or file to mount, selecting a slot, and clicking Mount, the encrypted partition immediately shows up in the Places menu. Writing and reading from a TrueCrypt partition is seamless.

There are some things that make it clear the interface was originally designed for Windows. In Windows, you have to select a drive letter to mount to. The Linux interface still has a list of “slots”, which don’t mean anything on Linux. The little drive icon is also the one from Windows XP instead of the GTK theme.

TrueCrypt 5 is excellent software for keeping files secure, especially on laptops. I hope that it’ll be included in the Ubuntu 8.04 repositories.


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