Encrypting Text Files in Ubuntu/Win7
June 1, 2010 1:52 AM   Subscribe

What is the best and easiest security methods to use when encrypting and storing important text files on Ubuntu?

I am looking to encrypt important client login information using some kind of encryption system. I have looked into TrueCrypt, PGP, and others. Currently, I use PGP, but I am looking for simple method of encrypting plain text files with just a simple password. I would prefer methods which do not require key files which can be lost and render all my data useless (has happened before).

This is primarily for Ubuntu, but cross-OS methods are always appreciated.
posted by 1awesomeguy to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Use pgp or gpg in symmetrical mode.
posted by Netzapper at 2:01 AM on June 1, 2010

Sorry, on a phone. Here's the url for the link I mangled: http://advosys.ca/viewpoints/2006/07/pgp-symmetric-encryption/ .
posted by Netzapper at 2:04 AM on June 1, 2010

With gpg (the gnu version of pgp which is what you are probably using on Ubuntu) you can do this the --symmetric / -c optio. It willl prompt you for a password.
posted by tallus at 2:08 AM on June 1, 2010

bcrypt is really convenient. You use the same command to encrypt and decrypt, and it leaves no extra files when it is done encrypting.
posted by circular at 2:30 AM on June 1, 2010

We use the almost ever present openssl.
$ openssl enc -rc4 -e -in foo.txt -out foo.enc
$ openssl enc -rc4 -d -in foo.enc -out foo.txt
$ openssl enc help
Pick your cipher, there are a bazillion of them.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:39 AM on June 1, 2010

Yeah, a million ways to do this. Here's with openssl and gzip:

encrypt: gzip -9c <plainfile | openssl bf -salt >cryptedfile
decrypt: openssl bf -d -salt -in cryptedfile | gzip -cd >plainfile

You can find openssl and gzip binaries for Windows, both in native or Cygwin flavors.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:43 AM on June 1, 2010

Thanks everyone! I decided to use 'gpg -c' since I was already a bit familiar with GPG. I looked into openssl and I think it will accomplish the same thing if I later choose to read the man page for that. openssl seems to provide a lot more options.

If anyone is interested in using either method, you may save some time by installing 'nautilus-actions' and creating an encrypt command similar to 'gpg -c %M'.
posted by 1awesomeguy at 4:51 AM on June 1, 2010

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