Mounting encrypted Linux hard drive with Live USB

For some reason you have reached the point where you are trying to save your data on your computer by using a Live Linux USB drive. Since this is not a normal occurrence, I hope this post helps you reduce the stress level associated with recovery data.

So, your home directory in Linux was encrypted and it is keeping you and other people out. Here is for you to get in and to copy the data off your hard to somewhere safe.

  1. Your Linux home folder should be on your mounted internal hard drive:
    1. /media/mint/lots_of_letters/home/<user_name>
  2. Go into theecryptfs folder, the folder that we need to get the data back.
    1. cd /media/mint/lots_of_letters/home/.ecryptfs//.ecryptfs
  3. Run the following command and enter the password you used to encrypt your hard drive:
    1. ecryptfs-unwrap-passphrase wrapped-passphrase
    2. For me, it was the user account’s password, the one I use to normally log into the system. 
    3. If you cannot get back your pass-phase, keep searching the Internet for your answer because I do not have it. 
  4. If all went well, you should have your pass-phrase! Save it, it is important.
  5. To get a decrypted version of your files
    1. cd /media/mint/lots_of_letters/home/.encryptfs/
    2. ecryptfs-recover-private
    3. Let it run, but since you pointed it close to a directory, it should be quick.
    4. Your LOGIN pass-phrase should be your standard password. (Though I entered junk and it worked.)
    5. Your MOUNT pass-phrase is the one we just got. Enter it!
  6. You should have your directory in /tmp/ecryptfs.blahblah/ for copying.
  7. Open your graphical folder manager with elevated privileges for copying.
    1. sudo nemo
    2. For Linux Mint, there is also dolphin and nautilus  


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