You may be familiar with eCryptfs, a disk encryption software, especially known for being shipped with Ubuntu default installations, being the ‘Encrypted Home’ underlying solution.

From what I gathered of empirical experiences, I would say eCryptfs, AKA Enterprise Cryptographic Filesystem, should be avoided in both enterprise and personal use cases.

My first surprise was while crawling a site for its record: creating a file per author, I ended up with more than 5000 files in a single directory. At which point, your dmesg should show something like several ‘Valid eCryptfs header not found in file header region or xattr region, inode XXX‘, then a fiew ‘Watchdog[..]: segfault at 0 ip $addr1 sp $addr2 error 6 in[$addr3]

The second surprise, a few days later, while recovering rbd from my ceph cluster. Storing all parts from a disk into a same directory, again, I ended up with folders holding several thousands of file, and my dmesg going mad.
You would notice moving your folder outside of your ecryptfs directory will fix the problem.

Of course, most users won’t recover their ceph nor crawl a site for its complete database. Although, configuring Thunderbird/IceDove, you may end up caching enough mails from your imap/pop server to reach the limits I did.

This is not my first experience with cryptographic solutions.
Once upon a time, TrueCrypt was offering a very exhaustive toolkit, managing from devices to files – so much so, my end-of-studies project was bout forking TrueCrypt, adding features the maintainer did not wanted to see in its product (BootTruster).
On today’s Linux systems, a more classic way to do it would be to use Luks (Linux Unified Key Setup), based on a standardized device-mapper: dm-crypt.

Anyway: next time you’re asked about encrypting your home file system, think twice about what solution you’re going to use. Then, chose Luks.

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