CryptDS: Simple AES based file Encryption Software

“CryptDS” is a free & open source (GNU GPL v2 licensed), “AES” based file encryption software that runs in GNU/Linux and MS Windows platforms. It has an extremely simple UI (built using the “wxWidgets” framework) and lets you encrypt your sensitive data, fairly easy.

The reason I said “fairly easy” was because, though it’s a really newbie friendly utility (due to its simplicity), but it doesn’t support the rather useful file “drag-n-drop” feature, which forces you to use its menu whenever you want to encrypt/decrypt a file.

Then again, it’s not that difficult, but, if your files are scattered all over HDD for instance ;-), then it can be a bit hectic.

It also has a separate paid version, which has few additional options such as opening and editing encrypted files from its main window (perhaps drag-n-drop might be enabled in the paid version) etc as well.

But, if all you want is a simple tool to encrypt and decrypt files using the “AES” algorithm, then “CryptDS” is a pretty moderate tool anyway.


Main features …

*. Encrypt and Decrypt.

*. Adds “.cryptDS” extension to the encrypted files, so you can easily identify them later.

*. Installation is a breeze thanks to the wizard type setup file (supports both Windows and GNU/Linux).

That’s it!.

If you wanna try it, then please go to this “CryptDS” project page and get it.

Installation under Ubuntu (should work for most other GNU/Linux distributions too) …

1. Supports both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. So first, download your preferred setup file.

2. Once the download is complete, go to that folder in your file manager (Nautilus), select the setup file (I’m using the one called “CryptDS_Community-1.0.1-Linux-x86_64-Install”, the name will change with its version) and then right click on it.

From the menu you get, choose “Properties”, and then click on the “Permissions” tab. Under the “Execute” sub heading, make sure to have enabled the option that says “Allow executing file as program” (as shown below) and then close the dialog box.


3. Now simply double click on that file and it should open up its installation wizard. Follow the on-screen details to install it (it will create a desktop shortcut by default).

4. You can use the desktop shortcut or, if you didn’t change the installation directory, then look for a folder called “CryptDS_Community” in your “Home” folder, and you should find its main executable file inside that folder for opening the application later.

One small issue (only for  GNU/Linux users) …

“CryptDS” can encrypts or decrypts any file format. However, if you have created a simple text document in Nautilus, then unlike in Windows, Nautilus doesn’t add an extension to it (such as “.txt” as in Windows for instance). And it seems that, if a file doesn’t seem to have an extension, it will not listed in the “Open” dialog box window in “CryptDS”.

But you can easily fix that by, adding an extension to the document that you want to encrypt (such as renaming “document” to “document.txt” for instance). Or, if you don’t like to play with extensions, then you can compress the document, which should also do the trick :).

That’s it.

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

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