Moving from Truecrypt to VeraCrypt

Recent postings on the web indicated that two critical flaws had been discovered in Truecrypt. Since this application is no longer under development, the problems were not going to be fixed, and it was time to move on from my go-to file encryption software. Fortunately, with the demise of Truecrypt, a fork of the software – VeraCrypt – has been produced, and this open-source product has already been patched to fix the coding flaws. So, let the installation begin…

Downloading the tarball and extracting the four included files was not a problem; however, getting any of the executables to actually run proved to be an issue. Despite instructions found on the web, trying to use the “Run” command, after double-clicking on one of the installation files, didn’t do anything. On my system, it proved necessary to use the “Run in Terminal” command to make something happen.

In particular, this produced an option to “Install veracrypt_1.15_amd64.tar.gz”. I found this terminology to be a little confusing since I had already extracted the four internal modules from the (tar.bz2) tarball file and was actually running the file veracrypt-1.15-setup-gui-x64. Nevertheless, selecting this option did result in the installation process starting.

The next issue was the display of the software license. The instructions indicated to “Press Enter or space bar to see the rest of the license.” However, “Enter” didn’t work. Multiple presses of the space bar were required to browse through the license text.

Finally, when agreeing to be bound by the license terms, the following text was displayed:

Uninstalling VeraCrypt:
----------------------------

To uninstall VeraCrypt, please run 'veracrypt-uninstall.sh'.

Installing package...
[sudo] password for toaster:

Once again, the instructions are a little confusing. We aren’t uninstalling VeraCrypt, we are trying to install this software.

However, with the initial two lines of text, the developers are merely trying to inform us of the command required to uninstall the software should we subsequently wish to do so. The final two lines are what counts. The package is going to be installed. The installer requires authorization in the form of the root password in order to continue with the installation process.

Sure enough, once the password is entered, a series of commands shows the progression of the installation of the various VeraCrypt modules and completion of this process.

That seems a little more complex than necessary, but VeraCrypt is indeed installed through this mechanism.

The final important step is to open the existing Truecrypt volume and convert it to VeraCrypt format.

This is achieved by running VeraCrypt and using Select File to select the Truecrypt volume. On VeraCrypt’s main menu, navigate to Volumes – Change Volume Password and check the box labelled TrueCrypt Mode. The encrypted volume may now be mounted and unmounted directly by VeraCrypt.

Once VeraCrypt has been successfully installed, and an existing Truecrypt volume converted to the new file format, the operation of the VeraCrypt utility is almost identical to that which was required previously for Truecrypt.

References:

VeraCrypt Patched Against Two Critical TrueCrypt Flaws
https://threatpost.com/veracrypt-patched-against-two-critical-truecrypt-flaws/114833/

VeraCrypt: Secure Your Data On An Encrypted Volume
http://www.unixmen.com/veracrypt-secure-data-encrypted-volume/

VeraCrypt – improved version of TrueCrypt on Linux Mint
http://mintguide.org/tools/328-veracrypt-improved-version-of-truecrypt-on-linux-mint.html

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2 Responses to Moving from Truecrypt to VeraCrypt

  1. Hikari says:

    Nice little review.

    I see the installation process doesn’t query for TrueCrypt installation and doesn’t ask to uninstall it first. I’d like if it had said if VeraCrypt conflicted with TrueCrypt or if both can be run together.

    • Alan German says:

      Hikari:

      The two programs do use different formats for data storage. The latest release of VeraCrypt can open a TrueCrypt container. It can also convert this container to VeraCrypt format so, in future, the file can be opened by VeraCrypt directly. Since TrueCrypt pre-dates VeraCrypt, and since TrueCrypt is no longer being developed, clearly, TrueCrypt will not “know” how to open a VeraCrypt container. So, the conversion is a one-way process.

      Alan

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