How to Easily Encrypt/Decrypt Files In Ubuntu One

Previously, we have shown you how to encrypt your files before upload to the Dropbox server. The method described in that article is using the Encfs method, which requires you to dabble with the command line. While you can use the same method to encrypt/decrypt your Ubuntu One folder, there is a simpler way to do.

The Ubuntu One Encrypt/Decrypt script is a simple Nautilus script that allows you to encrypt/decrypt your files and folder from the context menu. It is easy to use and doesn’t require any configuration.

Note: The script only works in Gnome Nautilus.

1. Download the Ubuntu One Encrypt/Decrypt script from Gnome-look

2. Save the script to the /home/username/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts folder.

3. Right click on the script and select Properties. Go to the Permission tab and check the box “Allow executing file as program”.


Press Alt + F2 and enter the follow command to restart Nautilus:

4. Re-open Nautilus. Right click on any file/folder that you want to encrypt. Select “Scripts -> Ubuntu One Encrypt Decrypt”.


5. In the popup window, select “Encrypt”.


6. It will then prompt you to enter a strong passphrase.


Once it’s done, it will encrypt your file/folder and move it to your Ubuntu One folder. If it is a folder, it will first compress it before the encryption. This is what you will see in your Ubuntu One folder after the encryption.

encrypt-fol or decrypt the file/folder. In this case, we will choose Encryptder-in-ubuntu-one


To decrypt a file/folder, you have to first copy the encrypted file/folder from the Ubuntu One folder and paste it to another location (the script won’t work within the Ubuntu One folder). Right click on the encrypted file/folder and select “Scripts -> Ubuntu One Encrypt Decrypt”. This time, select Decrypt.

Once authenticated, the script will proceed to decrypt the file. If it is a folder, the script will untar the compressed file and restore the actual folder.


1. Easy to use.

2. Good for storing backup of files/folders that you seldom use.


1. It is not dynamic. You have to encrypt/decrypt the file/folder every time you want to access it.

2. It doesn’t sync your file/folder. You have to repeat the same process again every time you add/remove files to/from a folder or make changes to a file.

Note: This script will work for Dropbox as well. You just have to open the script in a text-editor and change every instance of “Ubuntu One” to “Dropbox” (assuming your dropbox folder is /home/username/Dropbox). Your encrypted file will then be saved to the Dropbox folder.

Download Ubuntu One Encrypt/Decrypt

Image credit: Big Stock Photo

Damien Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.


  1. I see that it uses the TripleDES cipher. The encryption algorithm itself is secure, but I would’ve preferred a more modern (and faster) cipher like AES. Also, the author doesn’t specify how the password is converted to the encryption key. Did he implement PBKDF2? If so, how many key transformation rounds (hopefully not less than 10,000) and what hash algorithm (hopefully not MD5)? And, what mode of operation did he use (I would assume CBC, but I want confirmation)? Lastly, since it is not dynamic, then there is little difference between using that script and just using file-roller to archive the file/folder in an encrypted 7z file.

    1.  hey i used in script to decrypt an encrypted file where pass phrase was given !!
      if i decrypt it it comes out to be a blank file !!
      help me out !

  2. hey guys pls help me out here !!
    ‘m not getting the scripts option when i right click on th file so how to get it !!

    1. Did you check that:

      1. You have set the file permission to “Execute as program”.

      2. Make sure you move the script to .gnome2/nautilus-scripts folder3. Make sure you have restarted your nautilus.

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