Friday, October 7, 2011

I Keep Leaving Truecrypt for Ccrypt

I recently bought a pair of Western Digital 1TB Passport USB drives. They seemed an ideal solution for backing up my personal system. The idea is to keep one in one location, the other in another location, and every couple of weeks do a complete backup to whichever one is least fresh. For me a complete backup, once gzipped, is about 170GB, and I thought it would be a good idea to place a 900GB Truecrypt container on each, and each container could contain several backups.

The WD drives were formatted ntfs, and so a 900GB file wasn't a problem. What was a problem was that, on both drives, with Ubuntu 11.4, the latest version of Truecrypt, Gnome instead of that Unity crap, I could not consistently copy a 170GB file to the Truecrypt container--it kept hanging.

The simple and reliable solution was to format the WD drives ext2, trashing the WD software that I couldn't imagine ever using, and then to do my backups to /tmp as .tgz.cpt, i.e., as gzipped tar encrypted using ccrypt. Then I could reliably copy the file to the WD drive.

BTW, with NTFS on Ubuntu, even with ntfstools installed, I never could change the label of an NTFS volume. But it was a three second job on a Windows 7 machine.

So I temporarily went back to Truecrypt, but returned to ccrypt begging forgiveness. A zombie process told me "It's too late to say you're sorry. How would I know? Why would I care?"

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