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I'd need to create an encrypted volume on my MacBook Pro running OS X El Capitan.

It's been a while since I needed to do something like that, I think it was 2010 when I used TrueCrypt.

I know that nowadays its development has been suspended or somehow discontinued, so I was wondering: how to have an encrypted volume with TrueCrypt-like level of security on Mac OS X?

3 Answers 3

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VeraCrypt

If you want operating system independence, e.g., a thumb drive that you can use on systems other than macOS, you might want to look at VeraCrypt - the successor to TrueCrypt. VeraCrypt is open source as well. Further information can be found in Encrypt FAT USB drive under El Capitan.

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  • If you have Homebrew installed, you can do brew install veracrypt. And find "VeraCrypt.app" in your /Applications folder.
    – mivk
    Jun 9 at 18:01
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Just use FileVault 2, which comes with El Capitan and is pretty secure.

If you need separate volumes or passwords for different projects, you can also use OS X encrypted disk images with 128 or 256 bit AES encryption. This allows you to choose to store the passphrase for each volume offline, in separate keychains or in the main keychain as you see fit.

The benefit of FileVault is whole disk hardware encryption so you should start there and then layer in encrypted disk images for projects that require even more protection or isolation.

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  • 1
    It is actually called CoreStorage. FileVault 2 is only for the System volume. Not sure if you can use it with DiskUtillity(I guess you can create only new encrypted volumes there) but in terminal type : diskutil coreStorage and then you find the options to convert a volume. For the security see: Unlocking FileVault
    – user60589
    Apr 4, 2016 at 13:07
  • I would call FileVault a big step up in security over TrueCrypt as it doesn't have red banner warnings saying "WARNING: Using TrueCrypt is not secure" due to it not being maintained and patched going forward: truecrypt.sourceforge.net
    – bmike
    Apr 4, 2016 at 13:52
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    FileVault2 / CoreStorage is great, but it's not a direct replacement for TrueCrypt in general, as it's not cross-platform. Hard to tell whether that matters to the OP, but it's worth bearing in mind.
    – calum_b
    Apr 4, 2016 at 14:47
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    It's worth noting that both FileVault and FileVault 2 are proprietary software. While this arguably won't matter to many users, it's important to be able to audit the source code of encryption software to see if the implementation contains vulnerabilities.
    – Jules
    Apr 4, 2016 at 16:58
  • @bmike It's still safer than any closed-source software you can't audit. Labels have no value except the one you put in them.
    – Agent_L
    Apr 4, 2016 at 17:01
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I personally use encFS, which is pretty easy to install on MacOSX, given that you know how to use homebrew and casks:

brew cask install osxfuse
brew install homebrew/fuse/encfs

To use it, I theen use two aliases, one to mount the volume:

mypasswd='encfs ~/cloud/Documents.encfs ~/Private -- && cd  ~/Private'

and then to unmount (and close the terminal):

mypasswd_umount='cd ~ && umount ~/Private && exit'
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  • Nice tip, all by command line. +1 Apr 10, 2016 at 14:52
  • this solution was found after many trials and errors with diverse solutions to find a way to encrypt files on cloud storage... and then came encfs to save it all :-) I would very much love to get feedback on the security of this solution - it's simple but I am not sure about its efficiency...
    – meduz
    Apr 11, 2016 at 18:54

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