Encrypting/Decrypting a File Easily With a Couple Bash Scripts

Once in a while a person might like to encrypt a file for security purposes. In Linux it is real easy to create good encryption using openssl with the Triple-DES Cipher.:

openssl des3 -salt -in unencrypted-data.file \
-out encrypted-data.file.des3

After entering this command, openssl will ask for you to enter the password twice. And decryption is likewise:

openssl des3 -d -salt -in encrypted-data.file.des3 \
-out unencrypted-data.file
Warning: Make sure you don’t accidentaly reverse the file names in the decryption process or you’ll lose all your data!

Remembering this command though is the tricky bit so I decided to create a couple bash scripts that made the process thoughtless. I named the bash scripts “crypten” and “cryptde“.

# crypten - a script to encrypt files using openssl


if [[ -z "$FNAME" ]]; then
    echo "crypten <name of file>"
    echo "  - crypten is a script to encrypt files using des3"

openssl des3 -salt -in "$FNAME" -out "$FNAME.des3"

The filename ends with .des3 to be easy to recognize.

# cryptde - a script to decrypt files using openssl


if [[ -z "$FNAME" ]]; then
    echo "cryptde <name of file>"
    echo "  - cryptde is a script to decrypt des3 encrypted files"

openssl des3 -d -salt -in "$FNAME" -out "${FNAME%.[^.]*}"

I like to put my bash scripts in a ~/.bin folder. Don’t forget to make both files executable:

chmod +x crypten cryptde

This shouldhelp make encrypting/decrypting files easier.

4 thoughts on “Encrypting/Decrypting a File Easily With a Couple Bash Scripts

  1. felipe1982

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    in bash do;
    gpg -c your_file.txt

    It asks for passphrase. This is 3-DES (default, but can be changed, read “man gpg”). IMO, gpg easier to learn than openssl, plus can do public-key encryption (i do not know if openssl is capable of that)

  2. m2guru

    Exactly what your blog says – helpful linux tidbits! Good one, Gen2ly – works perfectly. Here’s a variation I made to optionally pass the filename of the encrypted file as a second argument, otherwise it overwrites the original file.


    if [[ -z “$INAME” ]]; then
    echo “crypten []”
    echo ” – crypten is a script to encrypt files using des3″

    if [[ -z “$ONAME” ]]; then
    openssl des3 -salt -in “$INAME” -out “$INAME”
    openssl des3 -salt -in “$INAME” -out “$ONAME”

  3. heylookltsme

    Thanks for this! I was looking for an easy way to quickly encrypt files and this works perfectly. One thing I added was a line to remove the original file after encrypting and the encrypted file after decrypting. That’ll keep your directories nice and clean.


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