VeraCrypt is a free, open-source, and cross-platform data encryption tool available for all major Operating systems. It is an alternative to TrueCrypt, the popular encryption tool discontinued in 2014. VeraCrypt is easy to use and offers a variety of features that make it an excellent choice for encrypting data. For example, VeraCrypt supports on-the-fly encryption, meaning that data is encrypted and decrypted in real time as it is accessed. This ensures that your data is always protected, even if someone gains access to your computer while it is turned on. In addition, VeraCrypt offers plausible deniability, meaning that if you are forced to reveal your password, you can do so without revealing the existence of any hidden volumes. As a result, VeraCrypt provides a high level of security for your most sensitive data.
The following tutorial will teach you how to install VeraCrypt on Linux Mint 21 LTS release series using a LaunchPAD APT PPA with the command line terminal with how to import and install, update, and, if required, remove.
Table of Contents
Update Linux Mint
First, update your system to ensure all existing packages are up to date to avoid conflicts.
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y
The installation of VeraCrypt will be the repository from the PPA from the launchpad maintained by Unit 193, as the default APT repository does not contain the software.
First, install the following packages that are required. These are most likely installed but run the command to be safe.
sudo apt install dirmngr ca-certificates software-properties-common gnupg gnupg2 apt-transport-https -y
The next task is to import the GPG key needed for all the repositories. If you have issues importing the GPG key, please see the end section on GPG troubleshooting at the end of the article.
sudo gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /usr/share/keyrings/unit193.gpg --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 3BFB8E06536B8753AC58A4A303647209B58A653A >> /dev/null
With the GPG key now imported, you can proceed to import the LaunchPAD PPA with the following command.
echo 'deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/unit193.gpg] https://ppa.launchpadcontent.net/unit193/encryption/ubuntu jammy main' | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/encryption.list
Before you continue, run an APT update to reflect the newly imported PPA.
sudo apt update
Now install the application.
sudo apt install veracrypt -y
How to Launch VeraCrypt
Launching can be done in a few ways now that you have the software installed.
First, the software can be launched using the following command.
Most desktop users may elect to use the application icon to open the software, which can be achieved using the following path.
Taskbar > Accessories > VeraCrypt.
Once open, you can begin to use the disk encryption software. First-time users, I highly recommend visiting the official documentation as even though the program GUI is straightforward, you may miss certain features that may be helpful.
How to Update/Upgrade VeraCrypt
The best method to ensure your installation is up-to-date is to open the command line terminal and run the following command.
sudo apt upgrade && sudo apt upgrade
The command will also ensure all other packages that use the APT package manager, including your system packages, are up-to-date. I suggest that users new to Linux run this command frequently to ensure your system works as intended, even if you have automatic GUI updates or notifications.
How to Remove (Uninstall) VeraCrypt
Use one of the following commands to suit the original installation method for users who no longer require the application.
sudo apt-get install veracrypt --purge -y
Next, you should remove the PPA for users who will not use the software again.
sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/encryption.list /usr/share/keyrings/unit193.gpg
How to Fix Broken GPG Import
Users that have installed Linux Mint for the first time or have not imported a GPG key before using the command line terminal will often have issues importing GPG keys from LaunchPAD PPAs due to the directories not being created. This is an easy fix. Use the following command that will, in turn, generate the directories.
sudo gpg --list-keys
As above, the necessary directories have been created. This can be skipped, and use the following GPG import command below. If you have any issues with directories missing for this and any other PPA GPG key in the future, just run the above command.
Comments and Conclusion
VeraCrypt is a powerful and user-friendly data encryption tool that should be considered for anyone looking to protect their data. It offers a variety of features that make it an excellent choice, including on-the-fly encryption and support for all major Operating systems. If you are looking for an alternative to TrueCrypt, VeraCrypt is a great option.