February 12, 2019

687 words 4 mins read



Cryptographic filesystem for the cloud

repo name cryfs/cryfs
repo link https://github.com/cryfs/cryfs
homepage https://www.cryfs.org
language C++
size (curr.) 19885 kB
stars (curr.) 1192
created 2015-09-12
license GNU Lesser General Public License v3.0

CryFS Build Status CircleCI Build status

CryFS encrypts your files, so you can safely store them anywhere. It works well together with cloud services like Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive and others. See https://www.cryfs.org.

Install latest release


This only works for Ubuntu 17.04 and later, and Debian Stretch and later. You can also use CryFS on older versions of these distributions by following the Building from source instructions below.

sudo apt install cryfs


CryFS is distributed via Homebrew. Just do

brew cask install osxfuse
brew install cryfs

Windows (experimental)

CryFS has experimental Windows support since the 0.10 release series. To install it, do:

  1. Install DokanY
  2. Install Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2019
  3. Install CryFS


Theres some GUI applications with CryFS support. You usually have to install the GUI and also CryFS itself for it to work.

Building from source


  • Git (for getting the source code)
  • GCC version >= 6.5 or Clang >= 4.0
  • CMake version >= 3.1
  • Conan package manager
  • libcurl4 (including development headers)
  • SSL development libraries (including development headers, e.g. libssl-dev)
  • libFUSE version >= 2.8.6 (including development headers), on Mac OS X instead install osxfuse from https://osxfuse.github.io/
  • Python >= 2.7
  • OpenMP

You can use the following commands to install these requirements

    # Ubuntu
    $ sudo apt install git g++ cmake make libcurl4-openssl-dev libssl-dev libfuse-dev python
    $ sudo pip install conan

    # Fedora
    $ sudo dnf install git gcc-c++ cmake make libcurl-devel openssl-devel fuse-devel python
    $ sudo pip install conan

    # Macintosh
    $ brew install cmake openssl libomp
    $ sudo pip install conan

Build & Install

  1. Clone repository

    $ git clone https://github.com/cryfs/cryfs.git cryfs
    $ cd cryfs
  2. Build

    $ mkdir cmake && cd cmake
    $ cmake ..
    $ make
  3. Install

    $ sudo make install

You can pass the following variables to the cmake command (using -Dvariablename=value):

  • -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=[Release|Debug]: Whether to run code optimization or add debug symbols. Default: Release
  • -DBUILD_TESTING=[on|off]: Whether to build the test cases (can take a long time). Default: off
  • -DCRYFS_UPDATE_CHECKS=off: Build a CryFS that doesn’t check online for updates and security vulnerabilities.

Building on Windows (experimental)

Build with Visual Studio 2019 and pass in the following flags to CMake:

-DDOKAN_PATH=[dokan library location, e.g. "C:\Program Files\Dokan\DokanLibrary-1.2.1"]

If you set these variables correctly in the CMakeSettings.json file, you should be able to open the cryfs source folder with Visual Studio 2019.


On most systems, CMake should find the libraries automatically. However, that doesn’t always work.

  1. Fuse/Osxfuse library not found

    Pass in the library path with

     cmake .. -DFUSE_LIB_PATH=/path/to/fuse/or/osxfuse
  2. Fuse/Osxfuse headers not found

    Pass in the include path with

     cmake .. -DCMAKE_CXX_FLAGS="-I/path/to/fuse/or/osxfuse/headers"
  3. Openssl headers not found

    Pass in the include path with

     cmake .. -DCMAKE_C_FLAGS="-I/path/to/openssl/include"
  4. OpenMP not found (osx)

    Either build it without OpenMP

     cmake .. -DDISABLE_OPENMP=on

    but that will cause slower file system mount times (performance after mounting will be unaffected). If you installed OpenMP with homebrew or macports, it should be autodetected. If that doesn’t work for some reason (or you want to use a different installation than the autodetected one), pass in these flags:

     cmake .. -DOpenMP_CXX_FLAGS='-Xpreprocessor -fopenmp -I/path/to/openmp/include' -DOpenMP_CXX_LIB_NAMES=omp -DOpenMP_omp_LIBRARY=/path/to/libomp.dylib

Creating .deb and .rpm packages

It is recommended to install CryFS using packages, because that allows for an easy way to uninstall it again once you don’t need it anymore.

There are additional requirements if you want to create packages. They are:

  • CMake version >= 3.3
  • rpmbuild if you’re creating a .rpm package
  1. Clone repository

    $ git clone https://github.com/cryfs/cryfs.git cryfs
    $ cd cryfs
  2. Build

    $ mkdir cmake && cd cmake
    $ cmake .. -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=RelWithDebInfo -DBUILD_TESTING=off
    $ make package


On the event of a password leak, you are strongly advised to create a new filesystem and copy all the data over from the previous one. Done this, all copies of the compromised filesystem and config file must be removed (e.g, from the “previous versions” feature of your cloud system) to prevent access to the key (and, as a result, your data) using the leaked password.

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