How to Encrypt USB Drive on Linux Using VeraCrypt
In this tutorial we are going to learn how to encrypt USB drive using the VeraCrypt program. It’s assumed that VeraCrypt is already installed on your computer. By encrypting your external drive, your sensitive data is protected if any unexpected event happen such as it being lost or stolen. We will also see how to mount the encrypted USB drive to Linux file system.
Make sure your data on the external drive is backed up before following the instructions below.
Using VeraCrypt to Encrypt USB Drive
Fire up VeraCrypt program. Then click create volume button to create a new volume.
In the next window, select the 2nd option: Create a volume with a partition/drive.
Now you can create a standard VeraCrypt volume or a hidden VeraCrypt volume. This tutorial is going to create a stand VeraCrypt volume.
In the next window, click Select Device button and select your external drive. Make sure you select the right one because it will be formatted and all data on that drive will be lost.
Then select Yes to encrypt the entire device.
Now you are presented with encryption options. You may ask “which encryption algorithm should I use”? You can choose any of these encryption algorithms since they are all very secure, but AES is much faster than the others and is widely used. If you are not sure what to select here, you can use the default settings.
Next, choose a good password for the volume.
Then you can choose if you will store files larger than 4GB on the drive.
After that, choose a format for the file system.
And now VeraCrypt will collect randomness from your mouse movement. Move the mouse as randomly as possible within this window. Once the randomness bar reaches the end, click format.
Wait for the creation of encrypted volume.
Mounting the Encrypted USB Drive
You can’t mount the USB drive in the normal way. If you want to see the content inside the encrypted USB drive, you will need to mount it via VeraCrypt.
First, select a drive slot in the upper part of VeraCrypt main window.
Then click Select Device button to select your USB drive.
Next, click the Mount button on the bottom-left corner of VeraCrypt main window. You will need to enter the password you set earlier. You may also need to enter your sudo password.
Once it’s mounted, you can access it via file manager. VeraCrypt also tells you the mount point.
To unmount the USB drive, click dismount button in VeraCrypt main window.