I am working on an encrypted data set. And using the code below to decrypt files.

openssl enc -aes-256-cbc -d -in $encryptedfile -out $decrypted_file -pass file:secret.txt

But I am always notified with this error:

error writing output file
  • are you sure you have write privileges for the output directory ?
    – MelBurslan
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 16:13
  • What is the output if you run this with strace? It should show the error.
    – Chris Down
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 16:58
  • Don't use openssl. It's very hard to use correctly, it's just a debugging tool. The robust way to encrypt a file is with gpg. Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 22:56
  • @MelBurslan It might be yes. Because I find a new file is created, but nothing in that file.
    – Vision
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 14:40
  • @Gilles Can you give an example for my case? I tried "gpg -d $encryptedfile" but got error messages. BTW, my encrypted file name is ".aes"
    – Vision
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 14:54

1 Answer 1


It seems I don't have enough space to write decrypted files. But of course, we need to get the writing permission before using openssl to decrypt files.

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