Is it possible to decrypt single EncFS encrypted files with access to .encfs6.xml configuration file and without the proper directory structure it was created?

With a little help from google I found this comment on a blog post:


Comment by Spence — August 14, 2009 @ 11:44 pm | Reply

I did some reading on this, and without the metadata information included in the .encfs6.xml file, it is impossible to decrypt ANY of the files. If you wanted to decrypt a single file, you would at least need to have a directory with that file, and then the encrypted file that you wanted, with all of the proper directory structure. I haven’t played with this much myself, but I think it might be possible to mount something set up like that, and then you could get at the file. However, since the filename is encrypted, you wouldn’t know which file to download from Dropbox

There is a debug utility that you can use on the command-line to get the decrypted filenames of files, and possibly decrypt them as well, so the situation isn’t hopeless. It would probably just take a lot of playing around to figure this stuff out. If you do invest the time and figure some of this out, maybe write a post about it on your blog and link to it here.

Any suggestions?

  • Hmmmm. I thought it would be possible as long as externalIVChaining is off, but experimentally, this doesn't seem to be the case. Encfs's documentation is sadly sparse. I suggest asking on the mailing list. Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 0:32

1 Answer 1


You can use jefsr, a Java EncFS Reader library.

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