Is there a way to know whether there are ANY encrypted files or directories on an Ubuntu 14 machine running in VirtualBox? The password for the account is lost, therefore I would reset it by booting in recovery mode and changing the password with 'passwd username'. But since I wouldn't be able to access encrypted files afterwards (passphrase of which I wouldn't know as well), I want to be 100% sure whether there is ANY encrypted content in this system. If so, I wouldn't change the password because the data is very important. To find out FOR SURE whether there are encrypted files, is it enough to run: 'ls -A /home' and see if there is .ecryptfs? I would guess not, but then: Do you know other ways to find out? Thank you so much in advance!!


No, you cannot be 100% sure. The user could have an encrypted folder (encfs for example).

If possible, you can create a new user and copy the files. Then check if everything is there in the newly created user. If you ever find out the password or have to go back, the data will be still sitting there.

  • Hey, thanks a lot for your answer. Is there a way to find the possibly encrypted folder then? I think you cannot copy encrypted files just like that, can you? – Tobi Oct 14 '19 at 8:19
  • That's a completely different question. – Eduardo Trápani Oct 14 '19 at 18:27

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