Tag Archives: truecrypt

How to create a portable, cross platform encrypted drive using TrueCrypt

I posted a few days ago regarding the release of the new Macintosh OS X version of TrueCrypt. For those that don’t know, TrueCrypt is a free, open source application that enables you to create an encrypted files that, using the TrueCrypt application, can be mounted as a drive on a host machine. The exciting thing is that this new version of TrueCrypt makes it possible to create a cross platform encrypted volumes! This post is a step by step instruction on how to create a portable, cross platform, encrypted volume that will allow you to carry your data securely and access it on any Windows, Mac and I assume Linux based computers.

Before we get into the main instruction, I want to highlight some points.

  1. [[** UPDATE **]]
    See this comment Sorry I was wrong, thank you for clearing this up
    [[** UPDATE **]]
    Currently the Mac version of TrueCrypt does NOT support hidden volumes, so if you need data to be available on Windows, Mac and Linux, you will have to forgo hidden encrypted volume functionality for the time being. Remember hidden TrueCrypt volumes you have previously created will NOT work on Macintosh computers.
  2. Currently the Mac version of TrueCrypt only seems to support the FAT file system. This is actually pretty logical . There is no native support for NTFS on Macintosh computers yet. If you already have a Windows based NTFS formatted encrypted volume, you may want to set up a new encrypted volume and format it to FAT so that you can mount the volume on multiple operating systems.
  3. Remember you will need to download the latest version of TrueCrypt

Below the fold is the full step by step instruction on how to create a free, portable, cross platform encrypted drive using TrueCrypt. The encrypted volume you create should allow you to move a secure encrypted file across windows, macintosh and linux computers. As long as you have the TrueCrypt application with you on something like a USB drive or TrueCrypt is pre-installed on your target computer you should be able to mount your encrypted file as a standard drive.

So off we go!!

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Free, Portable, Cross Platform Encryption Solution with TrueCrypt 5

True Crypt 5a was released on a few weeks ago on February the 12th, one of the major new features is the release of a Mac OS X version of this free encryption application. A quick test confirms that creating a TrueCrypt 5 encrypted volume as a FAT32 formated volume using the new OS X 10.5 Leopard release of produces an encrypted file that can be mounted and used on a Windows XP machine that also has the new version of true crypt installed or availible.

Personally I find this new version wonderful. My previous cross platform encryption solution was to use bcrypt a command line application availible for both Windows and Mac OS X, however this was really only useful for file encryption. Alternatively I could use an encrypted drive image in OS X, But then this was no use if i needed the files on my Windows machine.

True crypt 5 allows a user to set up an encrypted volume that can be mounted as a drive, in the same way as an OS X drive image, only now of course its cross platform, and if you run truecrypt in traveler mode, its portable too! Bonus!

In addition if you happen to have a Linux box, or maybe one of the shiny new Nokia Internet Tablets you ‘should’ also be able to run TrueCrypt 5 on those as well, TrueCrypt has supported Linux for a while I believe.

You can Download TrueCrypt here.