Cryptr – A Simple CLI Utility To Encrypt And Decrypt Files

cryptr - encrypt and decrypt files

Looking for a quick, easy, and secure method to protect your files? Well, there is a simple shell utility called “Cryptr” that helps you to encrypt and decrypt files. All from command line, and you don’t need to be a security ninja or Linux expert to learn how to secure your data. Cryptr uses OpenSSL AES-256 cipher block chaining method to encrypt files. It is free to use and is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0.

Encrypt And Decrypt Files Using Cryptr

Installation is not a big deal. Git clone Cryptr repository using command:

git clone

This command will clone the contents of Cryptr repository in a folder called cryptr in your current working directory.

Then link the cryptr.bash file to your bin folder using command:

sudo ln -s "$PWD"/cryptr/cryptr.bash /usr/local/bin/cryptr

That’s it. It’s time to see some usage examples.

Let us encrypt a file called “test.txt”. To do so, run the following command from your Terminal. Cryptr will ask you to enter the password to the file twice.

$ cryptr encrypt test.txt 
enter aes-256-cbc encryption password:
Verifying - enter aes-256-cbc encryption password:

The above command will encrypt the given file (I.e test.txt) using AES-256-CBC encryption method and save it with an extension .aes. You can use “ls” command to verify if the file is really encrypted or not.

If there is .aes at the end in the file name, it menas the file is encrypted.

To decrypt an encrypted file, use the following command. Enter the correct password and voila!

$ cryptr decrypt test.txt.aes 
enter aes-256-cbc decryption password:

You can also define the password to use when encrypting a file using the CRYPTR_PASSWORD environment variable like below.

$ CRYPTR_PASSWORD=BC1rO7K7SspYcLChMr28M cryptr encrypt test.txt 
Using environment variable CRYPTR_PASSWORD for the password

Here, BC1rO7K7SspYcLChMr28M is the password to the file.

Similarly, to decrypt an encrypted file, use:

$ CRYPTR_PASSWORD=BC1rO7K7SspYcLChMr28M cryptr decrypt test.txt.aes
Using environment variable CRYPTR_PASSWORD for the password

This can be helpful in scripts and batch operations.

To view the help, run:

$ cryptr help
Usage: cryptr command <command-specific-options>

encrypt <file> Encrypt file
 decrypt <file.aes> Decrypt encrypted file
 help Displays help
 version Displays the current version

If you’re looking for a simple utility that just works out of the box without much hassle, give Cryptr a try. I will be soon here with another interesting guide. Until then stay tuned with OSTechNix.



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  • IJK

    Come on, guys. This utility is a very trivial exercise in beginning shell programming.