FileVault on other than home directories on MacOS?

Ivan Krstić krstic at
Tue Sep 22 03:18:30 EDT 2009


On Sep 21, 2009, at 1:57 PM, Steven Bellovin wrote:
> Is there any way to use FileVault on MacOS except on home directories?

FileVault is essentially just the name for a plain encrypted disk  
image which happens to have some voodoo associated with it to get  
pivoted in as your homedir at login. This to say, you can make  
arbitrarily many encrypted disk images with Disk Utility and use them  
as individual encrypted (non-homedir) folders. If you're asking  
whether you can turn on encryption for existing system folders, the  
answer is no; HFS+ itself offers no encryption facilities.

> I suppose I could install TrueCrypt (other suggestions or comments  
> on TrueVault?), but I prefer to minimize the amount of extra  
> software I have to maintain.

TrueCrypt is a fine solution and indeed very helpful if you need cross- 
platform encrypted volumes; it lets you trivially make an encrypted  
USB key you can use on Linux, Windows and OS X. If you're *just*  
talking about OS X, I don't believe TrueCrypt offers any advantages  
over encrypted disk images unless you're big on conspiracy theories.


Ivan Krstić <krstic at> |

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