Open source software security

Installing TrueCrypt on Mandriva

30 November -0001

TrueCrypt is a great encryption utility that is available for several operating systems and uses. TrueCrypt will let you create encrypted volumes, encrypted devices, or even do whole disk encryption. I use TrueCrypt on Windows and Linux, and it's handy to be able to move encrypted volume files from one operating system to another and be able to mount them. Unfortunately, due to some disputes over licensing, Mandriva has re-branded TrueCrypt as RealCrypt and distributes it with Mandriva. I've had some problems getting the RealCrypt RPM's to work, and for this reason I decided to go ahead and install TrueCrypt 6.0 on my Mandriva 2008.1 system.

To install TrueCrypt the first thing you need to do is download wxWidgets. These are tools that are used for the TrueCrypt front end, so if you plan on only using TrueCrypt from the command line they're not necessary. However, the GUI provides some functionality that isn't necessarily available from the command line (including auto dismounting a volume if it isn't used for a certain period of time), so I'd recommend installing with the GUI available. Download the source for latest version of wxWidgets from http://www.wxwidgets.org, but don't go through the hassle of trying to compile it. TrueCrypt needs access to the wxWidgets source code, not the compiled binaries.

Next you need to install some prerequisite RPMS, use the following to install them:

gcc
gcc-c++
make
libgtk+2.0_0-devel
libfuse-devel

This can be done using the Mandriva Control Center or at the command line using:

$ sudo urpmi gcc gcc-c++ make libgtk+2.0_0-devel libfuse-devel

Once all these are installed you can begin to compile TrueCrypt. First though you need to prepare for this isntall by issuing the following command at the command line:

$ sudo modprobe fuse

Next download the source for TrueCrypt from their site and change into that directory. Assuming, for instance, you download TrueCrypt to /root/bin/TrueCrypt 6.0a Source.tar.gz and you download wxWidgets to /root/bin/wxWidgets-2.8.9.tar.gz you want to first unzip and untar those files using:

$ tar -xvzf wxWidgets-2.8.9.tar.gz
$ tar -xvzf TrueCrypt\ 6.0a\ Source.tar.gz

Next you need to change into the TrueCrypt directory and begin the build with the following commands:

$ cd  truecrypt-6.0a-source
$ make WX_ROOT=/root/bin/wxWidgets-2.8.9 wxbuild

Next makd the TrueCrypt installation with:

$ make 

Now check the resulting directory, you should see a subdirectory called Main, and in that directory you should see an executable called 'truecrypt'. It is useful to create a link to this executable to make it available for others to use by creating a symbolic link using:

$ ln -s /root/bin/truecrypt-6.0a-source/Main/truecrypt /usr/bin/truecrypt

Once this is done you can create a new "Link to application" on your desktop or in your menu, and point it at either of these locations and you can start using TrueCrypt. You can also use TrueCrypt at the command line as normal. For a full list of command line options try:

$ truecrypt -?