Cloaker: Easy File Encryption With Windows, macOS And Linux Support

Cloaker is one of the easiest tools to encrypt and decrypt single files with cross-platform support (runs on Linux, Windows and macOS). 

The free and open source tool has a very basic Qt5 user interface on top of which you drag and drop a file you want to encrypt or decrypt, enter the password (with a minimum length of 10 characters), choose the location where to save the file, and you're done. What's more, Cloaker is portable / requires no installation.

Cloaker file encryptor for Linux, Windows and macOS

The goal of Cloaker is to make it as easy as protect a file with a password, providing the most straightforward file encryption possible, or at least so it claims in the project description.

To avoid leaving unencrypted partial files in case of program failure, only one file can be processed at a time. In case you want to encrypt multiple files, add them to a zip or other archive.

While the application is intended to be used with a graphical user interface, Cloaker also has a command line interface that can encrypt and decrypt files, which is also cross-platform (runs on Windows, macOS and Linux). This cli interface is not available in the Linux binary, and its usage is not explained in the project description, but I compiled it from source to try it out. To encrypt a file using Cloaker cli, use -e my-file.txt, and then decrypt it with -d my-file.txt.cloaker

It's important to note that you must not forget the password you set when encrypting a file, as you cannot recover it. You'll lose the encrypted data if you forget the password! Save the password used to encrypt a file in a password manager (I recommend Bitwarden), or store it in some other secure way.

Related: How To Encrypt An USB Drive With VeraCrypt (Compatible With Windows, macOS and Linux)

It should also be noted that saving the decrypted file to disk is not a good idea, as it's recoverable, so for important files it's best to decrypt them to ramdisks. One way to do this would be to decrypt the file to /dev/shm which is a ramdisk on Linux.

The application core is written in Rust, and the GUI in C++ with MFC and Qt. Under the hood, Cloaker uses stream encryption from the sodium-oxide Rust wrapper of libsodium (XChaCha20Poly1305). The XChaCha20Poly1305 construction can safely encrypt basically an unlimited number of messages with the same key, up to approx. 2^64 bytes (around 256 GB), while its large nonce size (192-bit) allows random nonces to be safely used.

As for the future, Cloaker is planned to receive a progress indicator or some speed statistics, and the command line interface should see further improvements. Also, a mobile version might be created in the future.

Download Cloaker file encryption tool

Cloaker is portable and doesn't require any installation. Extract the archive for your OS (Windows, macOS or Linux) and double click the Cloaker executable to run it.

On Linux, for desktop environments that don't support double clicking executables to run them, you can run Cloaker by using a terminal and typing ./ in the location to which you've extracted Cloaker:


You can also drag and drop the file on top of a terminal window, then press the Enter key to run it.

On Linux, the Cloaker binary requires at least glibc version 2.25. That means that e.g. Ubuntu 18.04 (and Linux Mint 19.*) is supported, but Ubuntu 16.04 (and Linux Mint 18.*) is not.

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