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This question is an exact duplicate of:

I have a big drive with already data on it, that I would like to encrypt (ext4).

Is there a way to encrypt that disk without having to move the data to another drive first?

Or maybe, this would be the better solution, once that question is solved:

How do I create an auto-growing encrypted folder on linux?

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marked as duplicate by Terry Chia, Antony Vennard, Gilles, Rory Alsop Apr 11 '13 at 10:46

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

You can use Truecrypt, it allows you to encrypt a drive in place, although this takes longer than moving the data and rewrite it encrypted.

This explains quite well how to do it. (edit: that is for Windows though, not entirely sure if it looks the same for every OS)

edit: nvm, Linux TrueCrypt supports fixed size only

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that example is written for windows, and it assumes, your drive is empty – rubo77 Apr 11 '13 at 7:17
I read: "My external drive was full of data, so I choose Encrypt partition in place." and assume that his drive was not empty. I do not know which OS you use, please specify your question :) Truecrypt exists for many different operating systems. – user1451340 Apr 11 '13 at 7:25
@user1451340 If he is using a EXT4 file system, it is a safe enough bet he is using linux.... – Terry Chia Apr 11 '13 at 7:27
oh, right. my mind totally ignored that, sorry! Still, truecrypt works on many operating systems :) – user1451340 Apr 11 '13 at 7:33
Truecrypt should happily do this on Linux. +1 – Rory Alsop Apr 11 '13 at 7:47

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