I forgot the password of one of my account on Ubuntu 16.04.

The user account directory is encrypted.

I have configured the Yubikey SSH key based login so I am able to login, into that account. But when I login using Yubikey SSH, it does not decrypt the user home directory.

I know the password that Ubuntu uses to encrypt home directory is encrypted by password of that account. But I don't remember that password.

Is there any possibility that SSH key on Yubikey can decrypt the user home directory also ?

I am using currently all the password combinations that I ever used in the past but for some reason its not getting cracked. I am using John The Ripper to crack my own password. Is there any possibility that someone might have messed up login files?

  • If you could decode the crypted partition without one password allowed to do it, it would be a major vulnerability or a back door. When you lose a physical key, you can generally break the physical lock, but that is not true in digital crypto: you must take provision for that (store the password in a safe) before you forget it... Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 8:08

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, no. The only password that can decrypt that file system is the one you chose when you set up encryption in Ubuntu.

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