When you encrypt your home folder in Ubuntu and Debian, it protects not only the file contents but also the file and folder names.

Yet I see that updatedb and locate works in Debian. When I run locate, it finds files that are in my encrypted home folder. Does updatedb store the unencrypted file and folder names of your home folder somewhere?


The location of the database is /var/lib/mlocate/mlocate.db or at /var/cache/locate/locatedb. This is outside your home folder. Probably you decrypted your homefolder prior to running the command and the results got saved in a non-encrypted folder.

  • Note I never ran the command myself. I assume it just runs daily as a cron job. But perhaps the data for my home folder is encrypted with my password? That way locate can use data for my own home folder only when I'm logged in. It's theoretically possible to make it secure, if they have bothered to implement it that way. I guess my question is "Have they"? – sashoalm Aug 27 '14 at 9:14
  • You can also just change the configuration to ommit your homefolder from being indexed. – Lucas Kauffman Aug 27 '14 at 9:18

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