Blog di Dino Ciuffetti (Bernardino in realtà)

28 Dic 19 How to encrypt and decrypt a text file with vim

I always use VIM any single day of my life starting from 1994, and I did not realize that it’s now possible to encrypt and decrypt files with it without using gnupg! This is one of the reasons why I love vim so much: there are always things that you can learn from it!
So, I’ll now show you how to use vim to encrypt and decrypt your text files.

We can start creating a new encrypted text file with the command below:

# vim -x encryptedfile.txt
Enter encryption key:
Enter same key again:

Once you’ve entered an encryption key (WARNING: don’t forget it or you will lose your clear text data forever!!!) you can use vim as always, write your clear text data, save and quit.

# file encryptedfile.txt
encryptedfile.txt: Vim encrypted file data
# cat encryptedfile.txt

So, your file is now encrypted. To recover access to your clear text data, just open the file back with vim using the correct passphrase you used to create your file:

# vim encryptedfile.txt
Need encryption key for "encryptedfile.txt"
Enter encryption key:

You could also decide to change your passphrase or encrypt a clear text file, using the :set key=pwd vim command, like this:

:set key=mystrongpasswordyou'llneverfind
# file encryptedfile.txt 
encryptedfile.txt: Vim encrypted file data

If you want to decrypt the file and save it clear text, just use an empty key with the :set key= command, after you opened the encrypted file with the correct passphrase:

:set key=
# file encryptedfile.txt
encryptedfile.txt: ASCII text

So, this way you can create an encrypted file protected with a passphrase, get read/write access to the encrypted file, decrypt the file to clear text and change the passphrase.

Hope you all will enjoy this like me!!