cbc_crypt - Linux


cbc_crypt is a versatile command-line tool used for encrypting or decrypting data using the Cipher Block Chaining (CBC) mode of operation in conjunction with a specified cipher algorithm. Its primary use is to secure sensitive information during storage or transmission.


cbc_crypt [-h] [-a ALGORITHM] [-i INPUT_FILE] [-o OUTPUT_FILE] [-k KEY]
          [-m MODE] [-d] [-s SALT] [-v]


  • -h, –help: Display help information and exit.
  • -a, –algorithm: Specify the encryption algorithm to use. Supported algorithms include AES-128, AES-192, and AES-256 (default: AES-128).
  • -i, –input-file: Path to the file containing the data to be encrypted or decrypted.
  • -o, –output-file: Path to the file where the encrypted or decrypted data will be written.
  • -k, –key: The secret key to use for encryption or decryption.
  • -m, –mode: Specify the mode of operation. Valid options are encrypt or decrypt (default: encrypt).
  • -d, –decrypt: Decrypt the data in the specified input file.
  • -s, –salt: A salt value to use for encryption or decryption.
  • -v, –verbose: Enable verbose output, providing additional details during execution.


Encrypting a file:

cbc_crypt -i plaintext.txt -o encrypted.txt -k mysecretkey

Decrypting a file:

cbc_crypt -m decrypt -i encrypted.txt -o plaintext.txt -k mysecretkey

Using a salt value:

cbc_crypt -s mysalt -i plaintext.txt -o encrypted.txt -k mysecretkey

Common Issues

  • Incorrect key: Ensure the key provided for encryption matches the one used for decryption.
  • Invalid algorithm: Check that the specified algorithm is supported by cbc_crypt.
  • Missing input or output file: Verify that the paths to the input and output files are correct.


cbc_crypt can be integrated into scripts or command chains for automated data protection tasks. For example:

echo "Sensitive Data" | cbc_crypt - -o encrypted_data.txt -k mysecretkey

Related Commands

  • openssl: A comprehensive cryptographic library offering various encryption and decryption algorithms.
  • gpg: A tool for encrypting and signing data, providing strong encryption features.
  • Official cbc_crypt documentation: Detailed information and usage instructions provided by the developers.