chacha20_poly1305 encryption CLI tool
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A simple chacha20_poly1305 CLI encryption tool


Requires Rust and Cargo to build; also requires OpenSSL v1.1.0 or higher. Run cargo build --release, the binary will be built to ./target/release/chacha20.


Run cargo test && cargo build && ./ debug to test the program. Alternatively, run ./ after building to test the release build's correctness.


To enable explicit buffer clearing, compile with the option --features explicit_clear.

The explicit_clear feature forces any temporary work buffers to be zeroed out in memory when the corresponding stream is flushed itself. Unless being built with the Rust nightly toolchain, it requires the nonstandard glibc extension explicit_bzero(void*, size_t) to build. On x86 targets with the Rust nightly toolchain, it will also force a cache flush of the corresponding memory address after the zeroing.

This feature is usually not needed, and can cause a slowdown; but it prevents any lingering data being left in the buffer. The unit test remainder() checks the process' memory map for leftover data in the working buffer when testing with this feature enabled. It is still unlikely data will remain even without this feature, depending on your system; you should only use it if you are very paranoid.


Copies stdin to stdout while encrypting or decrypting with the stream cipher chacha20_poly1305.


  • Encrypt - Encrypt stdin to stdout
  • Decrypt - Decrypt stdin to stdout
  • Keygen - Generate a random key and IV and print them to stdout

To see a more detailed explenation run chacha20 help.


The key and IV is expected/generated in base64 format. The key and IV sizes respectively are 32 and 12 bytes.

The ciphertext input and output is raw binary data. You can encode this to text formats if you want with whatever tool you choose (Example with base64 below.)


Encrypting and decrypting a string to binary with randomly generated keys

$ echo "Hello world!" | chacha20 e 2>keys.cck > output.cc20
$ chacha20 d $(cat keys.cck) < output.cc20
Hello world!

The same but with text instead of binary ciphertexts

$ echo "Hello world!" | chacha20 e 2>keys.cck | base64 > output.cc20.b64
$ cat output.cc20.b64 | base64 --decode | chacha20 d $(cat keys.cck)
Hello world!


GPL'd with <3