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Store, encrypt and decrypt files to and from encrypted, authenticated containers.

Project description

pypi license travis appveyor

nescient, n. (nesh-int) - from Latin ‘unknowing’, ‘hidden’

Store, encrypt and decrypt files to and from encrypted, authenticated containers.

Nescient provides an easy-to-use, secure, and efficient means of file or memory level encryption.

Several use cases include:

  • Backing up multiple files to a reliable yet insecure location.
  • Providing additional, file-level encryption to supplement full disk encryption, securing packed files even while the machine is on with the disk-level encryption key loaded in memory.
  • Sharing files with others securely, by transferring a Nescient container through an insecure channel and providing a password through a separate secure channel.
  • Using Nescient’s cryptographic classes to efficiently implement secure protocols.

Nescient is:

  • open source: It is licensed under the permissive MIT license.
  • multiplatform: As a Python project, Nescient works on all the major operating systems (Windows, macOS, and Linux)
  • transparent: The means with which Nescient encrypts and packs files is documented, and the algorithms used are tested both against official test vectors and arbitrary data to ensure correctness.
  • fast: All core crypto code is written in Cython and compiled to C extensions, making it fast enough to be practically usable for large files. The fastest cipher modes achieve speeds of 10 cycles/byte.

Nescient supports the following packing modes:

  • The AES block cipher for encryption, with either 128, 192, or 256 bit keys, in CBC mode, and SHA-256 for generating authentication tags.
  • The ChaCha20 stream cipher with 256 bit keys and SHA-256 for generating authentication tags.



Nescient is available as a pre-packaged, standalone Windows executable, downloadable from the github releases. The executable can be used in GUI-mode, by double-clicking, or can be run with command line arguments.

From PyPI

Nescient requires Python 3.4 or later.

Windows users installing Nescient as a Python package are strongly suggested to have a 64-bit Python installation on their machines. Otherwise, installation may require installing the Microsoft C++ Visual Build Tools to compile Nescient’s C extensions.

Install Nescient from the Python Package Index (PyPI) by running pip install nescient.


  • On most Linux systems, installation may require running pip with root permissions, or running pip install nescient --user instead.
  • On most Linux systems, there may be two versions of pip available: The Python 3 version is typically called pip3.

From Releases

An arbitrary stable (not development) release can be installed from the github releases by downloading the zip archive and running pip install <path-to-zip.

From latest source

Clone or download the git repo, navigate to the directory, then run:

python3 sdist
cd dist
pip install Nescient-<version>.tar.gz

Installing from source may require installing compilation tools.


Nescient has a GUI mode, which can be run by simply running nescient-ui, or nescient with no arguments.

Nescient can pack or unpack files into/from .nesc containers. Some typical usage might be:

nescient pack file1 file2

nescient unpack file1.nesc

Unless otherwise specified via command line flags, Nescient packs and unpacks files in place, overwriting their data.

Command line help can be viewed with nescient -h.


Nescient versioning functions on a MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH.[DEVELOP] model. Only stable, non development releases will be published to PyPI. Because Nescient is still a beta project, the MAJOR increment will be 0. Minor increments represent new features. Patch increments represent problems fixed with existing features.

Planned features include:

  • New cipher modes for existing algorithms, like the GCM authenticated mode, and additional encryption algorithms.
  • Integrated compression when packing files.
  • GUI mode enhancements.
  • Documentation.

Project details

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Files for Nescient, version 0.9.0
Filename, size & hash File type Python version Upload date
Nescient-0.9.0-cp35-cp35m-manylinux1_i686.whl (546.1 kB) View hashes Wheel cp35
Nescient-0.9.0-cp35-cp35m-manylinux1_x86_64.whl (570.0 kB) View hashes Wheel cp35
Nescient-0.9.0-cp35-cp35m-win32.whl (158.6 kB) View hashes Wheel cp35
Nescient-0.9.0-cp35-cp35m-win_amd64.whl (176.0 kB) View hashes Wheel cp35
Nescient-0.9.0-cp36-cp36m-manylinux1_i686.whl (553.4 kB) View hashes Wheel cp36
Nescient-0.9.0-cp36-cp36m-manylinux1_x86_64.whl (577.9 kB) View hashes Wheel cp36
Nescient-0.9.0-cp36-cp36m-win32.whl (159.2 kB) View hashes Wheel cp36
Nescient-0.9.0-cp36-cp36m-win_amd64.whl (177.0 kB) View hashes Wheel cp36
Nescient-0.9.0.tar.gz (233.6 kB) View hashes Source None

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