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[Discuss] encrypted linux systems

Stephen Adler <adler at> writes:

> Hi,
> I've run across an interesting situation at where where I'm required to
> encrypt my desktop at home since it's owned by the government. Any
> advice on how to best setup an encrypted linux system? Preferably using
> some kind of encrypted hardware device which will not kill my disk IO
> rate?

Most modern distro's allow you to encrypt the drive when you install.
It uses dm-crypt, and in my experience I don't notice any significant
performance delays on my encrypted laptop.

Note that this will allow you to encrypt all partitions except your
/boot partition, because it does not contain a pre-boot module.  If you
care about encrypted pre-boot you could look into sometihng like PGP
Whole Disk Encryption for Linux which actually encrypts the whole drive,
not just partition-by-partition.

Also note that you cannot convert an existing linux system to dm-crypt,
however you *can* encrypt an existing system using PGP WDE.

> Thanks.


       Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
       URL:    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
       warlord at MIT.EDU                        PGP key available

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