LUKS Encrypted Disks under Ubuntu 10.10

By | April 2, 2011

This posting is mostly just a reference for myself since I don’t do this often enough for me to have it memorized.  These are the steps I use to create LUKS encrypted disks to use as a backup target that I can take off-site.  Since they’re off site and stored in my desk where others may have access to the disks, I want to make sure that I’m the only one with access to the data.  I use bare OEM style hard drives in a Thermaltake BlacX hard drive docking station.  I have one at home and one at the office.

Before I store a backup on a disk, it needs to be set it up for LUKS encryption.  This posting explains that part of the process.

WARNING:  Following these steps will erase disks and lose data!

Consider yourself duly warned.  I also do everything from the command line except the final steps.  There are GUI tools to do this as well, but the command line is much quicker for me.

To start, I load a drive into the dock and power it up.  In this case, the drive I’m loading is a 500G Maxtor drive.

From a shell window, I issue the ‘dmesg’ command to determine which drive it came up as:

So it came up as /dev/sdi.  This particular disk I was once using with Fedora before I switched over to using Ubuntu, so I know there are partitions on it.  I’ll need to get rid of those first using fdisk, and then create a single new partition on it:

So now the disk is ready.  Set up the encryption.

And thats it.  At this point, I turn off the drive, wait a few seconds, and then turn it back on and Gnome automatically prompts me to unlock the volume:


After entering the correct password, it will automatically mount using the volume label I specified, backups01, and appear in the file manager, ready to use.  When finished using the volume, I use the Nautilus “eject” button to unmount the drive and its ready to be taken off-site.

There are many ways to set up encrypted volumes, this way is the best, easiest and most convenient for me.

3 thoughts on “LUKS Encrypted Disks under Ubuntu 10.10

  1. Pingback: Existing LUKS Partition and New Primary Boot Drive on Ubuntu 14.04 | Marc's Mind

  2. Pingback: Mount LUKS encrypted hard drive at boot - TecHub

  3. Pingback: Mount LUKS encrypted hard drive at boot – Internet and Tecnnology Answers for Geeks

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