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My friend's PC (and a UPS without cords) was confiscated by the Finnish Police. The OS is Ubuntu 10.04.3. The cops complained that the hard disk was "encrypted", although it was a fresh installation nothing extra added.

Is the stuff on the disk encrypted or is it just digital illiteracy of the Finnish Police?

And now you're asking, what was "the crime"? They were looking for "herbs". Nothing was found. ;-)

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May be he chose encryption with LVM. – TiCL Oct 6 '11 at 9:17
@slhck Thanks a lot. – Aki Oct 6 '11 at 9:58
They were looking for digital herbs or something, because I have never seen any physical object, stored as 1's and 0's. – Ramhound Oct 6 '11 at 12:18
i stash all of my hash in my floppy drive. – kobaltz Oct 6 '11 at 12:39
A Finnish police chief caught driving while stoned to the marrow. – Aki Oct 6 '11 at 14:17
up vote 4 down vote accepted

No, the typical Ubuntu installation uses the ext file system, in case of 10.04, it was ext4.

The default file system for installations of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is ext4, the latest version in the popular series of Linux extended file systems. ext4 includes a number of performance tuning changes relative to previous versions such as ext3, the file system used by default up to Ubuntu 9.04.

Unless your friend encrypted the drive on purpose, there was no encryption involved. Ubuntu 10.04 offers to encrypt the home folder, but it's something you have to choose to do (see the "… decrypt my home folder" option):

enter image description here

They probably tried to mount the drive in Windows, and due to Windows' missing native support of ext filesystems, they probably thought the drive was encrypted, as they couldn't see anything.

If they really want to read it, they'd probably need to look at this SU question: Does a ext4 reader for Windows exist? – or just mount the drive in a *nix machine.

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Doesn't Ubuntu offer to encrypt the /home partition during installation? – BennyInc Oct 6 '11 at 9:32
@BennyInc Yes, but the default is not to encrypt: Does Ubuntu encrypt the home folder by default?. I updated my answer. – slhck Oct 6 '11 at 9:39
Does encryption have a drastic effect on login/logout speed? – Aki Oct 6 '11 at 14:09
@Aki Haven't used it – you could probably ask a new question regarding that. Depends on what you define as "drastic" of course. – slhck Oct 6 '11 at 14:13
Logout took 130s. – Aki Oct 7 '11 at 12:27

By default it won't be encrypted, but your friend may have encrypted part or all of it, or certain applications may have encrypted storage.

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