I'm using ubuntu 9.10. The system is installed on one partition, and my /home folder is on another partiton. I'm looking for a way to encrypt both partitions in Ubuntu 9.10, I'm NOT looking for encryption of specific files.

I know that truecrypt does that, and that Ubuntu offers some sort of home folder encryption. I'm here because I have no idea of what works best. What are my options? Which one is light on system resources (I'm running a netbook)?

I'm dualbooting with vista, and I'd rather not have to encrypt the vista partition (yes, I know I'd still have to type the password for grub to load).

Thanks in advance.

EDIT: I misstyped the question initially. I want to encrypt the entire /home partition, NOT just specific files.

FINAL: I decided to go with this method. It's working well so far, and providing whole partiton encryption with no hassle.

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    Your first sentence is paradoxical. Whole root partition or specific files? – Vikrant Chaudhary Jan 28 '10 at 12:53
  • I'm not sure I understand the paradox, but I'll specify. I have a partition for my /home folder and another for the / folder (and everything inside). I'd like to encrypt both partitions, but encrypting just the /home partition is fine as well. – Malabarba Jan 28 '10 at 14:36
  • ok, I see what you meant. I missed a "not" in there. Just fixed it. – Malabarba Jan 28 '10 at 14:39

I would suggest you make life slightly easier by encrypting your home directories rather than home partition, and ecryptfs would be the best tool to do this.

If you do wish to encrypt your entire home partition, this article shows how to dot using LUKS, DM-Crypt and cryptsetup. I can't vouch for the performance, but from what I've seen of most Linux solutions, they are quite usable even on older machines.

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Try using ecryptfs. It is very easy to set-up and works seamlessly in Ubuntu. Start here - https://help.ubuntu.com/community/EncryptedPrivateDirectory

For encryption of home directory, select Require my password to log in and to decrypt my home folder while installing Ubuntu.

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I use encfs under Ubuntu on several machines including a netbook, and notice no slowdown at all. It works as a nested fuse filesystem, basically encrypting a directory and allowing it to be mounted in another directory. There are also tools available to auto-mount this at login, etc. TrueCrypt offers something similar, where you can create an encrypted container and mount it as well. I find both methods quite light on processor usage.

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  • Sorry, this addresses individual directories as initially specified. – Nerdfest Jan 28 '10 at 16:32

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