I followed "possible duplicates" of my question but none of them cover full criteria that I need.

I'm having a Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 500 GB Ext. Drive, Seagate provided me with a backup and encryption software but I assume that it is Windows only. Now, my laptop is dual booted with Windows 7 and Ubuntu. So I want a security mechanism to protect my drive (and data in there) such that:

  • It works with Windows 7 as well as Ubuntu (11.04).
  • Requires a password to access the drive, being any of the two platform.
  • If inevitable, it may encrypt the data on the drive but not at the cost of slow I/O performance as my drive has mostly multimedia files stored in it, so I want fast access to the files even if it is encrypted.
  • It should prevent formatting or re-partitioning or any such task on the drive to unauthenticated user.

I know my requirements are higher especially because I want them to be cross-platform but I really don't want anyone to access my precious media collection without my permission. I considered BitLocker but I guess it won't work in Ubuntu as it works with Windows. Also, I don't know if it is a myth that: A large file takes same long time to get encrypted, and if it is true than that would be a troublesome since my drive has lot of data which might take couple of hours to get encrypted.

If possible, I'd prefer to have an open source solution, just in case I need to tweak it to my requirements.


  • There was a service I had come accross that could encrypt the whole volume and create a mountable volume. – user81157 May 13 '11 at 22:15

TrueCrypt comes to mind. It's open source and available for multiple systems. It won't meet your 4th criterion, but then nothing will.

Even if you can prevent someone from reformatting a drive you can't stop them from hitting it with a hammer.

  • Obviously, I can't give my drive a z-grade security, but like BitLocker prevents to boot from the encrypted drive (if user really wants) such a strong security would be great, otherwise, TrueCrypt is a viable option. – Kushal May 11 '11 at 6:38

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