Encrypt a Disk in Ubuntu 10.10 With Disk Utilities and Cryptsetup

Whats the best way to keep data safe and sound? Keep it unmounted from active filesystems, especially when a system is connected to the internet. Using an SD card, a thumb drive/USB stick, or even a rewritable CD will work great for this (though CD quality degrades - and DVD even more rapidly).

I will keep this pretty simple for folks who are new to Gnu/Linux and who may not be used to using terminals. If you are more experienced you will obviously know when/where you can make shortcuts!

Download Packages

Ubuntu 10.10 comes pre-packaged with Disk Utility, a pretty awesome User Interface for partition management, filesystem management, and, of course, disk encryption.

You will usually find it under System > Administration > Disk Utility. If it is not there, try:
 $ sudo apt-get install gnome-disk-utility
(Or install it with the Ubuntu Software Center.)

You will also need cryptsetup, which is used to encrypt block devices.
 $ sudo apt-get install cryptsetup
(Or, again, install it with the Ubuntu Software Center.)


Now, you can open Disk Utility and perform many different operations. BE SUPER CAREFUL!! Clicking the wrong button in here can easily destroy all your data.

Preparing the Filesystem

Now, insert whatever rewritable media you wish to turn into your encrypted drive. It can be a USB stick, an SD card of some sort, or an external hard drive.

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