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How to set up an encrypted filesystem in several easy steps

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HowTos

There's been a lot of talk lately about encrypted partitions, and Debian is proud to offer a feature to easily create them in the etch installer since beta3. But what about existing systems? This guide walks you through setting up an encrypted partition using cryptsetup and LUKS.

Introduction

This guide will walk you through the creation of an encrypted filesystem using LUKS. LUKS is the Linux Unified Key Setup and is a standard format for linux hard disk encryption. It has a lot of interesting features such as using a key on a removable disk, keeping multiple keys, and more. This is the technology used by the Debian Installer (since etch beta3) and is quickly becoming a standard in the linux world.

Who this guide is for

This guide is for anyone who wants to secure their data using an encrypted partition. While it is tailored to users of Debian, it should apply elsewhere in the linux world. This guide is intended to add an encrypted device to an existing install, if you are contemplating a fresh install, the Debian Installer will configure encrypted filesystems for you.

Ready? Then let's begin

Prepare the partition (or other block device) to be used

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