Full disk encryption: Key on USB storage device

Fred Roller froller at tnclimited.com
Tue Feb 9 16:52:13 UTC 2010

Jens Müller wrote:
> I want to encrypt my Netbooks HDD.
> If I understand 
> http://kuparinen.org/martti/comp/ubuntu/en/cryptolvm.html correctly, 
> that is possible with the Alternate install CD.
> But what I miss: Is it possible to put the key file onto a USB stick so 
> that it is loaded automatically from there at boot time? Long time ago, 
> I looked at the Gentoo initrd script, which apparently supports this.
> A bit more sophisticated: Is it possible to put the whole boot partition 
> including the key file onto a USB drive?
> I also found https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SmartCardLUKSDiskEncryption, which 
> sounds nice. Are there such smartcards in the form of a self-contained 
> USB device which I can put on my keyring?
> Thanks,
> Jens
Similar to your request, when I set up my netbook I used an second SD 
card and during the install did a custom mount.

    external SD mounted to / [root]
    internal SD mounted to /home

was just playing with a similar solution where my "boot disk" was on a 
mini sd.  It worked just fine and easily.  Don't imagine yours would 
cause you any trouble if you added the encryption.  Hope this helps.  My 
work was done on an Acer Aspireone.


"Life is like linux, simple.  If you are fighting it you are doing something wrong."

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