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Thread: Encrypt /home - Uses CPU (Intel AES-NI), or software?

  1. #1
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    Question Encrypt /home - Uses CPU (Intel AES-NI), or software?

    I use a Core i7 which supports on-chip AES encryption.

    When I installed Ubuntu, I chose to encrypt /home.

    Is there any way to determine if Ubuntu is taking advantage of the hardware encryption, or using software-based encryption?

    More important (possibly), if anyone has any experience in this area, about how much faster is hardware-based encryption vs software-based. I saw some results from the Intel site, but I'm looking for something from someone who doesn't work at Intel.

  2. #2
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    Re: Encrypt /home - Uses CPU (Intel AES-NI), or software?

    At the moment (sorry, I've lost the reference), Ubuntu does not use hardware encryption because, surprisingly, it slows Ubuntu down.

    I believe that the developers are looking into the issue.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Encrypt /home - Uses CPU (Intel AES-NI), or software?

    Well that's good to know, actually

    I'm looking to encrypt part of a drive on another computer whose CPU doesn't support AES-NI. At least I know it can't be much slower than encrypting/decrypting on my current laptop.

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    Re: Encrypt /home - Uses CPU (Intel AES-NI), or software?

    Quote Originally Posted by lookitseman View Post
    I'm looking to encrypt part of a drive on another computer whose CPU doesn't support AES-NI. At least I know it can't be much slower than encrypting/decrypting on my current laptop.
    Well, that depends on the CPU, of course. However, an older laptop that I have appears to run just as fast on one (encrypted) user as on another (unencrypted) one.

    If this answers your question, please mark it as solved.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Encrypt /home - Uses CPU (Intel AES-NI), or software?

    The bottleneck for disk encryption is nearly always the disk and not the CPU. You won't see much difference between AES/ non-AES.

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