View Full Version : [ubuntu] Whole Drive Encryption on a USB thumbdrive?

December 7th, 2008, 01:45 AM
Hi guys. I want to install Ubuntu on a USB drive, and the normal recommendation for this is to use the usb-creator package on the normal CD. But I want to also do whole-drive encryption, preferably setting swappiness to be very low, on that same USB key. (Am I missing anything that would wreck my USB drive? For example, if the underlying stream cipher mode tended to rewrite half of the drive whenever a little change was made on disk, then it would be better to just avoid encryption.)

My biggest question, I guess, is "How?"

Encryption is normally provided by the alternate installer, so I'm downloading that right now. But why aren't we using the normal installers for USB drives anyway? There's got to be some reason, and if it's a serious issue with partitioning or something like that, I'd rather find out sooner than later.

Basically, I just like having an operating system that I know isn't compromised by a keylogger or a virus. Having Ubuntu on a thumb drive is already plenty satisfying for me, so encryption is not absolutely necessary, but it's a nice little extra bit of peace of mind. If it performs too horribly then I'll ditch the encryption part anyways, though.

Also, is there any word on the ease/difficulty of hosting an extra (unencrypted) fat32 partition on the USB drive? I still have to communicate with Windows computers every once in a while, and I like the idea that I could move files onto that partition from my main operating system, then transfer them to the Windows PC. And there's a plausible deniability bonus, but that's not really why I'm in this game.