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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.
    Full system encryption with dual-boot —— Full Circle Magazine —— Problems with WINE?
    In my day, we had the outdoors in which to run, play, and socialise. Now people use computers for that.

  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.

  4. #4
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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.
    Full system encryption with dual-boot —— Full Circle Magazine —— Problems with WINE?
    In my day, we had the outdoors in which to run, play, and socialise. Now people use computers for that.

  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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