You can no longer choose to encrypt your home directory with the Ubuntu 18.04 installer. Why?

The official release notes for Ubuntu 18.04 state:

The installer no longer offers the encrypted home option using ecryptfs-utils. It is recommended to use full-disk encryption instead for this release.

Why? Some people claim that computers are now so fast that it doesn't matter. This is simply not true.

  • My Android tablet with full encryption is ~40% slower on read and ~15% slower on write actions.
  • My Atom laptop with LUKS seems fine with simple tasks, but adds a ~40% CPU overhead in I/O. Why would I want this performance penalty while gaming and the game is streaming levels and textures from storage?

Encrypting the full disk does not seem necessary. The operating system and software packages are publicly available, they are not private.

I'm assuming there are other good and more specific reasons. I'd like to know them.

  • 3
    I know that there have been problems (bugs) with encrypted home, maybe particularly with cryptswap, which is bundled with it. Last time I tested it, things seemed to work, but I think that the security level of encrypted home is lower than that of LVM with LUKS encryption. I don't know how well encrypted home is maintained nowadays. I think the decision was to focus on the method, that has a higher level of security and reliability. You can still use encrypted home, but you have to configure it manually.
    – sudodus
    May 1, 2018 at 12:57
  • See this link, Ubuntu 17.10 to 18.04 encrypted /home
    – sudodus
    May 1, 2018 at 12:59
  • 1
    If you don't use full-disk encryption, anyone with access to the computer or your hard drive can simply change anything in e.g. '/usr/bin` to do what he wants.
    – pLumo
    Aug 21, 2019 at 12:19


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