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What encryption is used in a default Ubuntu full hard drive encryption and is it possible to specify another?

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Probably AES256 (as I could figure out from https://help.ubuntu.com/community/EncryptedHome)

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Apparently it uses an XTS-AES (AES-cipher) with a hash algorithm sha1 (256bit key-size) by default, using Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS). You should be able to change this manually somewhere in the Ubiquity scripts, when the command cryptsetup is used.

Type in man cryptsetup for more information.

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