Linux platform only
You can use the disk utility that comes installed with Ubuntu by default.
Install the cryptsetup package:
sudo apt-get install cryptsetup
If the gnome-disk-utility package is not installed:
sudo apt-get install gnome-disk-utility
Some things to have in mind prior:
- Any data that is on the partition will get erased
- This is NOT suitable for a partition that is running your current OS
- Again, back up everything and be sure to format the correct drive!
Creating a new encrypted partition:
Start the Disk Utility:
- Make sure you identify the proper drive in the left hand panel.
- If needed, create empty space on the disk by resizing/deleting partitions.
- In the
Volumes graphic overview, click the appropriate empty block.
- Click Create partition to create the partition to be encrypted.
- Check Encrypt underlying device.
They will then prompt you for a password. Chose a decent password - your encryption will only be as strong as your password. It is probably also safer not to store the password, choose the option
Forget password immediately.
Encrypting an existing partition
- Select the partition that you want to get encrypted
- Make sure that it is not mounted by pressing on the "stop" button
- Click the "gear" icon under the partition and choose Format...
- Select the type Encrypted, compatible with Linux systems (LUKS + Ext4)
- Enter a name to distinguish the partition
Enter your passphrase to encrypt it and confirm it
For higher security, if you have have any existing data in this partition, select the erase option. You can overwrite existing data with zeroes, but this could take several hours depending on the disk.
Format it and wait until it finish in a couple of minutes!
Using your encrypted partition
Once your partition is formatted, it will be encrypted.
In fact, you have two partitions, a container partition and the encrypted partition.
Disk Utility will show them above each other when the volume is unlocked.
From the Disk Utility, you can lock and unlock the volume by selecting the partition with the little lock and clicking
Lock Volume or
Make sure that you leave it closed/locked before unmounting the system, otherwise you will get an error. Also, with two partitions, you will have to unmount both before being able to safely remove the drive.
In the Disk Utility, there also is a button
Change passphrase, which works much faster than the initial formatting.
From Nautilus, you can mount and unmount the encrypted volume almost like a normal external USB drive or memory stick, except that you will be prompted for the password.