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I had to mount an encrypted external hdd using the command-line earlier this evening. Thanks to these instructions I was successful, but I'm left wondering what the-b switch for the udisksctl command does. I looked through the man page and there's no mention of it. Is it to signal that what's being decrypted is a block device?

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The -b (--block-device) option is for choosing a block device like /dev/sdb1. You can find this out by typing udisksctl unlock --help for instance; replace unlock with mount, unmount and lock and you will see the -b option is used in the same way for all 4 cases.

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The udisks command line tool udisksctl is a command-line program used to interact with the udisksd(8) daemon process.The -b option denotes a block-device like /dev/sdb1

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