How to create an encrypted partition?

I am trying to create an encrypted partition, and while I format it I get the option
to choose the partition type (fat/ext2/ext3/ext4/xfs/reiserfs/minix/ntfs). Is there any benefit of choosing one filesystem over the others if I want my partition to have strong encryption?

Also, could you recommend an easy-to-use encryption app, and give instructions on how to create an encrypted partition?

Asked By: david25


You don’t really go into details of what your use case is so I’ll just highlight the built in encryption features:

Ubuntu has built in support for an encrypted Private directory that might meet your needs, or you can set up encrypted home directories.

Answered By: Jorge Castro

I suggest you use the Alternate Installer, which is able to encrypt the whole disk except the /boot partition.

Answered By: Tomasz ZieliƄski

Deprecated answer

left around for historical purposes.

TrueCrypt is no longer actively maintained, although there are alternative products/projects… The dust hasn’t truly settled yet as far as I am aware.

truecrypt is more operating system angostic than some other solutions. if you need portability across os that is a good idea. as to filesystems, this too comes down to portability. are you using it on only linux boxes? then ext4 with luks and full volume encryption is the recommendation…portability to an unmodified windows box? then ntfs with truecrypt

Answered By: RobotHumans

It’s probably best to use a built-in solution like eCryptFS or LUKS. For an explanation about using eCryptFS, see the sites Jorge points to.

LUKS encryption is easy to set up with the GNOME Disk Utility; just tick the encryption checkbox at the bottom of the “format partition” dialog:

Screenshot of Format Partition dialog

The difference between both is that eCryptFS encrypts files (including the filenames), while LUKS encrypts a complete partition under the filesystem level.

Ubuntu can then remember your password when mounting if you want, allowing you to just plug and play on your device after logging in.

Answered By: JanC

A very easy way of encrypting a folder is to use Cryptkeeper. It can be installed using the Synaptic Package Manager. You can then assign a password/phrase to any folder of choice. Running Cryptkeeper produces a set-of-keys icon in the control panel. Clicking on the icon lets you select the encrypted folder and provide the password in order to be able to access the files it contains. Details can be found at:

Answered By: CentaurusA

I believe the file system you use shouldn’t have too much impact either way on the security of your encrypted volume. Other factors, like the encryption/hash algorithm, will have a much more direct influence.

Picking the file system underneath has more to do with how you want to use the volume once it’s encrypted; if you’re using it on only Ubuntu and other Linux machines, ext3 and other Linux file systems would be a great choice.

If you have to access your volume on multiple platforms, something like NTFS or FAT32 would probably work best.

Answered By: Windigo

I recently setup a LUKS encrypted partition in my external hard drive. It works great. I use Kubuntu 10.04. Here are the steps I followed.

Answered By: EmreA

cryptmount is a better option. It will let you encrypt the whole partition or you can create an encrypted filesystem on a file. You can find more details at which I wrote two years ago

Answered By: binW