How can I verify if a hard drive is encrypted in Fedora 20?

If not, does it mean I have to re install Fedora to encrypt it?


Assuming that the drive is /dev/sdb, and the partition you want to check is /dev/sdb1, run this command:

$ blkid /dev/sdb1

the output will change if the partition is encrypted or not:

/dev/sdb1: UUID="xxxxxxxxxxxx" TYPE="crypto_LUKS"   #encrypted
/dev/sdb1: UUID="xxxxxxxxxxxx" TYPE="ext4"          #not encrypted, fs is ext4

If the partition is not encrypted, and assuming that you are NOT trying to encrypt the / partition, you have to:

  • Make a backup of the data on that partition
  • Initialize the partition as encrypted

    $ cryptsetup luksFormat /dev/sdb1

BEWARE: this command will wipe all the contents of the partition!!! It will ask you for a passphrase to open the volume; now if you try to run blkid, the output should be TYPE="crypto_LUKS"

  • Open the encrypted partition to use it

    $ cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sdb1 secret

where "secret" is the name of the volume we are opening

  • Format the new "secret" volume

    $ mkfs.ext4 /dev/mapper/secret
  • Mount it providing the passphrase created before

    $ mount /dev/mapper/secret /whereyouwant

    Now you should be able to use the encrypted partition!

Optionally, if you want to mount it at reboot, you should edit /etc/crypttab and insert a line similar to this (it will request the password at boot):

secret /dev/sdb1 none

Where secret is the name of the volume we created before.

Or something like this, if you want to put your password in some plain text file:

secret /dev/sdb1 /whereyouwant-sdb1-luks-pwdfile

Just keep in mind for this, you also have to add the key:

$ cryptsetup luksAddKey /dev/sdb1 /whereyouwant-sdb1-luks-pwdfile

And edit the /etc/fstab and insert a line similar to this:

/dev/mapper/secret /whereyouwant ext4 defaults 1 2
  • many thanks, but what should I do if I need the whole disk be encrypted. – Olga Jan 9 '14 at 13:26
  • Just repeat the blkid /dev/sdbx command for each partition. – ludiegu Jan 9 '14 at 13:36
  • it's obvious =), I mean what to do if I need to encrypt the whole disk. To reinstall Fedora and chose encrypted LVM during installation will be the only option? – Olga Jan 9 '14 at 13:39
  • Sorry, my bad :) Yes, the only option is to reinstall Fedora, sadly. – ludiegu Jan 9 '14 at 13:41
  • yeah, sadly. Many thanks for the information, ludiegu. – Olga Jan 9 '14 at 13:48

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