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What I am trying to do

Create an encrypted arch linux setup using LUKS. Bootloader must be on USB.

QUESTION

Does the speed of USB-device matter? Does the system contiously use the bootloader to decrypt or is this done only at boot? If not - I take it it can be a slow process depending on the size of the harddrive. Will it matter greatly then?

Cheers

1 Answer 1

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Does the speed of USB-device matter?

It matters for the boot process itself. It has to load the bootloader, kernel and initramfs from USB, which can be several MB altogether, so it can make a difference of a few seconds.

Does the system contiously use the bootloader to decrypt

No. Usually you can pull the USB device out as soon as the first kernel message appears on the screen. That is, unless you also have keyfiles on the USB device, in which case you can pull it only after it passed the Initramfs / starting of services phase.

tl;dr it does not matter for the running system once it's booted

That said, I'm very happy I switched to a faster USB3 stick for booting, but I also use entire LiveCDs on that stick, where USB speed matters a lot more as the whole Live system is on USB in that case.

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