Bitlocker is a harddrive encryption data protection tool which comes with Windows vista ultimate and 7. Does anyone know i an equivalent is used in Linux distros like fedora and ubuntu 10.10 ? If they are, can you point me to them?

Thanks in advance.


Last time I used Fedora (this was Fedora 9, YMMV), I had everything encrypted with LUKS and cryptsetup in a ext3 volume in my lvm volumes, and it did this quite well. If you want a bootable system with encrypted data hidden until a user opts to mount the right container (instead of blocking the boot process at the sake of preventing any unauthorized use like what I propose), the TrueCrypt solution mentioned above might be better. Anaconda (the Fedora installer) asked if I wanted it back then, and I tried it out of curiosity. I even hosed that laptop ages ago, and was still able to recover the data with a bootable Linux disk, so command fu, and remembering the key of course. TrueCrypt is also very well-tested, and has tons of cool features.


TrueCrypt is a free open-source alternative to Windows BitLocker. I would say that TrueCrypt is even better than BitLocker.

NOTE: This answer is out of date. TrueCrypt is no longer maintained or supported. Please consider alternative answers before using TrueCrypt.

  • 1
    TrueCrypt is the 'gold standard' for this task. – gbjbaanb Jan 25 '11 at 18:35
  • 4
    Be aware that TrueCrypt has a dangerous license. See lists.freedesktop.org/archives/distributions/2008-October/… – mattdm Jan 25 '11 at 18:50
  • @mattdm, hat post refers to the 2.5 version of the license, are you sure the concerns still exist for the current 3.0 version of the license? Do you have a more up-to-date reference? – Zoredache Jan 26 '11 at 8:10
  • @Zoredache — it does appear that they've changed the most egregious part.... – mattdm Jan 26 '11 at 13:52
  • This answer needs to be revised as TrueCrypt is not maintained, and has been replaced by BitLocker for Windows devices. – FilBot3 Aug 4 '14 at 4:12

Both Ubuntu 10.10 and Fedora 14 offer built-in disk encryption via dm-crypt/LUKS. I've used it on Fedora (to comply with my employer's mandated encryption for laptops), and found it happily painless and transparent. Basically, check the "encrypt this partition" checkbox in the installer, provide a passphrase, and there ya go.

Documentation for this feature in Fedora is at http://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/Fedora/14/html/Installation_Guide/encrypt-x86.html, with a lot of technical detail at http://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/Fedora/14/html/Installation_Guide/Disk_Encryption_Guide.html, and for Ubuntu, buried within https://help.ubuntu.com/10.10/installation-guide/amd64/module-details.html.

  • Doesn't Ubuntu do ecryptfs or something instead of LUKS? The way Ubuntu does encrypted home-directories differs significantly from what Fedora does. – wzzrd Jan 25 '11 at 21:45
  • It offers a whole host of options, but dm-crypt/LUKS is one of them; see the doc I linked to. But I freely admit that I've never set it up on Ubuntu. – mattdm Jan 25 '11 at 21:49
  • Setting up luks using the alternate-install disk is extremely easy, if you are setting up a single big root partition. It gets a bit trickier if you have a more complex partition layout in mind. – Zoredache Jan 26 '11 at 8:11

If you use Alternate Installer CD for Ubuntu, then it offers a whole-disk encrytion - which is completely separate from /home folder encryption. The partition type I see in gparted is crypt-luks.

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