I am setting up a server in an office, and we want to encrypt the hard drive so that in the event of a physical breach, the data is secure. We initially used FileVault2, but since we need to be able to remote into the server, no services start until the hard disk is first unlocked. This poses a problem for our workflow. Is there a way to start specific services using the FileVault method, or is there a way to encrypt a user/file system, all their files and services (such as mysqld[plus the DB data itself] and VPN), yet still allow specific services to start up, such as httpd or sshd upon powering on the server?

Admins are not always present in the office, and having the bare minimum access to the service through remote access is optimal, and so far, the other solutions I've found are all full disk encryption.


You can store user accounts and service data on a secondary drive and encrypt that drive. That way you could still have the server restart after power failures and be able to remotely access it using ARD/SSH.

In addition, the encryption done on the secondary drive still uses FileVault 2 so it is natively supported by OS X.

  • When you say secondary drive, could that also mean a partition of the same drive, or does FileVault2 not allow that? I'll give it a try, and let you know what happens. Thanks for the help Phillip! – Nixopax Jul 25 '13 at 20:20
  • I believe you can encrypt on the volume level. But I'm not certain. If you're able to encrypt it you'll know by right-clicking on the volume you want to encrypt. – Phillip Boushy Jul 26 '13 at 17:12
  • P.S. Please make sure to backup prior to enabling encryption. You don't want the encryption process to make you lose data. – Phillip Boushy Jul 26 '13 at 17:13

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