Home > Fedora Docs, Security > Encrypting your Home Partition

Encrypting your Home Partition

One of my passions is testing security “stuff”. When I stumbled upon the draft version of the Encryption and Privacy Guide on the Fedora Project Wiki I just had to give it a shot. As you may have heard, stolen laptops has become a big problem to corporate America. But it really isn’t the laptop that is the problem, even though it is a headache, but rather the data that is stored on the laptop. Hard drive encryption is a must in today’s world and that solution can be pretty expensive depending on what commercial solution you use… unless you are running Fedora.

I was in the process of migrating from Fedora 7 to Fedora 8 (F8) along with reinstalling Windoze XP (dual-boot) on my laptop. (Yes, I have all but migrated off of Windows for all my computing needs.) I had already transferred all my data off so I didn’t have to worry about loosing anything. I did a custom partition map when installing F8 making sure it included a separate /home partition. After doing the F8 installation I went back and followed the instructions to encrypt the partition. Whoever put the note in saying that the writing of the pseudo-random data to the partition would take all night wasn’t exaggerating. But the rest of the steps went right through with no problems.

During the process I did some research and discovered you can actually set multiple keys to access this encrypted partition, meaning you can have multiple users use the computer, have access to /home, and as long as the permissions are set correctly in the /home directory everyone’s data should be secure.

So if you are in the process of reloading your Fedora install or need to put an additional layer of security on your system, it would appear this is the way to go. As always, remember to have a good backup!

Categories: Fedora Docs, Security
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