Linux Unified Key Setup

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The Linux Unified Key Setup, commonly known as LUKS, is a disk encryption specification created by Clemens Fruhwirth, originally intended for GNU/Linux.

LUKS specifies a platform-independent standard on-disk format for use in various security tools. It aims at giving disk encryption software a documented and compatible format. This not only facilitates compatibility and interoperability amongst various different software, but also assures that they all implement password management in a secure and documented manner.

The reference implementation for LUKS works on GNU/Linux and is based on an enhanced version of cryptsetup, using dm-crypt as the disk encryption back-end.

LUKS has been designed to conform to the TKS1 secure key setup scheme.

Supported Linux distributions

All the modern distributions have the LUKS tools but support for actually choosing and using it during installation is variable. These distributions will let you install Linux on a LUKS-encrypted LVM container as easy as marking a check-box:

These are NOT supported:

  • Mageia - It has a "expert" option for installing to a LUKS encrypted drive. So it is possible, it is just not easy.