Encrypt a disk in Ubuntu Linux using Cryptsetup

LUKS Linux Unified Key Setup

Cryptsetup is a utility used to setup disk encryption and is based on the DMCrypt kernel module. It implements LUKS which is the standard for Linux hard disk encryption.

LUKS provides a standard on-disk-format and facilitates compatibility among distributions while also providing secure management of multiple user passwords. In contrast to existing solutions, LUKS stores all setup necessary setup information in the partition header, enabling the user to easily transport the data.

Today we will examine how to setup encryption on a 32GB SanDisk USB thumb-drive using Ubuntu Linux.

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Automatically boot your Linux system using rtcwake and a cronjob

rtcwake is a program that is part of the util-linux package, was developed by David Brownell and improved by Bernhard Walle. This command is used to put a Linux computer to sleep and automatically wake it up at a specified time.

This can be useful for automating tasks while also conserving power. I combined this with two simple cronjobs so that my work computer will boot up and shut itself down automatically throughout the week.

To schedule tasks and kickoff scripts in Windows, Microsoft provides Task Scheduler however on Linux we use cronjobs. I am running an Asus Z170-pro motherboard and this process worked without having to tinker with any of the advanced power management settings. Below we will look at the steps that I took to get this configured.

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Creating a RAMdisk

RAMdisks are virtual partitions that reside in memory except all data is lost when power is removed from the system. Reads and writes are lighting fast in comparison to standard mechanical and NAND based storage. There can be real performance benefits when used correctly.

Today we will review how to create one on using a Debian-based distribution.

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Setting up an nfs share

Network File System (nfs) is a distributed file system protocol used to access files over a network. In today’s  blog entry we will look at how to setup an nfs share on a Linux system and then mount it from an nfs client.

The two systems that we will be using today are both running Ubuntu 14.10.

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Essential Linux commands


Linux has a number of useful tools that will give you full visibility into the utilization of resources on your system

Below are some basic tools and commands that will get you started.
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