Setting Up LUKS Encryption on Ubuntu

Introduction to LUKS Encryption

LUKS (Linux Unified Key Setup) is a disk encryption specification that provides a standard format for encrypting partitions on Linux. By encrypting your data with LUKS, you can ensure that it remains secure, even if your device is lost or stolen.

1. Install Required Packages

Before setting up LUKS encryption, ensure that the required packages are installed:

1user@machine:~$ sudo apt install cryptsetup

2. Partitioning the Disk

If you haven't already done so, create the partition that you want to encrypt using a tool like Disks or a command line tool such as fdisk or parted.

Please note that this cannot be performed on your running Ubuntu storage device, only an additional storage device. If disk encryption is required on the same disk as the running operating system, this would require Ubuntu to be reinstalled and disk encryption selected during installation.

3. Setting Up LUKS Encryption

Once the partition is created, you can set up LUKS encryption on it. Replace /dev/nvme1n1p1 with your partition:

1user@machine:~$ sudo cryptsetup luksFormat /dev/nvme1n1p1

You will be prompted to enter a passphrase. This passphrase will be used to unlock the encrypted partition.

4. Opening the Encrypted Partition

After formatting the partition with LUKS, open it using the following command:

1user@machine:~$ sudo cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/nvme1n1p1 my-encrypted-partition

Replace /dev/nvme1n1p1 with the path to your encrypted partition and my-encrypted-partition with a name of your choice.

5. Creating a File System

Once the encrypted partition is opened, you can create a file system on it. For example, to create an ext4 file system:

1user@machine:~$ sudo mkfs.ext4 /dev/mapper/my-encrypted-partition

6. Mounting the Encrypted Partition

Create a mount point for the encrypted partition and mount it:

1user@machine:~$ sudo mkdir /mnt/my-encrypted-partition
2user@machine:~$ sudo mount /dev/mapper/my-encrypted-partition /mnt/my-encrypted-partition

7. Testing

To verify that the encrypted partition is working correctly, create a test file on it:

1user@machine:~$ sudo touch /mnt/my-encrypted-partition/test-file

If you can create and access files on the encrypted partition without any issues, then the setup is successful.


You have successfully set up a LUKS encrypted partition on your Ubuntu system. Your data on the encrypted partition is now protected with strong encryption, providing an additional layer of security against unauthorised access. Make sure to safely store your encryption passphrase in a secure location, as it will be required to unlock the encrypted partition whenever you need to access it.