"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert A. Heinlein)

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Installing TrueCrypt on EEEBuntu

Short after buying the EEEPC I also bought a 320 GB external USB hard disk to be used in support to EEEPC small internal drive. I decided (mainly because of my job) to secure, using cryptography, at least one disk partition. I'm not sure the cryptography settings I did choose would work against any professional hacker but they should be enough to stop  most 'curious' people who might, in any way, gain access to my disk . I decided to install TrueCrypt mainly because it's a multi-platform application so I could possibly prepare encrypted partitions to be used from both Linux and windows computers.
I first downloaded  truecrypt-6.1a-ubuntu-x86.tar.gz  (the x86 32bit ubuntu compiled version) from its site downloads page. then I extracted and executed the installation program ...
 tar -xvf truecrypt-6.1a-ubuntu-x86.tar.gz
The installation graphic user interface started and I simply had to click the 'Install TrueCrrypt' button and then agreed with the software license. Once installation was completed TrueCrypt icon was automatically placed in the 'other' folder.

 First encrypted volume creation
To prepare my first encrypted disk I first launched TrueCrypt, by clicking on its icon. Since I decided to encrypt a full partition of my external USB disk I selected the drive to be encrypted ('/dev/sdd3' in my case) using the 'Select device' button.

 After drive selection I started the volume creation wizard pressing the 'Create volume' button.

In the volume creation wizard windows I did chose the following options:
  • Encryption Options: I did choose 'AES' as encryption algorithm and 'RIPEMD_160' as hash algorithm
  • Volume Type: Standard True Crypt Volume 
  • True Crypt Volume Creation Wizard: Create a volume within a partition/drive
  • Volume password:I inserted my password here
  • Large Files: I will store files larger than 4 GB on the volume
  • Format Options: I did choose EXT3 Filesystem and left unchecked the 'Quick format' checkbox
  • Cross-Platform Support: I will mount the volume only on Linux (I'm not going to use it on windows)
At last I arrived in the 'Volume Format' window. Here the program asks you to move randomly the mouse pointer in order to generate a random numbers pool that will be used in volume encryption. I finally pressed the 'Format' button and disk formatting started, it took about one hour to fully prepare my 50GB partition.
Once prepared the disk TrueCrypt returned in its main program window where I eventually mounted it (after being asked for volume password) .