Initialize an encrypted external HDD or USB key


  • an external hdd or usb key already partitioned
  • cryptsetup


First format the partition:

cryptsetup luksFormat /dev/<partition>

Now we have a fresh new luks volume. Let’s open it:

cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/<partition> <my_alias>

The volume should be available under /dev/mapper/<my_alias>

Create a filesystem inside the volume:

mkfs.ext4 /dev/mapper/<my_alias>

Perfect. Now close the lurks volume:

cryptsetup luksClose <my_alias>

Initialization is done. Next time you will connect your device your file manager should prompt a pop-up asking the passphrase of your key.

Further Reading and sources

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