Encrypt External and Internal Disk in Linux  Step by Step Guide ▷ 2020

One of the aspects that we can take into account when strengthening the security of a Linux computer is to encrypt the hard drive. This is to make a codification in the information and thus the privacy of the data can be increased.

In this way, the work of intruders to enter our computer will be much more complicated. But you must bear in mind that to recover that information you do not have to forget your access code, since it will be impossible to access it.

In this post we will mention the steps that you will have to do to encrypt a Linux disk. We will also talk about the benefits of opting for this technology and the best tools for coding. Let us begin!

Steps to encrypt an external or internal hard drive on my Linux computer

Before we start we will use Ubuntu as the distribution for Linux, this does not mean that you cannot use another distro. You just have to keep in mind that the first step will change, since you will look for the update from another place to which we refer you, but the rest of the steps will be exactly the same.

Another prior clarification that we will tell you is that it is convenient that you make a backup of all important data so you don’t lose it, in case you make a mistake in the following steps.

Once everything is cleared up, we can begin. When you want to protect your information that you have saved on your hard drive, internal or external, of your Linux computer you will have to follow this guide:

Update the latest version of the distro

When using Ubuntu, you will need to have the latest official updated version of your ISO. For this, you will have to enter the Ubuntu official site with your browser and look for the latest update.

Download Ubuntu Latest Version

Download balenaEtcher

This tool will allow you to create a “USB “Bootable”, with which you can easily incorporate various ISO images. The steps you must follow are:

  • Choose the Ubuntu image you want to download.
  • Look for removable memory as the medium to store the ISO.
  • Finally, click on “Flash”.
  • Once you have done this, you will have correctly installed the Ubuntu image on the pendrive.

Download BalenaEtcher Linux

Set the BIOS

Set the BIOS

When you enter the BIOS from your computer, you must select the tab “BOOT”, then choose the option “Removable Devices”. This will make you have to choose that the computer’s boot order is first the removable memory in which you have the latest version of Ubuntu installed.

After a few seconds, a window with another type of interface will appear. In this case you must activate the boxes “Use LVM in Ubuntu installation” Y “Encrypt Ubuntu installation for greater security”.

Create special partitions

Create special partitions

If what you want is create certain partitions so that you can resize it or choose several partitions for Ubuntu at the same time, you must select the tool “More options”. With this you can activate the box that best suits your needs.

Choose the type of installation

Choose the type of installation

At this time you will have to define the volume for encryption, as well as the size of the installation. For this you will have to select in the box “Size” what you want and then in the field “Use how to choose the physical volume for encryption”.

Choose a security key

What remains to be done is to click on “To accept” in the previous window to save the changes you have made and thus have the possibility to continue with the entire installation process.

A window will appear in which you must choose the field “Encrypt Ubuntu installation” and look for the option “Install Now”. This will prompt you for a password to protect files in case you lose your computer.

Perform the installation

Perform the installation

What you will have to do is do the installation since you have all the previous steps defined. You will have to click on the option “Install Now” and after a few minutes you will have to establish your location, your name and password.

When you have finished writing all the requested data you will have to click on “Continue”.

Check the encryption

If you did all the steps correctly, you can validate the encryption by restarting the computer if it asks for a password you will have completed the entire process satisfactorily.

What are the benefits of keeping my physical disks encrypted?

When you encode your internal or external physical disks, you will be able to access certain benefits, which we will mention below:

  • All the information you have the you will keep locked, thus increasing the privacy of your data.
  • In case of loss or theft no person will be able to access important data without your authorization.
  • A little related to the previous point, Only people you trust can join your team.
  • Confidential data will be handled with caution and cannot be hacked, since no one will be able to find out about the information you have encrypted.
  • Allows you to destroy encrypted data. That is, by means of encryption no person will be able to access your data. In case you need to sell the equipment, you can format it and destroy private information, in this way no one can access your data by any technological means.

List of the best tools and programs to encrypt disks in Linux

There are different tools that will help you to encrypt the disks in Linux. We will show you below the most outstanding ones that you can find today:


This tool allows you to provide a format that is standard to make it easier for Linux distributions to be compatible. It has the advantage that it allows the user to migrate the data between different configurations only with the partition header. It is open source and it is not recommended to use this tool on an operating system other than Linux.

Download LUKS Linux


It is also open source software and can be used both in Linux as in Windows and MacOS. It is considered by many as one of the best programs to encrypt discs, since it is based on the famous TrueCrypt container. This allows the functions to be much simpler and you can use hidden volumes.

Download Ciphershed Linux


It is also based on TrueCrypt. Its algorithms allow systems to be encrypted in a very simple way, making them immune to brute force attacks by hackers.

While the encryptions take a bit longer than other tools, this is because it performs more iterations than the rest, making the result much more secure and reliable. It is available for Linux, MacOS, and Windows.

Download VeraCrypt Linux

Crypt AES

It could not miss this powerful one that offers the protection of the most complete information and privacy according to many. It allows you to encrypt the entire disk as well as protect data from storage you can have in the cloud.

It is an open source tool like almost all other Linux tools, it provides the user with an important safeguard for their private data. The distribution of the license is free.

Download Crypt AES Linux


It is another open source tool that manages to encrypt the files you have in a company. In this way you will have the possibility of having all the data handled by the company by means of access passwords, so that no user who is not authorized can enter them.

Download eCryptfs Linux

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will surely be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

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