How to encrypt a USB Flash Drive in Ubuntu using LUKS

We lose USB Flash drives all the time, so if you hold any sensitive or personal stuff, you’d better have it encrypted, just in case.

Important Notes:

  1. This works only on Linux, won’t work on Windows or MAC
  2. Before you start the encryption, make sure to backup all your existing data on the flash drive, because the process will wipe it.
  3. You won’t be able to read your data on Windows or MAC
  4. If you lose your password, forget about your data

Let’s get going then. The steps are pretty simple:

  1. Open the “Disks” application:
    disks_app
  2. Select your flash drive (mine is the SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 above)
  3. Press Ctrl + Shift + F to start the formatting process
  4. In the Type field, choose “Encrypted”
  5. Fill in the remaining fields, e.g.
    2
  6. Click “Format”
    3
  7. Confirm by clicking “Format” again
  8. That’s it. You’re Done!4

Now, whenever you insert and try to mount your flash drive in any Linux computer, the following dialogue will automatically appear:

5

Enter your password and then you will be able to use the flash drive.

Tested on Linux Mint 18.1 (based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS).

Enjoy!

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About SoCRaT

Research Support and Infrastructure Engineer, OSS & Linux Geek
This entry was posted in Linux, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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