Home > FreeBSD > GBDE-GEOM Based Disk Encryption on FreeBSD GBDE-GEOM Based Disk Encryption on FreeBSD Submitted by Arjan van Leeuwen 2003-09-28 FreeBSD 17 Comments Poul-Henning Kamp has uploaded his paper about the new GEOM-based disk encryption service in FreeBSD, which is a good read for everyone with an interest in information security and encryption. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 17 Comments 2003-09-28 7:07 pm Kamp is a great guy, he gave a speech at the danish linuxforum last year about freebsd 5.0. It included a little bit about GEOM. GEOM looks nice but I wonder a disc encrypted with it can be decrypted by say a Linux disc encryption. They use the same algorithms but I’m not sure they work the same way. 2003-09-28 7:58 pm Can this be used on an existing file system.. So if I upgrade from FreeBSD 4.8 to FreeBSD 5.x can I apply this to my old file system? 2003-09-28 8:26 pm Cool stuff for sure. 2003-09-28 10:07 pm I wonder if/how long until things like this get ported to DragonFly. DragonFly is already looking like it will be a very cool little system and with things like this sort of disk encryption system, TrustedBSD MAC Framework etc. added to it could make it even better. I haven’t got a good idea how easy (or not so easy) it’ll be to port GBDE specifically to the system that the DragonFly folks are working towards though. This particular thing they might have to redo from scratch. Anyone with a better idea care to enlighten me? 2003-09-28 10:08 pm Why the hell would anyone want to use a Linux disk encrypter on a FreeBSD file system? For that matter why the hell would anyone want to use anything remotely related to Linux:P Ill stick with FreeBSD thank you and i hope this file system encryption is built into the base system soon. 1. GBDE is filesystem-independent, so you can also encrypt a Linux filesystem with it. 2. GBDE is already in the base system. 2003-09-28 10:10 pm The way I understand it from just a brief look at it is that you can apply this to your existing system and it is also agnostic of which file system you use underneath. You could even encrypt a CD AFAIK. Extremely cool and useful technology, far ahead of the other free systems. 2003-09-28 10:28 pm “Information is by its very nature free. Nearly ALL encryption is breakable*, which to me proves that information is inherently free — all of our manmade attempts to confine information have failed or will at some time fail given adequate time and technology.” YEAH! OH! OH! OH! And let’s give captured murderers and rapists hand grenades so that they can escape their unjust confinement. I mean hey, the fact that prisons can be escaped from justifies the view that all prisoners should be free. The whole concept of prisons is completely backwards. 2003-09-28 10:37 pm OK then. So be it. Why don’t you tell me your Social Security Number, your Credit Card Number, your health data, all logins and passwords to places you visit online and other such information. What? You don’t want to? But information wants to be FREEE!!111 </sarcasm> 2003-09-28 10:39 pm “Society definitely does not benefit from incarceration as a means of punishment.” Not the prevalent forms no, and there is certainly room for improvement. Keeping prisoners separate from each other so that prison doesn’t turn into a school for criminals for example, and not giving them more food than they need to survive and be healthy (and certainly not the variety of foods that they have, many eat better than I do). Make prisons a less atractive option than being a productive little monkey without being inhumane may well work towards the “repeat offender phonomenon.” It’s not the idea that is flawed, it’s the implementation. 2003-09-28 10:44 pm “It’s not the idea that is flawed, it’s the implementation.” Just like Linux 2003-09-28 10:44 pm The paper by phk is quite interesting. 2003-09-28 10:46 pm its amazing how, compared to 1984 say, we realise the anavoidable truth that information and politics (the noble politics, not the electioneering) are inseperable. information, access to information, control over information will be the new wealth. and right now, we are devoid of any real serious discussion for creating a political framework for dealing with it. how do we create a nice society that lives nicely with the elevated status of information? instead, the big corporations, realising this, are trying to get to the gold rush first, DMCA and so on… 1984 pun intended 2003-09-28 10:59 pm tech_user completely hit the nail on the head. Information access is the new wealth. To me it is sad that knowledge, the object of the most noble pursuits, will without a doubt become commodity. It will be the oil of tomorrow — I have no doubt that we will even see wars of which the main conflict involves information access. Richard Stallman was keen to recognize this: what is important is the freedom of access, not necessarily the freedom of the information itself. It follows that if we have completely free and open lines of communication that the information will become free. However upon examining the inverse statement, that if information is free then information channels will become free, it can be seen that it isn’t necessarily true. I can claim that some information is free when you don’t have access to the data line over which it is transmitted. Obviously this sort of information may be ‘free’, but it’s completely useless. What is important, and what the GPL sets out to accomplish, is that the channels over which information flows are completely unrestricted and free. Unfortunately today this isn’t even the case, with things like the DMCA and the general lack of internet access among the poor. Telecommunication companies control the flow of information today — their influence on our daily lives will be growing in the following decades no doubt, unless we take the initiative to have free information channels, perhaps mandated and maintained by our taxes. This to me is the only way we can avoid plunging into a recession of ideas thoughts and knowledge. 2003-09-28 11:04 pm “I can’t think of an illness for which the cure is being locked in a box.” Never claimed it was a cure. Just the best we can do at the moment, for all I know that is. Just the same, if ever I have important information on my computer, I’d be happier if it were encrypted. If ever I had children, I’d prefer that muderers and rapists be locked up nice and secure instead of waiting for some future cure for what ails them. It’s not a perfect world, and I doubt it ever will be. 2003-09-29 12:21 am Encryption is just a technology, it can be used for good or evil depending on the user. As long as there are private thoughts there will be valid uses for encryption (like diaries to give a silly example). As for incarceration, not all people can be cured today and that leaves us with 2 options : prisons that protect us from these people (and them from themselves) or death/mutilation, which is what we did before we invented the ‘cruel’ prison system. 2003-09-29 4:07 am good to see someone else thinking urgently about this too. thanks for the new perspective – i hadn’t thought of the distinction between the _channels_ of comminication possibly being more important than the information itself. 2003-09-29 1:56 pm Let’s stay on topic shall we … I greatly enjoy debates on issues such as confinement and death penalty, but this is hardly the place for them! Now, back on topic. The papers are extremely interesting. I for one like my security .