[dm-crypt] Partition mandatory?

Milan Broz mbroz at redhat.com
Sun Jun 19 16:53:13 CEST 2011

On 06/19/2011 03:54 PM, Patrick wrote:
> The case : I want to encrypt a full USB disk and my question is : is
> it mandatory to have a partition existing on the device and to
> luskformat the partition? In other words, is it OK to luksformat the
> full device, without mentionning any partition? Is it off
> "standards"?

You can use whole device without partition table, there is no problem
in Linux. For LUKS it is just block device - it is not important
if it is partition or the whole device.

There is only one situation, I know about, when using partition is safer.

If you have portable disk (or USB flashdrive or whatever) and there
is no partition table on it, and you plug such drive to
another system (namely older version of Windows) it
likes to offer you to "initialize" drive - which can destruct
LUKS header there. If there is a partition table, it thinks that
drive was already initialized preventing it.
(I think it is not problem in recent versions but not sure.)


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