Booting a GELI encrypted hard disk

Roland Smith rsmith at
Wed Oct 10 14:17:05 PDT 2007

On Wed, Oct 10, 2007 at 08:18:38PM +0200, Fabian Keil wrote:
> Roland Smith <rsmith at> wrote:
> > On Wed, Oct 10, 2007 at 09:04:34AM -0400, Steve Bertrand wrote:
> > > I am voraciously attempting to get a FreeBSD system to boot from a GELI
> > > encrypted hard disk, but am having problems.
> > 
> > You don't need to encrypt the whole harddisk. You can encrypt separate
> > slices. There is no need to encrypt stuff like / or /usr; what is there
> > that needs to be kept secret?
> Encryption isn't only useful for private data,
> it also reduces the risk of third parties replacing
> your binaries with Trojans while your away.

If that someone can replace binaries on a running system, you're box has
been h4x0red and you're screwed anyway. Doubly so if your encrypted
filesystem was mounted at the time. :-)

Disk encryption is mostly a defense against data-loss in case of the
machine or disk being stolen. 

It's easy enough to make a list of SHA256 checksums of all binaries and
store that on the encrypted partition, so you can check the binaries any
time you want.

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