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Updated: 29 min 15 sec ago

Nick Ali: Team Contacts Need to Join loco-contacts Mailing List

51 min 32 sec ago

All LoCo team contacts should be subscribed to the loco-contacts mailing list. If the team contact for your LoCo changes, the new person should join the list.

Recently, it has been used to keep the LoCo leaders informed about the hosting changes and the new options available for webhosting. Since all the appropriate contacts are not on the list, the information is not properly filtering through the community.

Also, check the archives to see if you have missed anything: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/loco-contacts/.

Nick Ali: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter #53

1 hour 3 min ago

Some topics covered:

  • Update on Compromised LoCo Servers and Options
  • Celebratory Hug Day for GNOME
  • LinuxMCE Releases Media Centre Addon to Kubuntu
  • Portuguese Team’s Starts Effort to Put FOSS in Schools
  • In The Press and In the Blogosphere
  • Translation stats
  • Bug Stats

Read it here. And if you like it, digg it.

If you think you have a story for the UWN, email ubuntu-marketing-submissions@lists.ubuntu.com.


Og Maciel: Do I feel lucky?

1 hour 18 min ago

Over the weekend my next door neighbor managed to damage the passenger side door of my Honda when he parked too close to my car… That wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that it was the second car he’s damaged in the last month… also mine! Now, he’s an older professor from UNC who has been very nice and polite ever since we moved to Chapel Hill, and I let it slide the first FIVE times he scratched/dented my Pacifica… but enough is enough! Since I have leased these 2 cars, I don’t want to have to pay for the damage when the lease expires!

As I had mentioned before, my neighbor is an older gentleman who has shown his age many times before, like the times he’s left his apartment’s keys outside his own door… and I dutifuly took them back to him when he arrived… or like the time he dropped his credit card outside in the parking lot… he was so happy when I returned it to him that he insisted in buying me a six pack of Becks!

So I decided to knock at his door and politely tell him about the “accident”… and boy, was I in for a surprise! The old, gentleman whom I’ve know until today showed he had some “zest” left in him. He first denied to doing it but when faced by the paint residue of his car in mine, he immediately switched off to a defensive stance and told me to quit with the talk and start doing things “the legal” way! I figured we could handle this without getting the insurances involved, but he stormed back to his apartment leaving me with no choice. About 20 minutes later he knocks on my door, seemgly much calmer, and we proceeded to swap insurance information. Tomorrow I’ll be taking the Pacifica to the shop and will brace for the damage that 2 damaged cars and a deductible of $500 per car will cause in my wallet. Hopefully he’ll admit to this and his insurance will pay for it…

John Crawford: Would the US like it’s Own Ubuntu Merchandise Store?

8 hours 38 min ago

Recently Steve Stalcup aka Vorian ordered some polo shirts from the German LoCo Team. They were of good quality, and had the Ubuntu Logo embroidered on them. I don’t know what he paid for them, but I know he had to wait 3 months for them, and pay shipping. This got me to thinking, why don’t we get something going for the US? So I started looking around at web sites that specialized in corporate goods with logos. There are a lot! But how do you tell the quality of the merchandise, and the reputation of the supplier? The answer is, you can’t.

Now, I’ve been ordering from places like Land’s End for years, and the quality of goods is excellent, the company is sound and stands behind their product. So, I took a look at their web site, and they have corporate logo stores you can set up. No minimum order, a one time set up fee of $95, and a great selection of items for all. Tshirts, polos, throws, attaches, outerwear, dress shirts, etc. Almost anything you could want to display the Ubuntu logo on to advocate and show your pride in the Ubuntu Operating System.

I’m am going to set up a poll on the US Teams Project Forum page. The link is below. Please go there and vote on whether or not you are interested in supporting this idea. I am also including the link to the Land’s End corporate sales web site so that you can look at all the items you could get with an Ubuntu logo embroidered on it.

Forum Poll:https://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=529667

Land’s End:https://www.ocs.landsend.com/corpsales

Christer Edwards: Guru Labs - Linux Training and Certification : Job Update / Posting

8 hours 59 min ago

Many of you may remember earlier this year I announced that I started with a Linux Training company, Guru Labs. Well I wanted to give a bit of an update after being there now a number of months and invite anyone in the area to come apply for a position there.

I absolutely enjoy my job.  I describe it as being paid to learn.  Not a bad thing to do for a living.  When I’m on the road teaching I’m still learning, but I get to talk about and teach the inner-workings of the Linux OS.  Can’t really beat that.  When I’m not teaching I’m writing courseware, developing labs, testing labs and otherwise learning to become a better and more knowledgeable instructor.  I continue to learn so many things I’ve quickly realized that there is no end to this rabbit hole and I’m loving it!

Guru Labs is hiring.  If you’re in Utah you really might consider applying.  Competitive salary.  Good work environment.  Certifications.  Learning.  Networking.  When you leave Guru Labs you’re a changed geek forever.  When it comes to Linux “Nobody knows it like a Guru knows it!”

If you’re interested check out the Guru Labs website or send a resume to info [at] gurulabs [dot] com.  Tell them who sent you.

Ohh, and if you don’t live in Utah you’re more than welcome to ask for information and sign up for one of our many classes.  We do travel!  Again, tell ‘em who sent ya and I hope to see you in a class soon!

Aaron Toponce: My Home Network

9 hours 42 min ago

Who else does this? In my network, I have come up with a little scenario, where I get to play the Greek god Zeus. In my fantasy network world, I have named the router in my network after my brother Hades. As such, any computer that resides behind that router, I have decided to be named after a Greek or Roman god. As such, being Zeus, I get to thrust these gods into hell at my own whim. However, I am careful to name my gods after the hardware that they are occupying:

  • Achilles: My sever. He serves the needs of HTTP, Jabber, IMAP, SSH, IRC and many others. In Greek mythology, he was the hero of the Trojan War. This server provides me will all the services I need on my network. However, as strong as Achilles was, he had a weakness. His heel proved to be his demise. This server, as great as it is, is merely a Pentium 3 700 with 384MB RAM. It’s weak compared to todays hardware. He is running Ubuntu Dapper Drake 6.06.1 LTS
  • Athena: My wife’s laptop. In Greek mythology, she was the goddess of wisdom and philosophy. My wife has been nothing but wisdom in our marriage, and I figured the name was very fitting. The laptop is an Apple iBook G4, thus entirely white. Greek gods and goddesses are typically depicted wearing white robes. When traveling with me to work, she is renamed to “athena2″ as a computer on the network already exists with that hostname. She is running Mac OS X Tiger.
  • Hades: The NAT firewall and 4-port wireless router. I chose the name Hades initially, as he is the Greek god of the underworld. In modern times, we usually refer to Hades as a place, rather that the god, meaning hell. Because of the firewall, I thought it appropriate to name it Hades representing the lake of fire and brimstone. After naming the router, I found it fun to thrust these great Greek gods into hell for my amusement. It has stuck since. The router is a Linksys WRT54G running OpenWRT firmware.
  • Hercules: My faithful laptop. He goes wherever I go doing what I need done. In Greek mythology, he was the son of Zeus, and the greatest of the Greek heroes. He was the strongest hardware that I had at the time of his purchase. I chose the Roman equivalent, rather than the Greek spelling Heracles, as it is a laptop with modified HP hardware. He has since had hardware problems, and will serve me as my IRC and database server, as well as a backup for Achilles. He is currently running Ubuntu Feisty Fawn 7.04, although, he will become the second Ubuntu Dapper Drake 6.06.1 LTS in hell.
  • Janus: This is my desktop. In Roman mythology, Janus was a god with two heads. He was the god of gates, doorways, beginnings and endings. Because my desktop dual-boots between Windows XP (for my wife) and Ubuntu Feisty Fawn 7.04, I found the Roman god to be fitting. Other than the dual nature of the desktop, not much is shared with the character of Janus (maybe my wife will “end” her Windows XP need, and “begin” with Ubuntu in her computing (that’s stretching it)).
  • Kratos: My new laptop (arriving Monday). I chose Kratos for a two-fold reason. First, Kratos was one of the Titans, son of Styx and Pallas. He is the god of strength and power. This new laptop (I chose the T61), is loaded with top-of-the-line hardware, full of processing power, and plenty of RAM. Kratos later became the right hand man of Zeus, doing Zeus’ bidding in exact obedience. This laptop will do my every bidding going wherever I go. His main operating system is still undetermined at this point.

Below is an image depicting the network. Now tell me, does anyone else go to these lengths when naming their boxes? I would be curious of other naming schemes if they exist.

Aaron Toponce: Firefox Extensions List Update

12 hours 10 min ago

I just updated my Ultimate Firefox Extension List For Junkies page. I added a new category of “Past Extensions” and updated the list of my “Current Extensions”. Of course, if there are any comments on list, I am curious as to what they are.

Tony Yarusso: The plight of cyclists in the US

13 hours 52 min ago

I was dismayed to see on Digg today an article entitled US Transportation Secretary Doesn’t Consider Bikes a Form of Transportation. Surely this isn’t quite true, I thought. Well, upon further investigation, it seems I was almost hopefully right. Turns out she merely doesn’t think the surfaces used by bikes are remotely related to transportation…somehow I’m not feeling much better. In the context of the article, and for anyone who’s been living in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) area recently, with portions of highways 36, 694, 35E, 94, and 35W out of commission this year, you’d think that the government would be doing everything they can to recognize and encourage the use of bicycles as an alternative to cars. It would seem that at least Mary Peters has yet to figure this out - sad for any official, a truly mind-boggling incompetency for a Secretary of Transportation. I guess all that can be said here is, “that explains a lot”.

The guilty interview (PBS)
The Digg article again
My comment on such

Alan Pope: Ubuntu Screencast Team Meeting and new Mailing List

17 hours 11 min ago

After a lengthy hiatus I have scheduled a Screencast Team Meeting for 27th August at 15:00 UTC. We have a few things to discuss, and I'd like to invite people to add to the agenda if there's anything else they'd like to bring up.

I've also setup a mailing list for the team to go along with the #ubuntu-screencasts irc channel. If you're interested in screencasting on Ubuntu then please drop by and say Hi.

Debian Package of the Day: jed - Pocket sized emacs

22 hours 44 min ago

Article submitted by François-Denis Gonthier. We have run out of good articles! Please help DPOTD and submit good articles about software you like!

I’m a big fan of GNU Emacs, it’s a very powerful and ultra customisable editor. I have it setup just the way I want, with tons of packages. That means that although my Emacs setup suits me fine for long coding sessions, it takes several seconds to start, even on a moderately fast computer.

When you work in a console, and all you want is to edit some files, and edit them now, you gotta have something that starts in a snap. Jed is the editor I use for that.


Jed showing a bit of Emacs code.

The obvious advantages of Jed are that it starts much faster than Emacs, but still provides the basic key-mappings and features of the default Emacs setup. Out of the box, it supports syntax colouring for several programming languages: C/C++, S-Lang, FORTRAN, LaTeX, Java, Python, Perl, Bash and more. Since it’s an extensible editor, several add-ons (modes) have been written and are available in the Jed Modes Repository.

For people that are interested in having a full-featured editor, but aren’t crazy about the Emacs key bindings, Jed has a nice console menu interface. Menus can be activated with the F10 key, and then browsed with the arrows key, just like the ol’ DOS editors. Most menu items also have shortcuts, for quicker access the next use. For the less expert users, like myself, menus are very useful; but avoiding the F10 key at the corner of the keyboard is a time saver, as tiny as it may sound.

The Jed menus come with some nice touches that Emacs has acquired just recently. In the “Windows” menu, you can see that Jed offers 9 different colour themes for the terminal, a nice touch for people allergic to white-on-black text, or with difficult display devices.

I personally use Jed as a light editor, but Jed is a very customisable platform. It is linked with the S-Lang library, which can be used to heavily customise the editor. I know little of the S-Lang language, just what I need to set a few shortcuts, but the S-Lang functions provided by Jed are well documented on its home page: https://www.jedsoft.org/jed/doc/jedfuns.html

It is also interesting to know that Jed has a native X11 interface, which is installed by the xjed package. Jed is not as well adapted to X11 than Emacs is, but XJed does bring some interesting improvements like mouse support, and of course key bindings which are not limited by any terminal protocol. Personally, I think that the XJed default configuration should be edited a bit (I use Ubuntu, but tend to suppose it’s not very different in Debian). When XJed starts on my computer, it looks like Jed was started in XTerm, with extremely tiny fonts, and an ugly font. I am sure XJed can be conveniently and easily configured but giving you a bad first impression of Jed is not something I want. I suggest you to try running the console version of Jed in your favourite terminal emulator, then play with it a bit.

The final proof that Jed is a mature and fully-featured editor is that it obeys Zawinski’s Law (Zawinski’s Law), which state that “a program attempts to expand until it can read mail”. Jed has a mail reader called rmail, it can be invoked by hitting M-x (Alt+x) then typing rmail.

Jed has been available in Debian and Ubuntu for ages.

Quick start shortcuts

Here is a few shortcuts you may find useful while playing with Jed for the first time. As usual, C = Ctrl, M = Meta (usually Alt).

C-h
Invoke the help system
C-x C-c
Quit jed
C-x C-f
Open a file
C-x C-k
Close a file
C-x 2
Split a window
C-x o
Move to the next window
C-SPACE
Set the beginning of selection (C-SPACE cancels selection region)
C-Shift-w
Cut
M-Shift-w
Copy
C-y
Paste
C-a
Go to the beginning of line
C-e
Go to the end of line

Jeremy Austin-Bardo: Brief Updates

Sat, 2007-08-18 22:25

Today, I thought I give a brief update on some of my current projects.

New York Team

The work on selecting a location for our conference to be held next July has begun. I sent out queries to several locations in Syracuse, NY. If you know of a location in or around Syracuse that might host, let me know so that the committee can send a query. The last thing I would like to mention is that if you are seriously thinking about participating, you can leave your contact information on our our sign-up page. As said before, this conference will most likely be a bar-camp-style, so the more people sign-up the more fun and learning each participant will have.

On Tuesday, August 21st, our regular meeting will hold a vote to approve our bylaws. By-laws seem to be required in the United states and having them finally approved will be nice. Next step will be to acquire a state not-for-profit certificate.

Scribes Team

I have a correction to note with my last post. Due to poor memory recall, I misreported what MootBot was written with. MootBot is written in Eggdrop TCL.

We could really use someone to help us make a few improvements. I have had a look at the code and it appears only minor changes are needed. You can contact me or the team to see the code or give us a hand.

In the meantime, I modified some Supybot plugin code to replicate some of the features from MootBot. It is far from complete, but if you are interested check out my summarizing plugin page.

Your feed back is welcome on my Supybot plugin. I have only one major gripe about Supybot code: "Please, comment your code!" It took forever to understand the code, so that I could modify the behavior for my purpose. Granted, I have only started with Python, but I have coded PHP in the past and always try to well comment my code. Comments not only benefit others, but the coder as well.

Og Maciel: A Few Good People

Sat, 2007-08-18 20:56

<shameless_plug>We here at rPath are looking for a few good people to join our company. There are a few positions still open! So if you trive in fast-paced environments, enjoy the challenge of working with bleeding edge technology, and know a thing or two about Python and web technologies, send us your resume!</shameless_plug>

Jordan Mantha: GSoC: Ubuntu Bootloader Manager 0.2

Sat, 2007-08-18 18:10

After all the great comments and suggestions from the last update and talking with Matthew Paul Thomas, my student Tomé Vardasca, has been redesigning the UI to be more new-user (and old-user for that matter) friendly as well as adding new functionality. You can get the latest code using bzr on Launchpad. You can also file bugs

Tomé and I are very much interested in feedback both on the UI and the features themselves . Note that to add new menu entries you need to have the os-prober package installed (it’s in Main) so that OS autodetection works.

Usual Disclaimer: This app is still very alpha, use at your own risk and make sure to make a backup of our grub config file (/boot/grub/menu.lst).

Screenshots:

In Advanced mode you can also access a Preferences window for the individual menu items:

Menu shots:

Quim Gil: Per molts anys GNOME!

Sat, 2007-08-18 17:03

10 years of GNOME! I mostly missed the first half. I only remember reading about a Mexican guy challenging Microsoft with a free alternative desktop. That was around 1999-y2k. I also remember trying to install Linux in my laptop by then and leaving it for later. One day I installed successfully Debian Woody with GNOME 1.4 inside and... 5 years later here we are.

Congratulations and big thanks to the people that started this one-time-in-life story. Thanks to ustedes dos and hundreds of contributors, I'm a happy active user - hopefully also a better citizen. I am learning a lot and it's great to be here with you.

My wish for 2017: each of us, in a situation unimaginable today, will remember the time when GNOME was 10 and will feel (again) a satisfaction for the big progress done.

Petonàs a tot@s.

Mythbuntu: Site Downtime

Sat, 2007-08-18 16:26
Whoops

As many people have undoubtedly seen, www.mythbuntu.org has been down for an extended period of time. We encountered lots of unforeseen problems with our previous web host, and had mistakingly not made backups of the site or of the MySQL database that it was contained upon.

The site has been rebuilt on a new web host with as much of the cached data as we could build from.

Weekly Builds

The weekly mythbuntu 0.20-fixes builds are no longer hosted here. This doesn't mean that they have gone away, but instead are being built and hosted on a Canonical hosted PPA (Personal Package Archive). The PPAs are still in beta phases, and leave beta late next week. Once the PPAs go public, i386 and amd64 packages will be available through them. Watch here for information when this happens.

CD Images

With the new server that we have arranged, we won't be hosting cd images here, but instead upon other mirrors. If you want to join in, please come to IRC and talk to us.

For now, alpha 3 can be obtained from https://www.mirror.polorix.net/index.php?dir=Mythbuntu courtesy of www.polorix.net.

Jacob Peddicord: Why, Wine, Why?

Sat, 2007-08-18 15:24

Oh no. I found my old RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 disc lying under a stack of old manuals.

Even worse: I tried it in Wine. And it worked. Completely. The sound, physics, scenarios, and expansions all work perfectly, with a only minor glitch when I right-click.

Now I've been stuck playing it for a couple of days. Someone really has to make an open source version of this, or get Chris Sawyer to release his code since he doesn't make money off of it anymore.

Maybe they shouldn't though, because then I would never stop playing. 

Christer Edwards: Ubuntu 7.10 “Gutsy? Battery Monitoring Feature

Sat, 2007-08-18 14:36

I installed a second machine the other day with Ubuntu 7.10 “Gutsy” Tribe (alpha) 4 release.  Based on my initial positive experience on my other machine I thought I’d give it a try.  Well, so far so good–things are running great.  I love having new features.  I think I may just consider running perpetual alpha from now on.  Nothing like bleeding edge ehh?

I thought I’d share a screenshot of something I was presented with when I booted this machine this morning.  I should mention this machine is probably 3-4 years old at this point and I’m sure Gutsy is absolutely correct in its message.  I just thought it was pretty cool that it could tell and would notify me.  I’ll let the screenshot do the talking…

Stephen Stalcup: Oh Noes! OLF here I come!

Sat, 2007-08-18 12:12

I was excited to get this in my in box this morning.. (and at the same time a little sick)

Hi Steve,

I’m writing to let you know that your talk was chosen for the Ohio
LinuxFest, to take place on September 29, at the Greater Columbus
Convention Center (GCCC) in Columbus, Ohio…..

Best,
Zonker

The Ohio Linux Fest is the largest conference and expo for FOSS professionals and enthusiasts in the Midwest USA.

The topic I will be presenting will be on “Beginninig with Ubuntu.” The topic is aimed at new users to Ubuntu with the intentions of helping them find resources in the Ubuntu Community, how the Community is structured, and “what happens after I click INSTALL?…” I hope the presentation will be helpful to long time Ubuntu users, as the presentation will focus a great deal on community and community support.

Any and all suggestions are welcome

Think back to when you were a new Linux user or just started out with Ubuntu….

  • Do you have any “If I only knew then what I know now…” examples?
  • What was your #1 resource for information on using Ubuntu?
  • What wisdom would you leave with a new Ubuntu/Linux user?

I am also looking for a groovie template for this presentation.

If you are withing Driving distance, The Ohio Linux Fest is a great event, and I promise you will have a bunch of fun!
you can register at https://www.ohiolinux.org/register.html.

The Ohio LoCo Team will also be sponsoring a booth. If you are from Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, or Kentucky, you are welcome to join us. If you are interested in helping man the booth, shoot me an email.

We will also be hosting a Birds of a Feather event on the first night, more info to come…..

Check out https://www.ohiolinux.org for more information.

Daniel Stone: a fit of narcissism

Sat, 2007-08-18 09:17
Courtesy of an article in today's Guardian, I present Stone's Corollary to Burton's Low:
As a discussion about the contribution of vehicles to climate change grows longer, the probability of stating that China is putting 1,000 new cars on the road every week approaches one.
When used as a defence for driving an SUV, I'd also like to invoke the sudden death variant, where the discussion is finished immediately.

Christer Edwards: 7 Steps To An Encrypted Partition (local or removable disk)

Fri, 2007-08-17 21:10

This last week I’ve been very interested in encryption. If you missed it you might be interested in my post on encrypting files or emails with GPG. In this tutorial I wanted to outline how to encrypt a local partition or a removable device (like a USB key). The steps used here will work for either type of device although you’ll need to replace your partition name and number for the examples provided here.

Attention: following this tutorial will wipe all data from the partition or device you write it to. You cannot encrypt your file system after-the-fact using this method. Be sure you have backups or don’t care about the data being lost if you follow these steps!!!

Step 1:

The first step in the tutorial is installing the cryptsetup utility, which is part of the cryptsetup package. You can search for this using your favorite package management utility or use this command:

sudo aptitude install cryptsetup

Step 2:

Now that we have the cryptsetup utility installed we’ll need to prepare the device for use. If you have a newly created device or partition you may be able to skip this step, but it also won’t hurt to redo this step anyway.

If you are unsure what the device is listed as, you can use either of these two commands:

sudo fdisk -l

(this will list your current partition table, both on local and removable media.)

dmesg

(this will show kernel messages pertaining to hardware. If you plug in a removable device and wait a few seconds, this will show what you what device the kernel assigned the hardware.)

Once you know what device you want to apply this to you can run the following command on [your device] to create the partition you want to encrypt. I suppose you can also use a graphical utility like gparted, etc. Those tools are outside the scope of this tutorial.

sudo fdisk /dev/[your device]

(ie; if your device showed up as /dev/sdb you would use: sudo fdisk /dev/sdb)

For removable media make a single primary partition using the entire space of the device (or alter for your needs if you know what you’re doing).

Once you have created the partition you’ll want to “w”rite the change in fdisk. Remember, if you don’t “w”rite the changes none will be applied.

Step 3:

To make sure that your kernel is up to date concerning the newly created / altered partition table you may need to run the command:

sudo partprobe

Step 4:

Now we’ll get to encrypting this new partition. There are different options you can use here, and I’ll outline a few of them, but there really isn’t one that is “the best”. It depends on your level of security needs and the time you want to spend on it. If you want it done quickly and want a basic level of fairly-hard-to-break encryption you can use the first option. If you are super paranoid and don’t mind letting this take some time (hours or days on large disks!) to build you can use option three. Somewhere in the middle, option two is probably fine. Anyone have suggestions on other methods?

We’ll write data over the newly created partition to help aid in the encryption process. By writing data to the partition prior to encryption it helps protect against data attacks, finding patterns on the block-level, etc. You can use one of the following three commands:

sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/[your device] bs=4K

(this method is probably recommended unless you expect active attacks against your encryption layer)

sudo badblocks -vfw /dev/[your device] [block-size-of-your-device]

(this option will write 5 data patterns across your drive and overwrite and verify the data. This is used to check for badblocks, but can also be used to wipe out any existing data)

sudo dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/[your device] bs=4K

(this method is considered pretty secure. It is based on the truly random option below but is pseudo-random data–probably a very good option in most cases.)

sudo dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/[your device] bs=4K

(this is considered the most secure but will take a long time. It is also important to generate a lot of random data on your machine. Launch some applications, do some high disc I/O, move the mouse erratically, etc. This may take DAYS!)

Step 5:

At this point the partition is ready to be encrypted. Now there are multiple encryption methods and options to be used within each. This tutorial outlines using the LUKS encryption with my prefered string length, hash and cipher. You may change these if you know what you’re doing. If not, omitting my options will use the defaults (ripemd160 hash). This command will remind you that all data will be lost (although we already lost everything in Step 4. This is also where you’ll be prompted for your passphrase to access the encryption.

sudo cryptsetup luksFormat /dev/[your device] -c aes -s 256 -h sha256

(again, past [your device] are my preferred options)

If you see an error near this point similar to “Failed to setup dm-crypt key mapping.  Check kernel for support for the aes-cbc-plain cipher spec and verify that /dev/[your device] contains at least 258 sectors.” you’ll need to run this command:

sudo modprobe dm-crypt

You may want to have this module auto-magically added at boot time by appending this line to your /etc/modules file:

dm-crypt

Step 6:

Now that we’ve created the encryption basic layout on the partition we need to open the encrypted partition for use.

sudo cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/[your device] name

(name can be whatever you like. I use things like secure or vault or encrypt)

Step 7:

Now that we have the device open and added to the dm (dev mapper) system we can actually create a file system on it and use it. One last command and we’ve got ourselves an encrypted, usable filesystem.

sudo mke2fs -j /dev/mapper/name -L label

(where name was applied above and label is the filesystem label. I generally match the two. This also assumes an ext3 file system. If you know you want a different filesystem type I’m assuming you know the right command.)

If you’ve come this far your device is ready to use. A few additional points that you may be interested in.

Additional

First, if this is a local partition and filesystem, such as a /data folder, you may want it to be mounted automagically at boot time. You can add the new partition to your /etc/fstab file to be mounted at boot. Be sure to specify the /dev/mapper/[name] location and not the original partition location. You should note that when your booting system arrives at this device it will prompt you for a passphrase key and halt the boot process until one is provided. An example of a line in the /etc/fstab is:

/dev/mapper/name /data ext3 defaults 0 0

Second, if you are using this on a removable drive such as a usb key the Gnome Desktop (someone verify in KDE?) will recognize the encrypted setup and prompt you for a key visually. A message such as “The storage device contains encrypted data. Enter a password to unlock” will appear. You will be required to know the passphrase (as supplied in Step 5) to access this device again. The desktop system also allows you to “forget immediately“, “remember password until you logout” or “remember forever” the key provided. Those options are up to you and your usage. “Remember forever” should store the key in your gnome keyring.

Third, if you are following this guide for use on a removable disk you may want to change ownership (chown) on the mounted path and set group id (sgid) on the directory so that your user has full permissions. Considering we ran everything with sudo the mounted path and ownership is probably set to the root user. You can use these two commands to set the permissions:

sudo chown -R user.user /media/[name]

(user.user should, of course, be replaced with your username on the system)

sudo chmod g+s /media/[name]

([name] is the mount point that the system auto-mounted the device on. It *should* match whatever you set the label to in step 7.)

There is also an option to create multiple keys to unlock the device. This is helpful if it is a multi-user system and you don’t want to use a shared passphrase. You would add a key to the encrypted device using:

sudo cryptsetup luksAddKey /dev/[your device]

This will prompt you for your current key and then the new key. The new key will have to be entered twice. Also, if you want to remove a key you can use the similar:

sudo cryptsetup luksDelKey /dev/[your device] [slot #]

To find out more information about your encrypted partition / device, and to see things such as assigned key slots, you can also use:

sudo cryptsetup status name

sudo cryptsetup luksDump /dev/[your device]

I would like to expand this soon to include encrypting your entire root filesystem or other variations like bypassing the passphrase but storing the “key” an a usb drive or similar. This way it is similar to a hardware key needed to boot your machine. There are a lot of different ways this could go… until then, I think this has become long enough