The Cost Of Ubuntu Disk Encryption
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 20 May 2013. Page 3 of 3. 20 Comments

When dealing with multiple threads for FS-Mark, the full disk encryption and Ubuntu home directory encryption impact was similar.

For the Flexible I/O Tester, the home directory encryption was now faster than using full disk encryption for this particular strenuous disk workload.

For Compile Bench, both forms of encryption led to the throughput being more than halved.

The IOzone performance results met expectations.

While there is an obvious cost to disk encryption even for modern CPUs supporting AES-NI and when using a solid-state drive, the cost of disk encryption for production systems (particularly mobile devices) tend to be worth the cost and overhead for the added security and peace of mind. As shown by these benchmarks, the performance when using a fully encrypted LVM is also generally better than just using the encrypted home directory feature of Ubuntu 13.04.

Coming up in the next few days will also be benchmarks of the eCryptfs AES-NI performance improvements to be found with the Linux 3.10 kernel.

About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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