Ubuntu 13.10 Linux Disk Encryption Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 2 September 2013. Page 3 of 3. 3 Comments

The 8GB IOzone write performance was down a great deal with either disk encryption method, but due to the increased level of security for mobile systems by encrypting your data, it tends to be worthwhile.

For both CompileBench runs from the Intel Haswell laptop, the LUKS full disk encryption continued to deliver faster results than just using the home directory encryption feature.

While utilizing disk encryption will lead to slower disk performance, it tends to be worthwhile on production systems particularly for mobile devices / laptops due to increased risk of theft. Even the high-end System76 Gazelle Pro with Core i7 Haswell CPU and Intel SATA 3.0 SSD saw noticeable overhead in dealing with disk encryption. What's interesting though is that the full disk encryption using LUKS was generally faster than just the home directory being encrypted through eCryptfs. Even if you don't store important files generally out of your home directory, the full disk encryption support is also beneficial in that the swap/temp files are also secured.

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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.