FSCRYPT Inline Encryption Still Being Prepared For The Linux Kernel
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Storage on 4 May 2020 at 06:39 AM EDT. 3 Comments
LINUX STORAGE --
For a number of months now Google engineers have been working on FSCRYPT inline encryption capabilities for EXT4 and F2FS. The work is designed to offer better encryption performance on modern SoCs by having the encryption/decryption happen within the block layer as part of the bio and in turn leveraging the inline encryption hardware on modern Arm SoCs. The work still isn't merged but looks like it could be getting closer.

This past week marked the twelfth time that the FSCRYPT inline encryption patches were sent out. The latest revision of this work by Googlers Satya Tangirala and Eric Biggers is plugging the inline encryption support into BLK-MQ and other block code, implementing inline encryption within the FSCRYPT encryption framework, and wiring it through for EXT4, F2FS, and UFS file-systems.

Besides needing a kernel with this set of patches, inline encryption isn't being enabled by default but requires the "inlinecrypt" mount option. Given this work by Google, presumably before long Android will begin making use of it for more efficient file encryption.

The newest patches can be found on FSCRYPT's inline-encryption branch. Hopefully this work will be deemed ready for the upcoming Linux 5.8 kernel cycle for being able to benefit from the inline encryption hardware capability with modern SoCs. Details on the latest changes in this revision via the mailing list.
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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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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