I have been looking for a low power consuming computer which could replace my old big home server, and I found mini-itx boards based on the VIA C7 processor. This little thing, especially in its eden version (like the 1.2GHz fanless), requires very low power to run (like 6W max, 0.1W average), and has an hardware cryptographic engine built-in, the VIA Padlock. It can compute SHA-1, SHA-256, AES128, AES192, AES256, has a hardware random number generator, and instructions for the exptmod for RSA for example. The board I use in this tutorial/howto is a Jetway J7F4K1G2E (don't buy it, it's a swindle, it needs a fan, and if you enable ACPI it freezes). And I made this box for it. You may also be interested in the AMD Geode LX, which also supports hardware acceleration of AES128 and a random number generator, but it has less processing power. The C7 has been improved to support 64-bit instruction set and multi-core operation, packages in the Via Nano CPU series.
With all this good stuff, I tried to create a very secure system, with hard drive encryption and others. With experience in no-space-left-partitions I already had, I also wanted it to run LVM2 (logical volume manager), which allows to resize partitions at runtime.
Why loop-aes? I could have installed directly debian with LVM on dm-crypt, because the installer supports it, but I've seen that loop-aes was the only secure hard drive encryption method here, so I decided to do it with loop-aes. This actually was a mistake because this document dates from 2004, and now (at the end of 2008), dm-crypt is one of the few most secure disk encryption software using XTS (since Linux-2.6.24). So I should reconsider moving from loop-aes to dm-crypt-LUKS, although loop-aes remains quite secure. If I understand right, if the attacker has only one physical access to the drive he won't be able to get any plaintext information. See links for more information on this, and all kinds of documentation on the subject. With LUKS, it seems that the encryption keys are stored locally on the hard disk drive, which is not required in loop-AES.
So here we go, installing debian on reiserfs file systems on LVM2 partitions on loop-aes AES256 encryption loop with GPG multi-access keys (this is the best protection) on a SATA hard drive, with benefit of the VIA Padlock engine of course, and in the most secure way. It wouldn't be funny if only a part of the hard drive was encrypted, so I did not even made a partition, everything is encrypted, so it has to be mounted from elsewhere... like a bootable USB key. Actually, this is more than a funny thing: by separing the key from the drive, a bad person stoling the drive wouldn't have the keys. This makes 3 things to have to actually access the files: the drive, the encryption keys, and a passphrase protecting the keys. Or just one: an access to the system running...
I chose debian because I'm familiar with it, but this can probably be applied to any Linux distribution. This can also probably be done by network boot with PXE, but I don't know how that works. See antlinux Naranja web page (in links).
Here are the steps needed set up and running this system.
You might say that there is a tool called debootstrap which can install the debian's base system from the Internet, but I prefered copying files. Debootstrap has lots of dependencies, and I find this is not nice for an install from an initrd or initramfs (the install USB key).
So, install your debian on a system, in one partition or whatever, install rsync, openssh-server, lvm and reiserfs tools on it, or whatever file system you chose. You can also uninstall the default kernel, and grub, and maybe try to boot the kernel you will configure in step 2. Then rsync -a this_system:/ backup_dir to get files. Remove /etc/mtab and /etc/fstab. Create a tar.gz file from the files (cd backup_dir && tar zcvf ../base_install.tar.gz *).
We will use a kernel supporting the C7 hardware random generator and the loop-aes for the setup, this will make it really faster. As we have to configure and build a kernel, we will make the final one, with all VIA options, and those for the boot initrd.
Download the latest kernel, I think it works quite fine since version 2.6.22.
Download the latest loop-aes software. You can find it on the loop-aes website.
2012 update: loop-aes v3.6e works fine with the 3.2 stable kernel branch.
Patch your kernel:
cd linux-22.214.171.124 rm include/linux/loop.h drivers/block/loop.c patch -Np1 < ../loop-AES-v3.2b/kernel-2.6.23.diff
Enter the kernel's configuration. Select C7 for the processor, enable the hardware random number generator, loop-aes device with padlock hardware handling, padlock engine in cryptographic engines. For the initrd, you will need the ramdisk support, initrd, usb disk support, minix, vfat, tmpfs procfs and host (reiserfs) filesystems. Here is the real list:
initrd specific: CONFIG_BLK_DEV_RAM=y CONFIG_BLK_DEV_RAM_SIZE=4096 initramfs or initrd specific: CONFIG_BLK_DEV_INITRD=y USB disk specific: CONFIG_SCSI=y CONFIG_BLK_DEV_SD=y CONFIG_USB=y CONFIG_USB_STORAGE=y CONFIG_USB_EHCI_HCD=y CONFIG_USB_UHCI_HCD=y File systems for boot disk: CONFIG_MINIX_FS=y CONFIG_PROC_FS=y CONFIG_TMPFS=y CONFIG_CRAMFS=n CONFIG_FAT_FS=y CONFIG_MSDOS_FS=y CONFIG_VFAT_FS=y CONFIG_NLS_CODEPAGE_437=y CONFIG_NLS_CODEPAGE_850=y CONFIG_NLS_ISO8859_1=y CONFIG_NLS_ISO8859_15=y CONFIG_FAT_DEFAULT_CODEPAGE=850 CONFIG_FAT_DEFAULT_IOCHARSET=iso8859-15 Host file systems: CONFIG_BLK_DEV_DM=y CONFIG_REISERFS_FS=y VIA C7 specific: CONFIG_MVIAC7=y CONFIG_HW_RANDOM_VIA=y CONFIG_CRYPTO_HW=y CONFIG_CRYPTO_DEV_PADLOCK=y CONFIG_CRYPTO_DEV_PADLOCK_AES=y CONFIG_CRYPTO_DEV_PADLOCK_SHA=y loop-aes + padlock specific: CONFIG_BLK_DEV_LOOP=y CONFIG_BLK_DEV_LOOP_AES=y CONFIG_BLK_DEV_LOOP_PADLOCK=y And for even less power consumption: CONFIG_CPU_FREQ=y CONFIG_CPU_FREQ_GOV_PERFORMANCE=y CONFIG_CPU_FREQ_GOV_POWERSAVE=m CONFIG_CPU_FREQ_GOV_ONDEMAND=m CONFIG_X86_E_POWERSAVER=y (C7 specific) CONFIG_TICK_ONESHOT=y CONFIG_NO_HZ=y
Initrd or initramfs? I chose initrd in the first part of tutorial because I was not familiar with initramfs, but the last part (the boot USB key) is made with initramfs. When we will boot on the real system, as the loop will be mounted in the initial ramdisk, we will never be able to unmount it. Using initrd implies that an allocated /dev/ram0 (about 8MB) will stay in RAM forever, which will be lost space. With initramfs, the allocated space is the same than needed by files, thus we remove files from the initramfs before actually booting the real system, and no memory is lost. The other point is that initramfs is easier to build and tune than an initrd, because it does not needs mount privileges, it just takes real files into an archive, so you can make lists of what you want or don't in it. So you will have in this tutorial the two ways for doing a bootable kernel with initrd or initramfs. If you choose initramfs (what I recommend), you can put CONFIG_BLK_DEV_RAM=n.
Don't forget networking support, with CONFIG_R8169 for the Realtek of the J7F4 boards. SATA and PATA support with VIA chipsets, and you may also use sensors to see voltages and temperatures of the system brought by CONFIG_I2C_VIAPRO=m CONFIG_SENSORS_EEPROM=m CONFIG_HWMON=m CONFIG_SENSORS_F71805F=m.
You can also simply download my config file here.
Save your config file, run make and make modules_install, and you're done with the kernel. Maybe the best thing would be to do this step inside the base system of the previous section on the target system, and check that the kernel you configured is working correctly, and that would install directly modules at the right place. Else, you should copy the /lib/modules/126.96.36.199 directory to base installation files or to the USB key on which you will put the base_install.tar.gz), if you want network support and if it's not built into the kernel, it can help.
We will now create an USB boot disk which will be used to create the loop-aes, the encryption keys stored with GPG, the LVM, the filesystems and copy the base debian install.
Standard tools don't handle loop-aes and mounting encrypted file systems correctly, so we will have to patch and recompile them statically, which is easier for embedding in an initrd/initramfs.
You can download my files for this usb key image, which contains patched binaries of softwares if you don't want to create everything or compile and configure your kernel here.
losetup, mount, umount. The maintainer of project Naranja told me that debian's binaries were already patched to support loop-aes -- well, I just verified this by updating my ramfs (december, 2 2008), and losetup is not working with the options we use in the boot script, you have to patch it. You can then use them directly (mount and umount) instead of patching them and compiling them by hand. See the loop-aes README for information about that.
gpg. You can either add a line to the gpg.conf file or recompile gpg to provide better resistance against dictionary attacks, by changing the default amount of iterations. This will slow down key generation and dictionary attacks.
So you can add this line to /etc/gnupg/gpg.conf: s2k-count 8388608. You can also use the command line parameter --s2k-count 8388608. This can be better, as we will try to get the lowest number of files in our initrd. You can also patch it the same way we patched util-linux, the patch is in loop-aes archive. The advantage is that you can make a static build, which does not need any shared libraries to be installed on the image. To do so, use: CFLAGS="-O2" LDFLAGS="-static -s" ./configure --prefix=/usr --enable-static-rnd=linux. Then copy gpg to /bin of the image.
See the loop-aes README for more information on softwares needed to be compiled.
We now create the init ram disk, which will actually contain a little OS file system.
Create the disk image with dd; 16M is probably enough for everybody, but
depending on what you really want inside it can be larger. Mine was around 11M
Then create a file system in it, and mount it.
|Creating the initrd image file|
dd if=/dev/zero of=image bs=1M count=16 mke2fs -F image mkdir mnt mount -o loop image mnt/
Now we can put in it all the tools we will need. I recommend using busybox for basic utilities like sh, ls, mkdir, cp and so on. Some files are also needed for the system to boot and run correctly, like devices /dev/console. Create all devices you will like to use, and for all binary you put in the image, you will have to copy dependent shared libraries too. You can see them with the command ldd. To make it easier, here is my file list:
|initrd's files for setup and rescue key|
.: bin dev initrd mnt proc sbin tmp var boot etc lib newroot root sys usr ./bin: [ chown env hostname mknod reset su true whoami [[ chroot false ifconfig more rm sync umount xargs aespipe cp fgrep kill mount rmdir syslinux uname yes ar date find ln mt sed syslogd uniq zcat ash dd getopt loadkeys mv sh tail uudecode awk df gpg loadkmap patch shred tar uuencode basename dirname grep login pidof sleep test vi busybox dmesg gunzip losetup ping sort time wc cat du gzip ls ps strings touch wget chmod echo head mkdir pwd stty tr which (most are symbolic links to busybox, except mount umount gpg loadkeys shred syslinux aespipe) ./boot: default.kmap ./dev: console loop0 loop6 ram1 ram7 sda4 sdb sdb6 sdc2 sdc8 tty3 hwrandom loop1 loop7 ram2 random sda5 sdb1 sdb7 sdc3 sdc9 tty4 hwrng loop2 mapper/ ram3 sda sda6 sdb2 sdb8 sdc4 tty tty5 initctl loop3 mem ram4 sda1 sda7 sdb3 sdb9 sdc5 tty0 tty6 kmem loop4 null ram5 sda2 sda8 sdb4 sdc sdc6 tty1 urandom loop/ loop5 ram0 ram6 sda3 sda9 sdb5 sdc1 sdc7 tty2 ./dev/loop: 0 ./dev/mapper: control (c 10 63) ./etc: fstab group inittab ld.so.cache lvm/ passwd rc shadow ./etc/lvm: ./lib: ld-linux.so.2 libcrypt.so.1 libm.so.6 libsepol.so.1 libblkid.so.1 libctutils.so.0 libncurses.so.5 libuuid.so.1 libc.so.6 libdevmapper.so.1.02 libpthread.so.0 lvm-0 libcfont.so.0 libdl.so.2 libreadline.so.5 lvm-200/ libcom_err.so.2 libe2p.so.2 librt.so.1 lvm-default libconsole.so.0 libext2fs.so.2 libselinux.so.1 modules/ (lvm-200 is a copy of your distrib's one, lvm-0 and lvm-default are a symlink to it). ./lib/modules: 188.8.131.52 (and all that follows inside it...) ./mnt: ./proc: ./root: (you should store there documentation about the setup procedure) ./sbin: depmod losetup lvreduce modprobe shutdown vgmerge fdisk lvchange lvremove pvchange swapon vgmknodes fsck lvconvert lvrename pvcreate vgcfgbackup vgreduce fsck.ext2 lvcreate lvresize pvdisplay vgcfgrestore vgremove fsck.minix lvdisplay lvs pvmove vgchange vgrename fsck.msdos lvextend lvscan pvremove vgck vgs fsck.reiserfs lvm mkfs pvresize vgconvert vgscan fsck.vfat lvmchange mkfs.ext2 pvs vgcreate vgsplit getty lvmdiskscan mkfs.minix pvscan vgdisplay halt lvmiopversion mkfs.msdos reboot vgexport init lvmsadc mkfs.reiserfs reiserfsck vgextend insmod lvmsar mkfs.vfat rmmod vgimport (lv* pv* and vg* are symlinks to lvmiopversion. Others are real files.) ./tmp: ./usr: sbin/ ./usr/sbin: chroot (this is a symlink to busybox again, needed to be identical to target when booting) ./var: lock/ log/ run/ ./var/lock: lvm/ ./var/lock/lvm: ./var/log: ./var/run: utmp
Some files are not really needed, like /etc/fstab, or /var/log/ and /bin/aespipe. It's up to you, and what you want to do with it.
When you think you have copied everything fine (i.e. libs), you can test a binary with the command chroot /path/to/the/image/root /bin/command. If there are missing libraries, this will fail. You can exit the chroot with ^d.
A file we particularly need to pay attention to is the boot script /etc/rc. In it, we will mount temporary file systems, because the initrd is read-only and we cannot mount LVM and store the encryption keys on a read-only file systems.
|/etc/rc boot script|
mount -nt proc proc /proc mount -nt tmpfs tmpfs /tmp cp -a /dev /tmp/ cp -a /etc /tmp/ cp -a /var /tmp/ mount -nt tmpfs tmpfs /etc mount -t tmpfs tmpfs /dev mount -t tmpfs tmpfs /var cp -a /tmp/dev / cp -a /tmp/etc / cp -a /tmp/var / /bin/hostname whatever /bin/loadkeys /boot/default.kmap /bin/ash
With this script, all important nodes are mounted read-write in a tmpfs (in memory). You can then generate keys and save them (but you have to use a second usb key to store them after reboot) by the time you create the loop, the LVM and file systems, which is explained in the next section.
You should also add a /boot/default.kmap to have your keyboard map well mapped, this can be useful when typing passwords... dumpkeys > boot/default.kmap
When you are done populating the init image, umount it and compress it with gzip -9 image to get the image.gz initrd.
Now we have the image.gz initial ramdisk, and the kernel. We have to install them on the USB key. Use syslinux to install the boot block on the key; create a simple config file for it:
|syslinux.cfg config file content|
default vmlinuz root=/dev/ram0 initrd=image.gz init=/etc/rc append ramdisk_size=18000
Erase its partition table, create the new file system, and copy files to the USB key.
|USB key formatting and files copying|
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=1024k count=5 conv=notrunc mkfs -t vfat -I /dev/sda mount -t vfat /dev/sda /mnt cp image.gz syslinux.cfg vmlinuz /mnt/ umount /mnt
We just have now to run syslinux to make the key bootable: syslinux /dev/sda (when not mounted). We are done with the setup USB key. Try to boot on it, selecting all USB devices in boot order in the BIOS and the "Boot other devices". Don't ask me the root password of the image, which is asked if you exit the shell, I don't even know it.
We will now boot on our setup USB key and setup everything. The first step (if it was able to boot), is to fill the hard disk with random data. Don't use shred to do this, because it writes the same pattern all over the drive, but dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sda bs=4M.
Then create your GPG key which will protect the encryption keys. We use the multi-access v3 GPG keys which is currently the best protection we can get, and permits several users to boot the system if needed. A passphrase will be asked to protect the keys, make it long and possibly random, and don't write it down, but remember it. If you forgot it, all you can do is reinstall and lost everything from your drive. Start by generating keys for each user, add them to your keyring and generate the encryption keys directly into the GPG pipe. This comes from project Naranja (see links).
|GPG keys creation, importing and disk encryption key generating|
# generate your GPG keys where you can write: /bin/gpg --homedir /tmp/gpghome --gen-key # import public keys or users which will use the loop-aes in yours: /bin/gpg --no-default-keyring --homedir /tmp/gpghome --always-trust \ --lock-never --import KEY1.pub KEY2.pub ... # generate the encryption keys (in the key file) # the 0x01234567 is the key displayed for your public key in the previous command # make sure you use /dev/random or /dev/hwrng and not /dev/urandom if you want a # securely generated key (with good randomness). head -c 2925 /dev/random | uuencode -m - | head -n 66 | tail -n 65 | \ gpg --no-default-keyring --homedir /tmp/gpghome --armor --encrypt \ --default-recipient-self --recipient 0x01234567 --always-trust \ --lock-never > master_disk_key-01234567.gpg # if you imported several public keys, you have to make them able to acces the # disk key, so you have to reencode it with their key # start getting references to the keys: gpg --no-default-keyring --homedir /tmp/gpghome --fin | grep pub gpg --no-default-keyring --homedir /tmp/gpghome --decrypt < \ master_disk_key-01234567.gpg | gpg --encrypt --armor --homedir /tmp/gpghome \ --always-trust --lock-never -r pubkey1 -r pubkey2 ... > user_disk_key.key
Using the /dev/random on a system without the hardware random number generator (via-rng for example) can take hours to get a good entropy. So make sure you have it available and it will take less than one minute.
Copy the created key files to another USB drive, or on the network if available (a secure location of course), because file systems are read only and data will be lost at shutdown.
Now, you can mount the hard drive (I don't use partitions, I encrypt the whole drive) in the loop-aes device with appropriate encryption algorithm (I use AES256), and start creating the LVM architecture over /dev/loop0. Then create file systems on created LVM volumes and mount rootfs in /newroot, and create mount points for other file systems and mount them too.
|Loop mounting, LVM and file systems creation commands|
# /sbin/losetup -G /tmp/gpghome -K /tmp/master_disk_key-01234567.gpg \ > -e AES256 /dev/loop0 /dev/sda # pvcreate /dev/loop0 Physical volume "/dev/loop0" successfully created # vgcreate evg0 /dev/loop0 Volume group "evg0" successfully created # vgchange -a y evg0 0 logical volume(s) in volume group "evg0" now active # lvcreate -L3500 -nrootvol evg0 volume "rootvol" created # lvcreate -L1000 -nvarvol evg0 Logical volume "varvol" created # lvcreate -LR100 -ntmpvol evg0 Logical volume "tmpvol" created ## see how much free space is left # vgdisplay evg0 | grep Free Free PE / Size 176101 / 687.89 GB ## NOTE: the below command uses a lowercase 'l' instead of the uppercase 'L' ## lowercase 'l' == extents, uppercase 'L' == size in Mb # lvcreate -l175600 -nhomevol evg0 Logical volume "homevol" created ## now create the filesystems # mkfs.reiserfs /dev/evg0/rootvol # mkfs.reiserfs /dev/evg0/varvol # mkfs.reiserfs /dev/evg0/tmpvol # mkfs.reiserfs /dev/evg0/homevol ## and mount them # mount -t reiserfs /dev/evg0/rootvol /newroot # mkdir /newroot/tmp # mount -t reiserfs /dev/evg0/varvol /newroot/var # mkdir /newroot/home # mount -t reiserfs /dev/evg0/tmpvol /newroot/tmp # mkdir /newroot/var # mount -t reiserfs /dev/evg0/homevol /newroot/home
You can now install the base system, untaring the base_install.tar.gz created in the first step into /newroot/.
Now you should edit some files, like the host /etc/fstab if you want your system to be able to mount file systems! With this system, you access file systems through LVM, so the fstab will be a regular LVM compliant one.
|Content of the host /etc/fstab|
/dev/evg0/rootvol / reiserfs defaults 0 1 /dev/evg0/varvol /var reiserfs defaults 0 2 /dev/evg0/tmpvol /tmp reiserfs defaults 0 2 /dev/evg0/homevol /home reiserfs defaults 0 2
Umount everything, and you're done, you can halt and create the boot key.
If you use initrd instead of initramfs for the USB key which will really boot the system, it must be as small as possible, because the initrd cannot be umounted, since it has the loop device active. It will stay in RAM forever.
For this step, I took the setup initrd and removed all unneeded files for the only boot phase, bringing the image to around 5MB. Files need to be added: the master encryption key, your GPG home, and the run-init executable for initramfs replacing pivot_root for initrd. run-init can be found in klibc-utils, but the /lib/klibc-something.so has to be copied too. Here's what I come to (which can be probably optimized, there still must be unused files, and lighter executables such as full klibc or busybox with µClibc static can be used):
|initramfs's files for boot key|
.: bin boot dev etc init lib mnt newroot proc root sbin tmp usr var ./bin: ash chmod cp grep ln login mknod mv rm sleep sync busybox chroot gpg hostname loadkeys mkdir mount pwd sh stty umount ./boot: default.kmap ./dev: console kmem loop0 mem ram0 sda1 tty tty1 initctl loop mapper null sda sdb tty0 ./dev/loop: 0 ./dev/mapper: control ./etc: group inittab ld.so.cache lvm passwd shadow ./etc/lvm: ./lib: klibc-B9LS-Gjx2D7BYcbQig0RlgHKO9Y.so libctutils.so.0 libselinux.so.1 ld-linux.so.2 libdevmapper.so.1.02 libsepol.so.1 libblkid.so.1 libdl.so.2 libuuid.so.1 libcfont.so.0 libm.so.6 lvm-0 libconsole.so.0 libncurses.so.5 lvm-200 libcrypt.so.1 libpthread.so.0 lvm-default libc.so.6 libreadline.so.5 ./lib/lvm-200: lvchange lvmchange lvrename pvdisplay vgcfgbackup vgdisplay vgreduce lvconvert lvmdiskscan lvresize pvmove vgcfgrestore vgexport vgremove lvcreate lvmsadc lvs pvremove vgchange vgextend vgrename lvdisplay lvmsar lvscan pvresize vgck vgimport vgs lvextend lvreduce pvchange pvs vgconvert vgmerge vgscan lvm lvremove pvcreate pvscan vgcreate vgmknodes vgsplit ./newroot: ./root: .gpg/ master_disk_key-0x01234567.gpg ./sbin: depmod fsck.reiserfs losetup lvmiopversion run-init vgscan fsck getty lvm reiserfsck vgchange ./tmp: ./usr: sbin ./usr/sbin: chroot ./var: lock run ./var/lock: lvm ./var/lock/lvm: ./var/run: utmp
As you see in /root/ you have to put your files, which are your gpg homedir and your master encryption key. Try to not backup this latter on a non-encrypted media.
You may try to strip binaries, operation which removes debug information and symbols from binary files, and make them smaller, which is what we seek.
The content of /etc/rc must be changed and the file is now /init which is the default for initramfs (replace your real key name).
|/init boot script for the boot USB key|
#!/bin/sh mount -nt proc proc /proc mount rootfs / -o remount,rw /bin/hostname izakar /bin/loadkeys /boot/default.kmap /sbin/losetup -G /root/.gpg -K /root/master_disk_key-0x01234567.gpg \ -e AES256 /dev/loop0 /dev/sda if [ $? != 0 ]; then echo "Unable to mount loop device. Rebooting." exit 1; fi /sbin/vgscan /sbin/vgchange -a y evg0 mount -t reiserfs -o ro /dev/mapper/evg0-rootvol /newroot umount /proc exec /sbin/run-init /newroot /sbin/init "$@" \ < /newroot/dev/console > /newroot/dev/console
The rootfs from the initramfs can be mounted read/write, so tmpfs is not needed anymore for /dev /var and /etc. I did not test this -o remount,rw trick with initrd, but maybe it can work too. The run-init binary removes all files from the initramfs before remountint the hard drive's / in place. It then executes /sbin/init and the OS begins to boot.
You can find my image, the one listed above here.
Now you can create the ramfs.gz file from the directory where you have put all files with: find . | cpio -o -H newc | gzip -9 > ../ramfs.gz . Make sure you don't put a filename longer than 8 characters without the extension because it will be copied on a msdos filesystem which does not supports longer. This kind of file can be unrolled with: cd fs && gunzip -c ../ramfs.gz | cpio -iv --no-absolute-filenames .
Copy the files the same way than for the setup USB key. Change the syslinux.cfg to: default vmlinuz initrd=ramfs.gz and rerun syslinux /dev/sda, if sda is you USB key, make sure you don't run it on your hard drive!
Now you can boot on your boot USB key. It will ask you the gpg passphrase protecting the hard drive's encryption keys when it boots. If you fail, you have to reboot and retry, there is only one try. You can modify the /init script to get better chances. The initramfs then mounts the real root filesystem and gives hand to the host OS.
When your system is booted, you can remove the USB key and keep it safe, far from the drive. Don't make any copy of the encryption key on a non-crypted unremovable drive. I think that you should make 2 copies of the boot USB key, and keep them in safe different places.
If you try to boot on the system without the key, the hard drive will not be seen as a bootable device. Without the encryption key and the passphrase, your data will be safe.
For the funny story, after I did all that, at my first boot, I tried to copy a file from the network with ftp. At around 220MB, it crashed with a kernel panic, caused by heat. And this is when you figure out that this fanless board cannot be fanless :)
cpufreq. If you have a Jetway mini-itx board like the J7F4K1G2, you can use this script to change the power allocation (cpufreq) for the cpu.
#!/bin/sh if [[ $# == 1 ]] then echo "writing config..." echo "$1" > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor fi cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_available_governors echo -n "==> " cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor | tr '\n' ' ' FREQ=$((`cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_cur_freq` / 1000)) echo "(running at $FREQ""MHz)"
It will display available policies for cpufreq (the one you insmoded), like performance, powersave, or ondemand. Performance always runs the CPU at 1200MHz, powersave always at 400MHz, and ondemand switches to 1200MHz on load, which decreases power consumption on idle. The power.sh script can take an argument which is the name of a policy and makes it the in-use policy.
Sensors. Install the package lm-sensors. The sensors command will display voltages and temperatures from the onboard sensors. This needs to load the modules indicated by sensors-detect (f71805f, hwmon, i2c_dev, i2c_viapro, and i2c_core). You might also install hddtemp to get the internal temperature of your hard drives disks.
OpenSSL. OpenSSL and OpenSSH can use the padlock engine to encrypt and decrypt data. Last mainstream version do, but debian's stable (etch) does not, and needs a patch (BTW, I am not able to build the debian stable package with the patch, it segfaults). Next stable (lenny) has openssh patched, but openssl is still requested to be patched to support it. This is trivial, and this time I am able to build the patched package. You should look at here for instructions and this is the bug report for lenny.
SHA-1 sum. The original coreutil sha1sum does not support Padlock Hash
Engine. However, you can replace it by Michal Ludvig's implementation phe_sum. I have
run a simple benchmark on a 776MB file, it takes 49s with sha1sum, and 22s with
phe_sum. Unfortunately, SHA-256 support was not implemented.
The loop-aes README, a must read!
Why use loop-aes and not cryptoloop: here. This is not really relevant now because cyptoloop has been deprecated by dm-crypt, which was designed to support advanced modes of operation, such as XTS, LRW and ESSIV, in order to avoid watermarking attacks. The wikipedia page on disk encryption theory and lots of its links are very useful to understand all issues of disk encryptions, and different methods. The Arch Linux wiki page on System Encryption with LUKS for dm-crypt will help you with dm-crypt, and there is a little comparison between different approaches.
Project Naranja which is exactly the same thing, but was not available when I did this. See this link too.
The linux documentation project Encrypted Root Filesystem HOWTO
Linux documentation on initramfs and initrd.
Help on creating initrd: Booting Debian with root filesystem on LVM
Why it is a bad idea to buy a Jetway motherboard: design is so lame...
Programming with padlock: http://www.logix.cz/michal/doc/article.xp/padlock-en
GrouNation blog: crypto, padlock, TPMs with linux.
Inside NetBSD's CGD, a talk about crypto disk drivers of diverse OSes, and the implementation of NetBSD's CGD. http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/bsd/2005/12/21/netbsd_cgd.html
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