Provided by: cryptsetup_1.1.0~rc2-1ubuntu13_i386
cryptsetup - setup cryptographic volumes for dm-crypt (including LUKS
cryptsetup <options> <action> <action args>
cryptsetup is used to conveniently setup dm-crypt managed device-mapper
mappings. For basic dm-crypt mappings, there are five operations.
These strings are valid for <action>, followed by their <action args>:
create <name> <device>
creates a mapping with <name> backed by device <device>.
<options> can be [--hash, --cipher, --verify-passphrase, --key-
file, --key-size, --offset, --skip, --readonly]
removes an existing mapping <name>. No options.
reports the status for the mapping <name>. No options.
resizes an active mapping <name>.
If --size (in sectors) is not specified, the size of the
underlying block device is used.
LUKS, Linux Unified Key Setup, is a standard for hard disk encryption.
It standardizes a partition header, as well as the format of the bulk
data. LUKS can manage multiple passwords, that can be revoked
effectively and that are protected against dictionary attacks with
These are valid LUKS actions:
luksFormat <device> [<key file>]
initializes a LUKS partition and sets the initial key, either
via prompting or via <key file>. <options> can be [--cipher,
--verify-passphrase, --key-size, --key-slot].
luksOpen <device> <name>
opens the LUKS partition <device> and sets up a mapping <name>
after successful verification of the supplied key material
(either via key file by --key-file, or via prompting).
<options> can be [--key-file, --readonly].
identical to remove.
suspends active device (all IO operations are frozen) and wipes
encryption key from kernel. Kernel version 2.6.19 or later is
After that operation you have to use luksResume to reinstate
encryption key (and resume device) or luksClose to remove mapped
WARNING: never try to suspend device where is the cryptsetup
Resumes suspended device and reinstates encryption key. You will
need provide passphrase identical to luksOpen command (using
prompting or key file).
luksAddKey <device> [<new key file>]
add a new key file/passphrase. An existing passphrase or key
file (via --key-file) must be supplied. The key file with the
new material is supplied as a positional argument. <options> can
be [--key-file, --key-slot].
luksRemoveKey <device> [<key file>]
remove supplied key or key file from LUKS device
luksKillSlot <device> <key slot number>
wipe key with number <key slot> from LUKS device. A remaining
passphrase or key file (via --key-file) must be supplied.
<options> can be [--key-file].
luksDelKey <device> <key slot number>
identical to luksKillSlot, but deprecated action name.
print UUID, if <device> has a LUKS header. No options.
returns true, if <device> is a LUKS partition. Otherwise, false.
dumps the header information of a LUKS partition. No options.
luksHeaderBackup <device> --header-backup-file <file>
Stores binary backup of LUKS header and keyslot areas.
WARNING: Please note that with this backup file (and old
passphrase knowledge) you can decrypt data even if old
passphrase was wiped from real device.
Also note that anti-forensic splitter is not used during
manipulation with backup file.
luksHeaderRestore <device> --header-backup-file <file>
Restores binary backup of LUKS header and keyslot areas from
WARNING: All the keyslot areas are overwritten, only active
keyslots form backup file are available after issuing this
This command allows restoring header if device do not contain
LUKS header or if the master key size and data offset in LUKS
header on device match the backup file.
For more information about LUKS, see
For create action specifies hash to use for password hashing.
For luksFormat action specifies hash used in LUKS key setup
scheme and volume key digest.
WARNING: setting hash other than sha1 causes LUKS device
incompatible with older version of cryptsetup.
The hash string is passed to libgcrypt, so all hashes accepted
by gcrypt are supported. Default is "ripemd160" for create
action and "sha1" for luksFormat.
set cipher specification string. For plain dm-crypt mappings,
the default is "aes-cbc-plain", for LUKS mappings it’s "aes-cbc-
essiv:sha256". For pre-2.6.10 kernels, use "aes-plain" as they
don’t understand the new cipher spec strings. To use ESSIV, use
For XTS mode, kernel version 2.6.24 or more recent is required.
Use "aes-xts-plain" cipher specification and set key size to 256
(or 512) bits (see -s option).
query for passwords twice. Useful when creating a (regular)
mapping for the first time, or when running luksFormat.
use file as key material. With LUKS, key material supplied in
key files via -d are always used for existing passphrases. If
you want to set a new key via a key file, you have to use a
positional arg to luksFormat or luksAddKey.
If the key file is "-", stdin will be used. This is different
from how cryptsetup usually reads from stdin. See section NOTES
ON PASSWORD PROCESSING for more information.
Use pre-generated master key stored in file. For luksFormat it
allows LUKS header reformatting with the same master key (if all
other parameters are the same existing encrypted data remains
For luksAddKey it allows adding new passphrase with only master
For LUKS operations that add key material, this options allows
to you specify which key slot is selected for the new key. This
option can be used for luksFormat and luksAddKey.
set key size in bits. Has to be a multiple of 8 bits. The key
size is limited by the used cipher. See output of /proc/crypto
for more information. Can be used for create or luksFormat, all
other LUKS actions will use key-size specified by the LUKS
header. Default is 128 for luksFormat and 256 for create.
For luksOpen this option specifies number of bits read from the
key-file (default is exhaustive read from key-file).
force the size of the underlying device in sectors. This option
is only relevant for create and resize action.
start offset in the backend device. This option is only
relevant for create action.
how many sectors of the encrypted data to skip at the beginning.
This is different from the --offset options with respect to IV
calculations. Using --offset will shift the IV calculation by
the same negative amount. Hence, if --offset n, sector n will be
the first sector on the mapping with IV 0. Using --skip would
have resulted in sector n being the first sector also, but with
IV n. This option is only relevant for create action.
set up a read-only mapping.
The number of milliseconds to spend with PBKDF2 password
processing. This option is only relevant to the LUKS operations
as luksFormat or luksAddKey.
Do not ask for confirmation. Use with care! This option is only
relevant for luksFormat, luksAddKey, luksRemoveKey or
The number of seconds to wait before timeout. This option is
relevant every time a password is asked, like create, luksOpen,
luksFormat or luksAddKey. It has no effect if used in
conjunction with --key-file.
How often the input of the passphrase shall be retried. This
option is relevant every time a password is asked, like create,
luksOpen, luksFormat or luksAddKey. The default is 3 tries.
Align payload at a boundary of value 512-byte sectors. This
option is relevant for luksFormat. If your block device lives
on a RAID, it is useful to align the filesystem at full stripe
boundaries so it can take advantage of the RAID’s geometry. See
for instance the sunit and swidth options in the mkfs.xfs manual
page. By default, the payload is aligned at an 8 sector (4096
Show the version.
NOTES ON PASSWORD PROCESSING
From a file descriptor or a terminal: Password processing is new-line
sensitive, meaning the reading will stop after encountering \n. It will
process the read material (without newline) with the default hash or
the hash given by --hash. After hashing, it will be cropped to the key
size given by -s.
From stdin: Reading will continue until EOF (so using e.g. /dev/random
as stdin will not work), with the trailing newline stripped. After that
the read data will be hashed with the default hash or the hash given by
--hash and the result will be cropped to the keysize given by -s. If
"plain" is used as an argument to the hash option, the input data will
not be hashed. Instead, it will be zero padded (if shorter than the
keysize) or truncated (if longer than the keysize) and used directly as
the key. No warning will be given if the amount of data read from stdin
is less than the keysize.
From a key file: It will be cropped to the size given by -s. If there
is insufficient key material in the key file, cryptsetup will quit with
If --key-file=- is used for reading the key from stdin, no trailing
newline is stripped from the input. Without that option, cryptsetup
strips trailing newlines from stdin input.
NOTES ON PASSWORD PROCESSING FOR LUKS
LUKS uses PBKDF2 to protect against dictionary attacks (see RFC 2898).
LUKS will always do an exhaustive password reading. Hence, password can
not be read from /dev/random, /dev/zero or any other stream that does
LUKS saves the processing options when a password is set to the
respective key slot. Therefore, no options can be given to luksOpen.
For any password creation action (luksAddKey, or luksFormat), the user
may specify how much the time the password processing should consume.
Increasing the time will lead to a more secure password, but also will
take luksOpen longer to complete. The default setting of one second is
sufficient for good security.
INCOHERENT BEHAVIOUR FOR INVALID PASSWORDS/KEYS
LUKS checks for a valid password or key when an encrypted partition is
unlocked. Thus the luksOpen action fails with invalid password or key,
contrary to the plain dm-crypt create action.
NOTES ON SUPPORTED CIPHERS, MODES, HASHES AND KEY SIZES
The available combinations of ciphers, modes, hashes and key sizes
depend on kernel support. See /proc/crypto for a list of available
options. You might need to load additional kernel crypto modules in
order to get more options.
For --hash option all algorithms supported by gcrypt library are
NOTES ON PASSWORDS
Mathematics can’t be bribed. Make sure you keep your passwords safe.
There are a few nice tricks for constructing a fallback, when suddenly
out of (or after being) blue, your brain refuses to cooperate. These
fallbacks are possible with LUKS, as it’s only possible with LUKS to
have multiple passwords.
cryptsetup is written by Christophe Saout <email@example.com>
LUKS extensions, and man page by Clemens Fruhwirth
COMPATABILITY WITH OLD SUSE TWOFISH PARTITIONS
To read images created with SuSE Linux 9.2’s loop_fish2 use --cipher
twofish-cbc-null -s 256 -h sha512, for images created with even older
SuSE Linux use --cipher twofish-cbc-null -s 192 -h ripemd160:20
reload <name> <device>
modifies an active mapping <name>. Same options as for create.
WARNING: Do not use this for LUKS devices, as the semantics are
identical to the create action, which are totally incompatible
with the LUKS key setup.
This action is deprected because it proved to be rarely useful.
It is uncommon to change the underlying device, key, or offset
on the fly. In case, you really want to do this, you certainly
know what you are doing and then you are probably better off
with the swiss knive tool for device mapper, namely dmsetup. It
provides you with the same functionality, see dmsetup reload.
luksDelKey <device> <key slot number>
identical to luksKillSlot, but deprecated action name. This
option was renamed, as we introduced luksRemoveKey, a softer
method for disabling password slots. To make a clear distinction
that luksDelKey was more brutal than luksRemoveKey
Report bugs to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Copyright © 2004 Christophe Saout
Copyright © 2004-2006 Clemens Fruhwirth
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is
NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR
dm-crypt website, http://www.saout.de/misc/dm-crypt/
LUKS website, http://code.google.com/p/cryptsetup/
dm-crypt TWiki, http://www.saout.de/tikiwiki/tiki-index.php