Full Disk Encryption In FreeBSD 9.1
24 Jan 2013
We will be using GELI as
the encryption and UFS as the
file system, all inside a 64GB SSD.
Please note that when I say full disk encryption it means everything except the
/boot partition. For this article and in my case you’ll be using the
/dev/ada0 disk. Two partitions; a 10G /boot and the rest of the disk as
Take a look at the Release notes,
Wiki, and Forums
for more information regarding FreeBSD. I also suggest taking a glance at the following man pages
for the commands we will be using, just in case there is something extra your system/setup requires.
prepare the installation media,
then boot into it. The next few steps are really straight forward and the handbook does a pretty good job explaining its options.
In the “Welcome” menu choose “Install”, choose your keyboard layout, then type in your hostname; pcname.localhost.home
or something resembling that format. Choose the optional system components as you wish,
the default options are fine. Finally, when it comes to the “Partitioning”, select “Shell”.
Inside the shell you’ll be typing the commands below.
# gpart show
# gpart destroy -F ada0
# gpart create -s gpt ada0
# gpart add -s 128 -t freebsd-boot ada0
# gpart add -s 10G -t freebsd-ufs ada0
# gpart add -t freebsd-ufs ada0
# gpart bootcode -b /boot/pmbr -p /boot/gptboot -i 1 ada0
# newfs -E -t -U -m 0 -j /dev/ada0p2
# geli init -bl 256 /dev/ada0p3
# set your password # geli attach /dev/ada0p3
# newfs -E -t -U -m 0 -j /dev/ada0p3.eli
# mount /dev/ada0p3.eli /mnt
# mkdir /mnt/bootdir
# mount /dev/ada0p2 /mnt/bootdir
Most of the difficult parts are completed, now we just wait for bsdinstall
to extract and install the base, kernel, ports, etc. After this step, you will
be asked for a root password, network configuration, among other things.
On the “Final Configuration” window, select “Exit” and wait for the next
screen, it may take a while depending on your system specifications.
Select “Yes” on “Manual Configuration”. The following few steps are very
important, we want to make sure the /boot partition is linked to the right
place and the configuration files to be right.
# mv boot bootdir/
# ln -fs bootdir/boot
Edit the file “/boot/loader.conf” and enter the following, please make
sure to find out if your processor supports
Newer Intel and AMD processors support this. If yours do not,
remove the second line shown below.
Edit the file “/etc/fstab” and enter the following:
# Device Mountpoint FStype Options Dump Pass
/dev/ada0p3.eli / ufs rw 0 0
/dev/ada0p2 /bootdir ufs rw 1 1
After you save the above file and exit, type in the command line:
Select “Reboot”. Make sure to boot from your hard drive instead of the
install media. And we are finished, after you log into your system,
type the following commands to make sure that trim is enabled.
Although FreeBSD is now installed, there is much more to be done,
including the installation of Xorg, your favorite
or office suite. For those questions, the FreeBSD handbook and forum are the place to go.
# tunefs -p /dev/ada0p2
# tunefs -p /dev/ada0p3