Best Practices: how to backup my encrypted Home folder in an encrypted way?

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sebbo
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Best Practices: how to backup my encrypted Home folder in an encrypted way?

Postby sebbo » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:46 pm

Hey there :)

Googling this bring me mostly people who need to recover their encrypted home folder...

But what i want is actually to use the encryption that i'm using anyway, to backup my homefolder in an encrypted way. I want the backup to be encrypted as well!

But i have no clue where to really start this.

I can either use Luks to create an encrypted partition on my 2TB USB HDD and then copy the files to the mounted LUks Container while my home folder is unencrypted (or mounted?).

But could it be easier to simply transfer the encrypted home folder directly? How would i start the transfer when the computer is running and how would i access the data on another computer (i.e. how to save the actual encryption keys which are protected by my user password?)

Or would that be BS and I'd be happier with the LUKS Alternative?

thanks for your suggestions!
brs

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WharfRat
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Re: Best Practices: how to backup my encrypted Home folder in an encrypted way?

Postby WharfRat » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:48 pm

I would backup the clear files to the LUKS container.

If you don't want to dedicate the entire 2TB USB HDD then create a LUKS virtual filesystem of appropriate size to hold your home content :wink:
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Petermint
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Re: Best Practices: how to backup my encrypted Home folder in an encrypted way?

Postby Petermint » Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:10 am

For an extra backup, you could boot Clonezilla and copy the encrypted partition. A restore would bring the whole partition back with the encryption in place.

For people looking at copying encrypted data in general, an encryption might use something from your computer to make the encryption unique, making it impossible to restore on another computer. You should test opening the encrypted data on another computer. Even a change of software version might alter the encryption settings, creating recovery problems.

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catweazel
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Re: Best Practices: how to backup my encrypted Home folder in an encrypted way?

Postby catweazel » Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:51 am

Petermint wrote:Even a change of software version might alter the encryption settings, creating recovery problems.

Highly unlikely.
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Re: Best Practices: how to backup my encrypted Home folder in an encrypted way?

Postby Petermint » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:08 am

"Highly unlikely" There are some encryption standards that are no longer trusted. Some software recently dropped the older options. You could accidentally keep old settings when you copy encrypted partitions to new disks. A new disk is a good time to update to the latest level of encryption.

sebbo
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Re: Best Practices: how to backup my encrypted Home folder in an encrypted way?

Postby sebbo » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:17 am

Thanks for your Answers.

Clonezilla might be an easy way to have a complete backup.

However, i see three disadvantages
- i need to backup always everything, or is there some incremental clonezilla? As the HDDs are encrypted, i guess rather not
- i would need to shutdown my pc, run the backup over night, which would take quite some time
- in case my laptop is stolen i need to get (almost) the same hardware to be able to boot from the backup, right?

Probably the easiest thing would be to mount a LUKS encypted external HDD and rsync the files from the unencrypted home folder. This would be the least overhead. However i would be dependant on LUKS being compatible for some more years. Is there anything likely that this will change?

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WharfRat
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Re: Best Practices: how to backup my encrypted Home folder in an encrypted way?

Postby WharfRat » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:47 am

sebbo wrote:However i would be dependant on LUKS being compatible for some more years. Is there anything likely that this will change?

I've been using LUKS encrypted drives for years with no problems.

Just stay current with kernel and package upgrades and you'll be fine.
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Laurent85
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Re: Best Practices: how to backup my encrypted Home folder in an encrypted way?

Postby Laurent85 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:16 am

WharfRat wrote:Just stay current with kernel and package upgrades and you'll be fine.

I agree. LUKS is the Linux disk encryption standard at the block level and should be preferred over any alternatives.
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