Bill Moran said the following on 2009-04-21 14:41:
In response to Bernt Hansson <>:

Giorgos Keramidas said the following on 2009-04-20 23:59:
On Mon, 20 Apr 2009 21:38:54 +0200, Bernt Hansson <> wrote:
Hello list!

I was thinking of makeing a slice encrypted with geli.

My question is: does geli init -s 4096 /dev/ad* erase the data on the
slice. The handbook didn't say yes or no, and I don't want to try
without asking.
No, what? does it erase the data or not.

It depends on exactly what part of the process you're talking about

My question is: does geli init -s 4096 /dev/ad* erase the data on the

and it depends on exactly what you mean by "erase".

Destroy it so it's no longer aviable.

Geli doesn't explicitly destroy your data at any point in the process.
However, most HOWTOs I've ready will tell you at some step or another
to overwrite the partition using dd and /dev/zero, which _does_
destroy the data.

Yes. That much I do know.

Also, even if you skip the dd step, geli will alter the partition in
such a way that typical tools will not see the data.  However, if you
know your stuff, you can bypass normal tools and still read (part of?)
the data.

Not good.

If your question is, "I'm switching a partition to using geli, do I
need to back up my data before doing so?" the answer is YES!

I do NOT want to backup the data unencrypted.

But I want to keep the info on the slice.

Then you need to copy it elsewhere, then copy it back after the slice
is encrypted.

Dont have the space for that.

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