I have a need for full disk encryption on two Pi3s with will be used for an autonomous robotic project. I see LUKS is available for Buster with remote unlock, which is necessary since the 2 Pi3s will be running headless.

What I don't know is does a Pi3 have sufficient processing power to run full disk encryption on a 16Gb SD card, handle the I/O needs of driving and sensing the robot and run as a wireless access point.

Advice from the wise please, and to make it clear hardware solutions such as zymkey are out of bounds since they sit on the GPIO which makes adding sensors a tad difficult, as well as the motor controllers and a pi juice battery management hat. Space is obviously limited as well.

As for the possibility of loading the binaries into memory obliviating the effect of the encryption on performance, processes till need to be moved in and out of core and I cannot predict the memory load of the AI driving the autonomous components.

  • 1
    "What I don't know is does a Pi3 have sufficient processing power to run full disk encryption on a 16Gb SD card, handle ____" -> You might want to rephrase the title then, because the answer is yes it's possible, but your other needs are very vaguely defined. That said, if the activity is one which loads into memory and then doesn't need to do a lot of disk IO (eg., saving video), the encrypted filesystem shouldn't matter much. The userspace prereqs, binaries, etc. will be decrypted once and loaded into memory.
    – goldilocks
    Mar 28, 2020 at 18:53

1 Answer 1


Other SOCs in the same price range have much better encryption performance:

aes-xts 512b benchmarks:

MiB/s,   Product
   9.7,  RPI 1
  18.8,  HiFive Unmatched (U740)
  22.5,  RPI 3
  42.2,  Odroid C2
  60.0,  USB2 ===
  66.1,  RPI 4
  76.2,  Odroid XU4
 221.2,  UP1
 240.3,  Orange Pi PC2, NanoPi NEO2 (AllWinner H5)
 267.0,  espressobin
 370.5,  ROCK64 (RK3328)
 570.6,  Odroid C4 (S905X3)
 625.0,  USB3 ===
 655.6,  Odroid N1, ROCKPRO64, etc (RK3399)
 666.1,  UP2 (N4200)
 704.2,  Odroid H2 (J4105)
 707.1,  Odroid N2 (S922X)
 826.1,  rackspace (E5-2670)
 985.1,  EC2 (AMD EPYC 7571)
1366.7,  EC2 (E5-2676)
1393.7,  old i5 (2500S)
2710.3,  Ryzen 1800X
2994.5,  i7-1165G7


  • I find this benchmark hard to trust: according to it a Pi4 is almost 10x slower than Odroid C4, while the official benchmark from the product page show that Pi4 is actually faster than C4 in some tests like Whetstone and 7-zip. Jun 16, 2023 at 9:53
  • Correction: perhaps this is because Pi4 didn't pay for ARM AES extensions. +1. Jun 16, 2023 at 9:56

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