Is Raspberry Pi (model B, rev. 2) suitable for a home file server with external disks encrypted with LUKS? In particular, is the de/encryption throughput reasonable? I used to have such a disk in a dual core Atom machine and the performance was OK (mostly bound by network throughput and the CIFS protocol). Using Pi would be somewhat nicer - less power consumption, no noise from the power supply etc.

With 100Mbit ethernet I'd be more than happy if the throughput were somewhere between 5-10MB/s. And > 1MB/s would still be reasonable for most operations.

  • Welcome to the Raspberry Pi corner of the Stack Exchange. What sort of data throughput are you anticipating - the 10/100 MHz wired Ethernet shares bandwidth with the built-in 4 port USB Hub so the data transfer rate is not going to be stella but it may be good-enough if you can quantify your requirements. One thing proviso is that the most recent Raspian (Jessie) distribution as well as most (I guess) of the others use the, ahem, modern systemd by default, rather than the system V init of the previous Wheezy. IIRC that did have some issues with exotic features of encrypted fs s. – SlySven Feb 3 '16 at 20:09
  • @SlySven I updated the Q. You're right, Jessie has problems with encrypted disks, actually one of the reasons I'm considering Pi is that the original machine got into unusable state after attempting to upgrade to Jessie so I'll have to reinstall the system one way or another. – Petr Feb 4 '16 at 12:27
  • Fortunately, Debian has retained the capability to use the older (30+ years?) sysV init with the Jessie (8.x) release and that has been ported to Raspbian which is derived from it. If you are trying to dist-upgrade from Wheezy (7.x) do what I have on all my systems, Pin init so that systemd NEVER gets a look in - see here and here... – SlySven Feb 4 '16 at 18:09
  • ... those ARE for PC platform, but the notes in the previous section, especially 4.4.4 in that second link may help even on an RPi! Note: I am not speaking from an impartial viewpoint, so please be aware that my suggestion to keep with init is laden with personal bias - you never know, maybe they have/will fix systemd to work better with LUKS. 8-/ – SlySven Feb 4 '16 at 18:19
  • @SlySven Seems that in #618862 near the end a workaround is suggested that might help. – Petr Feb 5 '16 at 6:59

So I tried that out and it works pretty nicely so far (except for some problems with the 4.1.18 kernel). Using cipher aes-xts-plain64 the speed is around 3MB/s for both reading and writing.


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