ZFS in-place Encryption

ZFS in-place Encryption #

There are basically two possibilities to encrypt an existing array’s disks:

  1. perform in-place encryption of cold disks with luksipc

    • requires that you have enough free space at the end
    • will not work if your array is assembled from /dev/disk/by-id/* paths, since those will change
  2. iterate over hot disks by overwriting and resilvering each one

    • will leave your array in a degraded but usable state
    • you should overwrite the entire disk to make sure plaintext traces are removed
    • depending on how full your array is you might need to write up to twice your raw accumulated disk size worth of data .. this takes a lot of time!

Hot Encryption #

I chose to use the latter method because there was not enough space at the end of the drives and I was not sure how ZFS could handle the changed disk paths. A couple things to note:

  • make sure you align all partitions / containers!

    • check your real physical block size (the drive might lie)
    • check the ashift property of your pool
  • use partitions, do not make the LUKS partition span the entire drive!

    • begin the first partition at a multiple of your pbs, e.g. 4096 sectors / 2 MiB is a safe bet
    • account for the LUKS header (usually should be 2 MiB)
    • do not enlarge your partitions by too much, so you can replace them later on
    • however make sure that the mapped device cannot be smaller than your original partition!

Example #

For example, I originally had four 7809835008 sector partitions (fdisk uses 512 byte sectors here).

Partition sectors (512 bytes) approximate size
Original ZFS 7809835008 3813396 MiB
Full disk 7814037168 ~ 3815447 MiB
Nominal 4 TiB disk 7812500000 ~ 3814697 MiB
New ZFS 7811072000 3814000 MiB
New LUKS 7811076096 3814002 MiB

Rinse & Repeat #

Assume the original pool looked like this:

  mirror-0                                                          ONLINE
    /dev/disk/by-id/ata-WDC_WD40EZRX-00SPEB0_WD-WCC4E0496927-part2  ONLINE
    /dev/disk/by-id/ata-HGST_HDN724040ALE640_PK1334PEHLZA1S-part2   ONLINE
  mirror-1                                                          ONLINE
    /dev/disk/by-id/ata-WDC_WD40EZRX-00SPEB0_WD-WCC4E0284683-part2  ONLINE
    /dev/disk/by-id/ata-HGST_HDN724040ALE640_PK1334PEHK98JS-part2   ONLINE

Take the first drive offline:

export DISK="WDC_WD40EZRX-00SPEB0_WD-WCC4E0496927"
zpool offline kourier ata-${DISK}-part2

Overwrite with zeroes or random data:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-${DISK} status=progress bs=1M

Create a new partition table and one partition with your desired size (the UUID sets the partition type to FreeBSD ZFS):

sfdisk /dev/disk/by-id/ata-${DISK} <<EOF
label: gpt
start=2M size=7811076096 type=516E7CBA-6ECF-11D6-8FF8-00022D09712B

Create and open the LUKS container with your desired cipher / hash / keysize settings:

cryptsetup luksFormat /dev/disk/by-id/ata-${DISK}-part1
cryptsetup open /dev/disk/by-id/ata-${DISK}-part1 ${DISK}_LUKS

Replace the drive in the pool and wait for it to resilver:

zpool replace kourier ata-${DISK}-part2 /dev/mapper/${DISK}_LUKS
watch -d zpool status -P

Rinse and repeat with all four disks. This is what my pool looks like now:

  mirror-0                                                 ONLINE
    /dev/mapper/WDC_WD40EZRX-00SPEB0_WD-WCC4E0496927_LUKS  ONLINE
    /dev/mapper/HGST_HDN724040ALE640_PK1334PEHLZA1S_LUKS   ONLINE
  mirror-1                                                 ONLINE
    /dev/mapper/WDC_WD40EZRX-00SPEB0_WD-WCC4E0284683_LUKS  ONLINE
    /dev/mapper/HGST_HDN724040ALE640_PK1334PEHK98JS_LUKS   ONLINE

systemd Target #

My next task will be to create proper dependencies for all my systemd services. I do not want my system to block boot, so I can later login and manually decrypt the disks. However I also don’t want to have services randomly fail or attempt to create nonexistent paths because the zpool is not imported yet. They should just queue and wait for me to decrypt the drives and then automatically continue once I’ve done that.

Useful pointers:

  • systemd-cryptsetup@.service
  • bundling all encrypted disks in a *.target
  • After=, RequiredBy=/WantedBy= and BindsTo= properties of services
  • systemd.unit(5)
See Systemd Decryption Target for the finished result.