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I'm willing to prepare a secure installation on Manjaro Linux on my personal laptop to work in a protected environment, against physical theft of my laptop when I'm not at home.

I'm evaluating one of the 5 scenarios explained on Arch Wiki, and so far I've always encrypted the full disk partition, but I've experienced poor performance on I/O especially when working with virtual machines, even considering the fact that I'm using a SSD. The 3rd scenario (Partial system encryption with each user's home directory encrypted with ECryptfs) seems a good option, but how secure is it then?

Any suggestion / pro and contra on each of these scenarios would be really helpful.

  • The issue is that crypto costs cycles, and that won't go away. If the VM's don't need crypto, you could store them on a secondary storage system. – John Keates Jan 29 '17 at 13:21
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The level of security is directly tied to the risks of not encrypting everything else but the home directories. If you put sensitive data outside of the home directories (or forget that sensitive data should only be in ~), then you have a problem.

The other risk is that someone could gain control of your hardware and implant code in the system directories then return it to you. But if that level of protection is not in your threat scenario, then you can omit this potential.

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