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Encrypted partitions for DNS-323

It is possible to use losetup and friends to have encrypted partitions on your DNS 323. Currently, this is only possible for the 1.03, 1.05, 1.10b7 firmware, unless you fancy compiling your own kernel modules (see crosscompile). But be aware that this will have a huge impact on performance (expect to get about 10% the performance of normal disk access…)


Looks like works both encrypted loopback (see instructions below) and dm-crypt + device-mapper (both modules already in kernel). For work with dm-crypt you need to setup ffp, take all necessary encryption modules from page below ( Using crosscompile (you can use DNS-323 ffp to compile all) compile LVM. Unfortunatly orignal 'install' form busybox does not recognize option -D but you can use workaround (move original symlink /bin/install to /tmp/x/install), put this script into /ffp/bin:

#!/ffp/bin/perl -w
#print ">'".$AV[$#AV-2]."'\n";
if( $AV[$#AV-2] eq '-D' ){
    print "Find -D\n";
    $AV[$#AV-2] = "";
        if( $srcFileName ne $shortDstName ){
            $pre = "cp $srcFileName $shortDstName; ";
    map { $res .= " $_" if ($_ ne ""); } @AV;
    $res = $pre . $res;
} else {
    map { $res .= " $_"; } @AV;
# cat install

ffp packages what you need (from:

  • e2fsprogs-1.41.0-1.tgz
  • vreadline-5.2-3.tgz
  • kernel-headers-
  • make-3.81-3.tgz
  • binutils-
  • gcc-4.1-2.tgz
  • perl-5.10-2.tgz
  • uclibc-0.9.29-7.tgz
  • wget-1.12-2.tgz
  • grep-2.5.3-2.tgz

Sources from original developers sites:

  • LVM2.2.02.85.tgz
  • libgcrypt-1.4.6.tar.gz
  • cryptsetup-1.2.0.tar.gz
  • libgpg-error-1.9.tar.gz
  • popt-1.16.tar.gz

Configuration hint:

./configure --build=arm-linux-uclibc --prefix=/ffp

Regarding cryptsetup looks like it is not nesessary because you can setup encrypted device using only device-mapper & dmsetup tool (see

Performance in case of dm-crypt

It is really nightmare. F.E. DNS-323 use Samsung 1,5TB drive.

dd bs=10M if=/dev/zero of=zero count=149

takes ~9min (2MB/sec) for encrypted drive and 30s for normal drive (49MB/sec)

dd bs=10M if=zero of=/dev/null count=149

takes ~8min (3MB/sec) for encrypted drive and 30s for normal drive (49MB/sec)

From another point of view it is not so bad an you can see Full DH movies and play sound from DNS-323 in case if it is connected to your WiFi which is not faster than 2MB/sec.

Firmware 1.05

There is no need to install a full-blown Linux distribution, just grab these files:

insmod cryptoloop.ko
insmod algorithm_of_your_choice.ko

That's all you need, now go read on how to setup an encrypted disk image.

Firmware 1.03

Setting Up

Firstly, you will need to have installed debian under a chroot. Then, install the “loop-aes-utils” package on it.

Next, you need to get the missing kernel modules. These should be placed in /mnt/HD_a2/modules/`uname -a`/, eg /mnt/HD_a2/modules/

Edit your funplug script, and add in the following near the top:

 # Load extra modules
 cd /mnt/HD_a2/modules/`uname -a`/
 for i in */*.ko; do insmod $i; done

Going Forward

You're now ready to get started with losetup, see

To see what crypto drivers you have, do cat /proc/crypto . Most of the crypto drivers will have a small key size than default, so you will almost certainly need to specify something small than losetup would expect, eg losetup -e twofish56 /dev/loop0 /dev/md1 rather than just -e twofish

Crypto speeds

These speeds were found by writing /dev/zero to a 10mb crypto device on the 1.03 Firmware, and reading it back again. They were run 3 times and averaged.

aes          - 128 bit - 1.5 MB/s write - 2.1 MB/s read 
blowfish-32  -  32 bit - 2.3 MB/s write - 4.8 MB/s read 
blowfish-48  -  48 bit - 2.3 MB/s write - 4.8 MB/s read 
blowfish-448 - 448 bit - 2.2 MB/s write - 4.7 MB/s read 
blowfish     - 128 bit - 2.2 MB/s write - 4.7 MB/s read 
des3_ede     - 192 bit - 0.6 MB/s write - 1.3 MB/s read
serpent      - 128 bit - 1.9 MB/s write - 4.1 MB/s read
twofish      - 128 bit - 2.1 MB/s write - 4.2 MB/s read
xor          -   1 bit - 2.7 MB/s write - 5.5 MB/s read
twofish-256  - 256 bit - 2.1 MB/s write - 4.2 MB/s read

A quick test with different hardware on 1.05 Firmware reveals a 90% performance impact compared to unencrypted disks

encryption write speed read speed
aes 3.8 MB/s 3.6 MB/s
none 40 MB/s 49 MB/s


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