Questions on LUKS, Compression, and Data Migration

Hello Rockstor Community,

I’m considering a switch to Rockstor after a friend set up a clean Ubuntu server for me with LUKS and Btrfs. While I appreciate the functionality, I quickly realized that I’m not comfortable managing everything via the command line. I fear that one wrong command could result in catastrophic data loss. This is what brought me to Rockstor; I’m intrigued by the GUI and the additional layers of user-friendliness it offers.

I currently have two machines:

  1. A newer one with an AMD 3200G, 32GB RAM, a 128GB SSD, and 3 x 16TB HDDs.
  2. An older one running on a Q9450, 16GB RAM, a 128GB SSD, and 5 x 8TB HDDs.

I’d like to transition to using the first machine as my main server and keep the second as a backup. Currently, the older machine runs Ubuntu 22.04 Server Edition, and I’m looking for advice on how best to transfer my data over to the new server.

LUKS Encryption

I’m a photojournalist, and having encrypted hard drives is a critical requirement for my work. I’ve installed Rockstor for the second time, and I noticed that my LUKS keys would be stored on the SSD, which isn’t encrypted. According to Rockstor’s documentation, the boot drive should also be encrypted during installation, but I can’t find this option anywhere. Can someone guide me through locating this option?


As a photographer and videographer, I’m interested in knowing which compression method would be the best for my use case. From what I’ve read, ZSTD seems to be the most recommended, but I’m still relatively inexperienced with these compression methods. Additionally, could anyone provide information on what level of compression to expect?

Data Migration and Integrity

Finally, I’m looking to migrate roughly 30TB of self-generated data from the older machine to the new one. What’s the best approach to transfer this data securely, and are there tools within Rockstor to ensure data integrity? Losing my photographs would be devastating, so any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all in advance for your insights and suggestions.

Best regards,

@florjanssens so this thread doesn’t get lost, as I am also interested in other opinions on this.

On the compression side, as usual it will depend on what you are trying to compress. Assuming, most of your images are the RAW format, you can achieve quite a bit of compression levels, whereas jpg would not give you all that much.
While ZSTD is now available with btrfs, I don’t think we offer it in the current stable version of Rockstor’s WebUI. But that’s coming. @phillxnet care to comment on this area?

Same goes for the LUKS piece, here’s a thread you might have already seen, albeit it’s a bit older.

For the migration (and then subsequently using the old machine as backup) you could resort to using ‘rsync’. Any solution will take some time, since 30 TB are not a small amount of data.

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I recommend you to replace your SSD with a Self Encrypting Drive (SED), if your current SSD doesn’t already support this. That way you can encrypt the entire boot drive without rockstor even being aware of it. I created this tool to conveniently unlock the SED when you boot the server.

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I just wanted to briefly chime in about the following:

Thanks to @StephenBrown2, we actually have the zstd compression available from the webUI as of Rockstor-5.0.2-0: