It is possible to encrypt the whole system. But that means substantially longer boot times.
In that case, will an encrypted home partition be a better alternative? Will that significantly save on the boot time?
But carrying the same line of thought, would an encrypted home folder or encrypting select folders in /home/user be better? But will it have the convenience of automatic decryption on login?
The boot time is not really substantially longer for a fully encrypted system.
What makes it take longer is the initial opening of the encrypted container via Grub
because Grub is not very efficient for this task.
If you have a unencrypted /boot partition, this process is substantially faster - hardly noticable.
If you just encrypt /home the effect is the same - it’ll be fast.
But, as of now, the Manjaro installer cannot handle this scenario of only encrypting parts of the system.
It’s all or nothing, AFAIK.
(I’m not really sure about this when only /home is to be encrypted - I never tried that as it would not make much sense to me.)
I think this was doable with the Architekt installer - which is currently not easily available (or not current).
@Nachlese Thanks. The boot time difference is substantial. I can boot the system using a USB stick much faster than booting from hard disk.
Also, because selective encryption is not available, will it be a good idea to encrypt select folders in /home/user/? But would they be decrypted and made available to me once I login?
I am using KDE Manjaro.
solid state memory is always faster than a rotating disk
That has got nothing to do with encryption, though.
I don’t know - that is your preference and for you to decide.
It certainly can be done after the initial installation in at least two different ways.
It’ll involve a bit of work and learning - the process is very likely described somewhere.
My preferred source for these and all other questions is the Arch wiki.
You might also find the info here on the forum in some HOWTO post or in Manjaro wiki - I don’t know.
This can be done with systemd-homed. You will end up with an encrypted container file container the user’s home directory which is automatically mounted for you after the login.
However, I believe it is rather hard to setup for someone unexperienced with Linux.
Here are some pointers: Archwiki, general information, migrate