How to use OnlyKey for full-disk encryption

Full-Disk Encryption

OnlyKey may be used to store a long random password (up to 56 characters long) that is ideal for full-disk encryption. As OnlyKey is detected as a regular USB keyboard this method of full-disk encryption password entry works on all devices and operating sytems.

Windows Bitlocker

OnlyKey may be used to enter passphrase/PIN to unlock Bitlocker encrypted drives.


OnlyKey may be used to enter passphrase to unlock LUKS encrypted drives. Additionally, by using the FIDO2 features of OnlyKey this may be used to implement LUKS 2-factor authentication with open source solutions such as fido2luks.


OnlyKey may be used to unlock any encrypted drive that supports a PIN, password, or passphrase such as VeraCrypt drives.

Head-less Device Authentication Scenarios

There are quite a few scenarios where secure authentication with a head-less (no monitor) computer is required. Here is an example use case and how OnlyKey may be utilized:

  • A consulting company wants to ship a testing device to a customer. Full-disk encryption is enabled to ensure that only the customer at the destination can decrypt and access the server. Company ships both the server and a provisioned OnlyKey protected by a PIN code. Upon receiving the shipment customer calls client to obtain PIN code (or sent via secure messaging). The client inserts the OnlyKey, unlocks with PIN code and presses a button which sends a very strong 56 character password to unlock the server.

OnlyKey helps is several ways:

  • Sending the client the password securely may be an issue. If the password is intercepted by a hacker it may be used to access the server. On the other hand, the OnlyKey PIN is only usable by a hacker if they also have access to the physical OnlyKey device.
  • The client may decide to write the password down or store it insecurely, with OnlyKey there is no password to write down.
  • The client may become frustrated typing that long of a password. OnlyKey automatically types the password at the push of a button which adds convenience without compromise of security.
  • OnlyKey gives visible feedback to the user when FDE login is successful on Linux systems by using custom UDEV rule here which makes OnlyKey blink blue after login success.
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