Provisioning Export USB devices


SecureDrop Workstation is currently in a closed beta, and we do not recommend installing it for production purposes independently. See our blog post for more information.

SecureDrop Workstation supports the export of submissions from the Qubes client to an encrypted USB Export Device.


Currently only LUKS-encrypted devices are supported, which effectively restricts the Export Device to use with Linux-based systems such as Tails. Support for Veracrypt-encrypted devices is planned, which will allow the use of the Export Device with MacOS and Windows systems.

In order to provision an Export Device for use with SecureDrop Workstation, you will need a fresh USB stick and a Linux-based system. Tails is recommended - if available, the Secure Viewing Station can be used, adding the extra benefit of its airgap:

  • First, boot into the Secure Viewing Station, without unlocking its persistent volume or setting an admin password.

  • Next, open the Disks utility: Applications > Utilities > Disks.

  • Connect the fresh USB stick and select it in the list in the left-hand panel.


The formatting operation will wipe any data on an existing partition. Make sure that you select the correct device!

  • Click the interlocking gear icon under the drive volumes schematic in the right-hand panel and choose Format Partition….

  • Select the following options in the Format Volume dialog:

    • Volume Name: Transfer

    • Type: Ext4, with the “Password protect volume (LUKS)” option enabled

  • Then, click Next. You will be prompted to set a password. This password should be strong - a 6-word Diceware passphrase is highly recommended.

  • Once the password is set, click Format, then when prompted, click Format again. The formatting process should take only a few seconds.

  • Once formatting is complete, you will need to provide the Export Device and its decryption password to the SecureDrop Workstation users. Make sure that they store it and its password securely, as it will contain decrypted submissions.