Came here in search of an answer to a problem, but didn't find it? Visit the forum @ LinuxBSDos.com, pick a category and ask a question.

Full disk encryption and LVM configuration in Ubuntu’s graphical installer

Ubiquity, Ubuntu Desktop‘s graphical installation program, is very easy to use, very newbie friendly, but it lacks support for full disk encryption, LVM, the Linux Logical Volume Manager, and RAID. On a desktop system, I do not care very much about RAID, but full disk encryption and LVM are must-haves.

Well, it looks like from Ubuntu 12.10, due in late October, Ubiquity will have support for full disk encryption and LVM. The test build that I installed in a virtual machine shows that the implementation is still in the early stages, but it also shows how easy it will be to configure both features when the final release hits the digital shelves.

The following screen shots show the options in the installer and the default configuration. The test system already had the alpha version of Ubuntu 12.10 on it, so if you choose the first option, LVM and disk encryption are not available.
LVM and Encrypt

They are only available if you opt to erase the disk and install Ubuntu standalone.
LVM and Encryption

When LVM is selected, the system creates three partitions by default: A primary partition (sda1) mounted at /boot of about 228 MB in size; an extended partition initialized for use by LVM (this is the Physical Volume), with two logical volumes created under it. The logical volumes are for root and Swap. So unlike the default setup in Fedora, there is no separate logical volume for /home.
LVM  Partitions

If the LVM and disk encryption options are both selected, you will have to specify a security key or passphrase that will be used to encrypt and decrypt the disk. Currently, the installer does not check the strength of the security key, even allowing you to set a 1-character security key. That is obviously not good, but I expect that to be rectified before the final version is released.
Disks Encryption Passphrase

With disk encryption configured, you get this screen on each reboot.
Encryption Passphrase

And this just shows the disk layout as seen from the disk management utility. Selecting LVM and disk encryption creates an encrypted LVM volume, because the Physical Volume is encrypted. Note that LVM and disk encryption have not been implemented in the Advanced Partitioning Tool. But that, too, should be in place by late October.
Encrypted LVM

0saves
To have articles like this delivered automatically to your Feed Reader or Inbox, subscribe via RSS or email.
Digital Ocean SSD VPS Cloud Server droplets

Digital Ocean is a VPS/Cloud hosting provider. For just $5 per month, you can get yourself a Cloud server with 512 MB of RAM, 20 GB super-fast SSD, free snapshots, plus backups for a minimal fee. All via a simple graphical interface.

And by signing up with this referral link, you can help support this website.

If you are reading this, your ad could also be occupying this space. Contact us to make it happen.

If commenting on this article is closed, please post your comments at forum.linuxbsdos.com.

10 Comments

  1. john says:

    unfortunately, even after stable release, installing ubuntu 12.10 alongside another OS does not allow you the option to have an encrypted LVM. Nor can you achieve the same result by the manual partition tool.

  2. M1ke says:

    Good article, exactly what I was looking to know and glad that the Ubuntu devs have made it so easy.

    @Abhishek: I don’t think he needs to explain the benefits of disk encryption, this is a blog article about how to use it which implies you might already know something about it, and if not there’s a wealth of information elsewhere that’s very easy to find.

  3. Abhishek says:

    Thanks for the detailed article. It could have better if you mentioned or provided link to explain the benefits of full disk encryption.

Leave a Comment