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

Related Posts

How to upgrade Ubuntu 12.04 LTS to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS This article shows how to upgrade Ubuntu 12.04 LTS to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Warning: Before upgrading, backup your data. Note that it is generally ...
How to install Ubuntu 15.04, Linux Mint 17.2 on an external hard drive Following from Tips for installing a Linux distribution on an external hard drive, here's a short and quick one on how to install Ubuntu 15.04 or Linu...
How to install Cinnamon in Ubuntu 11.10 Cinnamon is a new desktop environment, forked from GNOME 3 by the developers of Linux Mint. It is intended as an optional desktop for those who have n...
How to install Nanny on Mint 9 and Ubuntu 10.04 Nanny is a graphical parental control tool developed for Guadalinex, a Linux desktop distribution derived from Ubuntu and developed and maintained by ...
Amazon and Ubuntu: A match made for profit? Ubuntu 12.10, code-named Quantal Quetzal, is scheduled for release on October 18. Like any new release of a Linux distribution or any operating system...
Triple-boot Windows 7, Ubuntu 12.10 and Fedora 18 on one HDD To Triple-boot Windows 7, Ubuntu 12.10 and Fedora 18 on a single hard disk drive (HDD) presents a different set of challenges than dual-booting any tw...

We Recommend These Vendors and Free Offers

Launch an SSD VPS in Europe, USA, Asia & Australia on Vultr's KVM-based Cloud platform starting at $5:00/month (15 GB SSD, 768 MB of RAM).

Deploy an SSD Cloud server in 55 seconds on DigitalOcean. Built for developers and starting at $5:00/month (20 GB SSD, 512 MB of RAM).

Want to become an expert ethical hacker and penetration tester? Request your free video training course of Online Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking

Whether you're new to Linux or are a Linux guru, you can learn a lot more about the Linux kernel by requesting your free ebook of Linux Kernel In A Nutshell.


10 Comments

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

  4. Pingback: Encrypted LVM in Quantal « 0ddn1x: tricks with *nix

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*