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How to install Linux Mint Debian Edition on an encrypted LVM file system

Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) is the edition of Linux Mint that is based on Debian Testing. Like the edition of Linux Mint based on Ubuntu, the installer of LMDE lacks support for LVM, and disk encryption. This tutorial presents a detailed guide on how to install LMDE on an encrypted LVM file system. But how is that possible if the installer lacks support for LVM and disk encryption? Easy. First, install a base Debian Testing system using a Debian Testing installer. Second, point the package manager to the default LMDE repositories. At the end, you will be running a system with an encrypted disk, which means another layer of physical security for your data, and one that makes it possible to manage disk space in a manner that is not possible otherwise.

To complete this tutorial, you need to download an installation image of:

  1. Debian Testing – for i386 or amd64
  2. Linux Mint Debian Edition Update: It is not necessary to download the LMDE installation image. You will not need it to complete this tutorial.

Note: This tutorial assumes installation on a computer with one hard disk and no other operating system on it. You can adapt it easily to install it in a dual-boot configuration with another operating system, like Windows.

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To begin, boot the computer from the Debian disk. The default boot menu option will take you through an ncurses-based installation routine. For a more user-friendly installation, select the option shown in the image below. Enter.
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To reduce the number if images used in this tutorial, the images for Language, Location (country), Keymap, Hostname, Domain name, root password, User account (three images), and Time zone, have been omitted.

Because Debian defaults to a non-LVM disk partitioning scheme, you will have to choose one of the LVM options or the manual option, if you know what you are doing. Note that if you choose the encrypted LVM option, the installation process will take a little bit longer. Continue.
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At this step, the installer will present the hard drives it found on the computer. If you have more than one disk, select the one you want to use for the installation. Continue.
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The Debian installer offers three partitioning schemes. If you choose he first option, the installer will create a swap partition and one system partition. Though the installer recommends that for new users, I say pass on it. The second option, for most users, is better. The third option has its advantages, but we do not need that on a desktop computer except if you want it that way. Continue.
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Choose Yes. Continue.
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This is where you specify the passphrase that will be used to encrypt the disk. For added security, the passphrase should not be the same as the password of any user account on the system. Continue.
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