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Old 06-22-2009, 08:22 AM   #1
seta37
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Encrypted Volume Recovery


I apologize in advance if I use the wrong terminology, I'm still an initiate to 'nixes

I just installed Fedora 11 on a Dell Latitude D600 and I checked the option for "encrypt this volume" or whatever it says. I noticed that it creates 2 partitions, one being 210 MB and the other being the rest of the drive.

I'm assuming that it creates a preboot agent on the 210 MB partition and then loads Fedora on the larger partition after I authenticate.

My question is this - and forgive me if this seems like a Windows mentality thing - but what if something happens to the boot sector on either partition? Is it possible to mount this drive in another Linux box and extract my files?

As I said, I'm new to Linux. I grew up on Windows, switched to OSX, and decided that Open Source was better and have just migrated to Linux.

If someone could provide a link to some sort of resource page explaining the basics of this thing, that would be awesome.
 
Old 06-22-2009, 08:45 AM   #2
unSpawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seta37 View Post
I noticed that it creates 2 partitions, one being 210 MB and the other being the rest of the drive. I'm assuming that it creates a preboot agent on the 210 MB partition and then loads Fedora on the larger partition after I authenticate.
Please don't assume. Using 'fdisk -l; dmsetup status; cryptsetup status; mount' after you have logged in as root account user (or use Sudo) should show whats where. Basically with a "regular" install using physical and logical partitions you'd have something like this: harddisk > partitions > filesystem. AFAIK with LUKS-over-LVM you end up with: harddisk > partitions. (Per) partition > Physical Volume > (part of a) Volume Group > (containing one or more) Logical Volumes > LUKS (per LV) > filesystem. This works well, else it wouldn't be shipped as a default solution, but you could equally valid argue the more parts the more risk.


Quote:
Originally Posted by seta37 View Post
Is it possible to mount this drive in another Linux box and extract my files?
Try this: boot your Fedora installer CD in rescue mode. See if you can "walk all the way up" to LUKS successfully decrypting your LV's and mounting it.

As far as documentation is concerned Fedora stems from Red Hat and whatever your opinion is of RH they do provide documentation. Your first stop should be the docs that accompany your distribution, the docs that come with the apps (in terms of partitioning, LVM2, LUKS) and the Fedora site/wiki.


* BTW, I'll move this thread to the Fedora forum as it isn't really a security issue.
 
Old 06-22-2009, 01:55 PM   #3
seta37
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Hey, thanks for your reply. It's a bit over my head at the moment, though I am familiar with some of the terms.

I guess I should just become more familiar with the way things are done in Linux and Fedora in general before asking questions like this.

For instance, I only vaguely know what "LUKS" is... and don't ask for a definition. All I know is that it has something to do with partition organization and/or permissions. LOL. I'm such a noob.

I know enough to be dangerous to myself, but not enough to be constructive yet!

Thanks again!
 
Old 06-22-2009, 04:14 PM   #4
unSpawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seta37 View Post
It's a bit over my head at the moment, though I am familiar with some of the terms.
NP, you'll get there soon enough.


Quote:
Originally Posted by seta37 View Post
I guess I should just become more familiar with the way things are done in Linux and Fedora in general before asking questions like this.
That would be the right approach, yes, but asking questions is a good thing. There are no stupid questions. Not asking, that's stupid. The problem probably is pacing it, understanding the overall structure (kernel vs userland, subsystems, dependencies) and the rest is just practice (I'd start by practicing how to make backups ;-p). Since you already installed Fedora I would suggest you look at After installation first. After you've ensured you have made backups and have drawn in all the necessary updates you could have a look at Understanding LVM and the Disk Encryption Guide. After that you're probably ready to take some time off and read Rute User's Tutorial and Exposition and search or check out the LQ Fedora forum / LQ tutorials. Remember a lot of basic questions have probably been asked and answered before. Anyway. Welcome to GNU/Linux and welcome to LQ. Hope you enjoy it!


Quote:
Originally Posted by seta37 View Post
I know enough to be dangerous to myself, but not enough to be constructive yet!
Heh, doesn't mean a thing. In some ways that still applies to me as well :-]
 
  


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