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Old 06-23-2008, 10:48 PM   #1
randomsel
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Slackware 12.1, LUKS, LVM on external HD. How?


I'm currently in a situation where need to travel, can't take my laptop, but can access information if it's on an external USB drive.

Given this, I'd like to have full Slackware installation on this removable drive, encrypted with LUKS using LVM.

Problem is, I have no experience doing a Slackware installation on a removable drive that'll work *reasonably well* with all hardware. Specifically, I don't know how to make the boot manager recognize the drive to boot from every time. If I'm on a different machine, the name of the drive will vary (sda1, sdb1, something else entirely).

Please advise. Would be much obliged for specific details on how to configure the boot manager, be it LILO or GRUB, or something else.
 
Old 06-24-2008, 05:34 AM   #2
askalon9f2
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Hi,

I don't have much experience with this, but the following two things come to mind:
1. Make a non-encrypted boot partition on the external drive with it's own boot loader { Grub, Lilo};
this would be the simplest way as the host machine would only need it's Bios boot-sequence altered to pass control
to the external drive.
2. Assuming your host systems are all linux and you have admin acces to them, you could specify an entry into their
boot loader , looking for the external (fully encrypted) drive by it's udev id, I think. But , as said above, since I have very limited
experience with this, that is no more than a assumption. Someone with more experience might help you with that.

My best bet would be the first option , if that is possible in your circumstances,
ie having a non-encrypted boot partition and point the host Bios to it.

Best regards,

Ben
 
Old 06-24-2008, 08:15 AM   #3
randomsel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by askalon9f2 View Post
Hi,
1. Make a non-encrypted boot partition on the external drive with it's own boot loader { Grub, Lilo};
this would be the simplest way as the host machine would only need it's Bios boot-sequence altered to pass control
to the external drive.
Exactly, I'm planning on installing the boot loader to the MBR of the USB HD, and changing the boot sequence of the computer to boot from USB first

The problem would be that I don't know how to tell {LILO/Grub/etc} where to look for the drive. Assuming that the target PC has 2 SATA drives, the my root would be in sdc, no SATA or SCSI, and it would be in sda ...

After that bit of detail, it *should* all work like a normal installation (I think :P).
 
Old 06-24-2008, 02:36 PM   #4
mostlyharmless
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If you use grub, you can boot without a menu and type in commands interactively. Awkward, but you ought to be able to specify the proper drive by typing root ( and using the tab key to identify drives on that particular machine, or using find (at the grub prompt) to find your kernel and initrd files. Then you type kernel (hdX,X) your file, initrd (etc.etc), splashimage (if you have one and want to bother) and finally type boot.

Or you could have a really big menu with every possible drive spec you are likely to encounter and pick one that works. If there's only a few options, e.g. sda1, sdb1, hda1, that might be easiest.

Hope that helps

Last edited by mostlyharmless; 06-24-2008 at 02:38 PM.
 
Old 06-25-2008, 01:38 AM   #5
JZL240I-U
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I don't know if GRUB can work with the rather new identifiers in /dev/disk/*. If it can handle /dev/disk/by-UUID then it should always find your disk and boot partition.

<edit> Yes, GRUB can do it. Read
http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/..._device_naming
</edit>

Last edited by JZL240I-U; 06-26-2008 at 06:33 AM. Reason: Found an URL
 
Old 06-25-2008, 12:48 PM   #6
randomsel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JZL240I-U View Post
I don't know if GRUB can work with the rather new identifiers in /dev/disk/*. If it can handle /dev/disk/by-UUID then it should always find your disk and boot partition.
Hrm, looks like GRUB can use UUID to select the disk, I'll report back later on my experience.
 
Old 06-25-2008, 12:58 PM   #7
mostlyharmless
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JZL240I-U View Post
I don't know if GRUB can work with the rather new identifiers in /dev/disk/*. If it can handle /dev/disk/by-UUID then it should always find your disk and boot partition.
That's a great idea, should've remembered that.
 
Old 06-26-2008, 06:35 PM   #8
randomsel
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after a bit of research I've found that lilo can also boot from disk-by-uuid, usind append= instead of root=

Thanks to everyone, I now have a Slackware install that goes anywhere, for specific values of where.

Last edited by randomsel; 06-26-2008 at 06:36 PM.
 
  


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