Encrypted installation not in boot menu

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Encrypted installation not in boot menu

Postby AGL on Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:27 pm

I was using Mint 16 XFCE and since Mint 17 XFCE just came out, I'm really excited about upgrading. I had very little issues when installing 16, but none of them were related to booting, although I did not do the "Something Else" partitioning then. I am installing to a 250GB ssd and a 1TB disk that will be used mainly for data.

Here is the actual partitioning scheme
sda(250GB ssd)
--sda1(/boot)
--sda2(encrypted > /)
sdb(1TB disk)
--sdb1(encrypted > swap for hibernate)
--sdb2(encrypted > /home)

Bootloader installed to device sda
They are also using gpt for the partition table, FWIW.

The installation goes fine and when it finishes and asks me to reboot, the usb is the only available bootable device in bios. Now, the ssd and hard disk do show up, but not in the bootable section.

It worked in my head, where did I go wrong?
AGL
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Re: Encrypted installation not in boot menu

Postby AGL on Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:22 pm

Anyone? If there is any extra information you need do let me know.

It also might help to put the problem like this.
I have two drives, a 250GB SSD and a 1TB HDD.
LM 17 will be the only OS and I want it fully encrypted.
I would like swap for hibernation.
My data files(music, videos, backups) will not all fit on the SSD,so they will be on the HDD, maybe I should just have /home on the HDD?

What is the best way to do this?
AGL
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Re: Encrypted installation not in boot menu

Postby AGL on Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:45 pm

Solved, just wanted to come back and document, maybe help someone down the line.

The GPT partition table makes a difference, and a whole lot of it as it turns out. Unlike the MBR partition table GPT does not have the master boot record(MBR) that contains lots of boot info. Now that is not a big issue, but when trying to tie a GPT disk in with UEFI and an encrypted install, it gets a little interesting.
--First you will need a special partition, the EFI System Partition(ESP). This is easily created by using gdisk and specifying code "EF00". I read somewhere that the partition can be 2MB, however I may have gotten that number mixed up with the size for a BIOS Boot Partition, so 2MB did not work. The default LM17 partitioning automatically creates a 512MB ESP, so I settled with that. Also, format this partition to FAT32.
--Second you will need a "/boot" partition since this is an encrypted install, and no you cannot use the ESP, go ahead and make another partition. I went with 256MB and EXT2 file system.

My other problem was with mounting the data disk on boot. Now, there are a whole bunch of methods that rely on a custom script to be run on boot, but something better and easier(IMO) exists. /etc/crypttab and /etc/fstab. Both are very easy to understand and you can find lots of tutorials all over. A couple of things to note
--It's easiest to make the encrypted data partition after the installation. A search for making an encrypted luks partition with a keyfile will get you far. The keyfile is the key(ha) part here, you will enter its location in your crypttab entry so you can automount.
--Manually mount the disk first just so you get a feel for how to work it if things don't go as planned, also change the permissions of the disk, you only need to do this once as the changes will be permanent.

I think it's alot more trouble than it's worth for an everyday machine, unless you have a good reason.

Hopefully this can help, if it doesn't, you should at least have an idea of where to start looking. You will learn to love the arch wiki.
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