Moving LUKS partition, firmware, and changing file system [SOLVED]

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Kronstadt1921
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Moving LUKS partition, firmware, and changing file system [SOLVED]

Post by Kronstadt1921 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:05 pm

I have a Kingston sv300s3 120 GB SSD and a Western Digital WD1003FZEX 1 TB HDD in my Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia machine. I'm using kernel 4.16.2-041602-generic (x86_64).

When I installed Mint on this machine about three years I was even more of a Linux newbie than I am now. For reasons that presently escape me I(?) selected FAT for Filesystem Partition 1 (537 MB) and EXT2 for Filesystem Partition 2 (512 MB). Partition 3 is 119 GB LUKS and there's a 119 GB LVM PV. I never partitioned the WD HDD. I have some questions.

1. There is a firmware update for the SSD but Kingston doesn't support Linux. Is there a workaround for this and should I worry about it? There doesn't appear to be a firmware update for the WD HDD but I'm not sure.

2. I'd like to move the LUKS/LVM partition to the WD HDD so that the OS can use the SDD exclusively. Does that make sense? There are apparently applicable instructions here but that document is six years old. Is there a better, more up-to-date guide?

3. Should I also change the file system type for Partition 2 to EXT4 or some other file system or leave it alone?

4. If I move Partition 3 how should I partition the WD HDD? I'm thinking mainly of what size the partition on the WD HDD should be. Eventually, I may want to run Virtualbox on this machine as I don't own presently a Windows machine, should that factor into how I partition the WD HDD?

This is a home system used mainly for web browsing, email, and LibreOffice. I also watch DVDs on it but I doubt I'll ever use the entire 1 TB on the WD HDD as I don't save videos or any other large files on the system. Thanks for your consideration.
Last edited by Kronstadt1921 on Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
My system as of 29Jul2018:
OS: 18.3 Sylvia kernel 4.15.0-29
CPU: AMD A10-7800 3.5GHz Quad-Core
Mboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3H FM2+
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 2x8GB DDR3-1866
SDA: Kingston SSDNow SV300S3 120GB
SDB: WD 1003FZEX 1TB

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Pierre
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Re: Moving LUKS partition, firware, and changing file system

Post by Pierre » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:25 pm

personally - - I'd be inclined to back-up & start again . .
if this machine has such light useage, then is there that much to save ?
:)
you could upgrade to LM18x at the moment, or install LM19 after it's release next month.

you could, this time, partition the new system, a little better, than you did last time,
and so use that HDD much better, this time around.

- you could try running that Kingston update in ./wine to see if that works.
- the virtualbox should reside on your /home partition, and if that is on the bigger HDD,
then that would give you some elbow room to play with.
Image
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] - when your problem is solved!
and DO LOOK at those Unanswered Topics - - you may be able to answer some!.

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Kronstadt1921
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Re: Moving LUKS partition, firmware, and changing file system

Post by Kronstadt1921 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:39 pm

Thanks, Pierre, for your reply. I am disinclined to "start again" because this machine is the only functioning computer i now have and because when I first installed Linux it took me months to get Grub2 working right and no one had any useful suggestions to solve the problem. So, I might do as you suggest, but I'm really more interested in trying to make the changes I mentioned in my first message without starting from scratch unless that's not feasible. I could still use some informed feedback on the questions I raised in my OP.

As I said in my first message, I'm already using LM 18.3. How would I (re-)partition the system "a little better"? What did you have in mind?

After trying and failing months to get it to work on this system, I've given up on WINE. I even sought help on the WineHQ forums.

FWIW, Kingston doesn't provide the firmware update directly. They require you to install Kingston SSD Manager via a Windows executable and use that tool to update the firmware.
My system as of 29Jul2018:
OS: 18.3 Sylvia kernel 4.15.0-29
CPU: AMD A10-7800 3.5GHz Quad-Core
Mboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3H FM2+
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 2x8GB DDR3-1866
SDA: Kingston SSDNow SV300S3 120GB
SDB: WD 1003FZEX 1TB

Mute Ant
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Re: Moving LUKS partition, firware, and changing file system

Post by Mute Ant » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:37 pm

The partitioning of your SSD looks standard for an encrypted-OS Mint installation, so your OS is already making full use of that drive. It works as a set of partitions... there's no user-servicable parts... the EFI is in the FAT and references the EXT3 to get the kernel. Then the code held in the EXT3 unlocks the LUKS and decodes the OS. If you move or resize anything on the SSD it's almost certain to break that sequence and stop the OS you have from working.

From the Kingston page "We recommend this update be applied if you are experiencing issues with your drive." Well duh. The issues described in the release notes don't threaten the data on the drive, I would ignore it, this time, and have a Windows installed in your 1TB drive for next time.
Data stored in an encrypted volume will only be accessible with the original password. Without this key, all the data will remain scrambled beyond hope of recovery.

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Kronstadt1921
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Re: Moving LUKS partition, firmware, and changing file system

Post by Kronstadt1921 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:23 pm

Thanks for your reply, Mute Ant. Yes, I understand that the OS is using the full SSD but I want to free up space on it by moving /home to the HDD with the added benefit that if I have to do a bare metal reinstall the files in /home will be on the HDD.

In any case, I ended up doing two reinstalls but didn't feel confident enough to try to set up a /home directory on the WDD during the install process. I'm no longer using full disk encryption but have an encrypted /home folder i created during install.

So, now I have two ext4 partitions on my HDD (/dev/sdb)--one 150 GB called 'newhome' (sdb1) and a 32 GB partition called 'timeshift'. Basically, following a guide I found on Tecmint, here's what I propose to do to move /home from the SSD to the HDD (I would appreciate feedback on it) running Mint from a USB:

After backing up /home to an external HDD:

$ mkdir -p /srv/home
$ mount /dev/sdb1 /srv/home
$ rsync -av /home/* /srv/home/
$ diff -r /home /srv/home


If there are no problems then:

$ rm -rf /home/*
$ umount /srv/home
$ mount /dev/sdb1 /home
$ ls -l /home


Modify /etc/fstab with the right UUID to make the change permanent then save the file and reboot. Verify move by running $ df -hl.

Does this all look correct? I'm wondering if the TecMint guide works for an encrypted /home.

FWIW, I've already successfully used sdb2 to store a Timeshift snapshot.
My system as of 29Jul2018:
OS: 18.3 Sylvia kernel 4.15.0-29
CPU: AMD A10-7800 3.5GHz Quad-Core
Mboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3H FM2+
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 2x8GB DDR3-1866
SDA: Kingston SSDNow SV300S3 120GB
SDB: WD 1003FZEX 1TB

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Kronstadt1921
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Re: Moving LUKS partition, firmware, and changing file system [SOLVED]

Post by Kronstadt1921 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:12 pm

I'm calling this solved because it is mostly solved and because the thread has gone dead. I still need help on moving the encrypted /home but may post that in a separate thread in coming days.
My system as of 29Jul2018:
OS: 18.3 Sylvia kernel 4.15.0-29
CPU: AMD A10-7800 3.5GHz Quad-Core
Mboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3H FM2+
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 2x8GB DDR3-1866
SDA: Kingston SSDNow SV300S3 120GB
SDB: WD 1003FZEX 1TB

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