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mounting encrypted ubuntu home partition

asked 2014-03-10 20:42:51 -0500

kapitanluffy gravatar image

So I was planning to migrate to fedora from ubuntu while using my previous /home partition. It is encrypted. Will it be decrypted/mounted automatically after I install? If not, what will be the required steps in order to automatically mount it?

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answered 2014-03-11 05:31:21 -0500

cobra gravatar image

You will need the encryption key that Ubuntu uses. The simplest way to do this is to take a look in the Ubuntu install's /etc/fstab file, which describes the filesystem, it's mount point and any options (it should specify the keys used too). If you have that line, you can reproduce it on a newly installed Fedora system.

But you might find it easier to back up the encrypted partition on a non-encrypted backup medium (external hard disk or such like), then install Fedora (encrypting its home directory with the appropriate install time options) then restoring your home directory from backup.

It might even be better to get the filesystem mounted on your new Fedora install before removing Ubuntu from your system - just in case you need to copy any missed keys or passwords.

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answered 2014-03-29 17:47:56 -0500

fidelleon gravatar image

When you start any Fedora image installer, when you are asked about destination disks, you can select "Claim space" to see your current partitions. Anaconda (the installer) will see your encrypted /home partition but (obviously) it won't know your encryption key, so it will be ask you for it. Once you enter the proper key, the installer will recognize it as an Ext4 (or what you selected when formatting under Ubuntu) encrypted partition, and then you can tell the installer you want it mounted at /home. Since you're using encryption, you will want to encrypt swap as well (it will use the same key as /home).

Besides, once your system is installed, you will need to apply correct SELinux permissions to your /home (Ubuntu uses Apparmor and settings are different). After your computer has booted up and before logging as your user, you must go to console (Ctrl+Alt+F2), login as root (the installer asks you for a password for root - Ubuntu masks it for you), and execute restorecon -R /home, log out, switch back to graphical (Ctrl+Alt+F1) and login.

Be aware than many settings, even if using the same apps or desktop managers in both Ubuntu and Fedora, are different and you may (will?) have some glitches if you don't clean configurations. For example, if you use Xfce in Ubuntu, it's VERY likely your Ubuntu setup won't work as expected in Fedora's Xfce: missing panels and/or plugins, wrong fonts and/or sizes and so on (I usually jump from Xubuntu to Fedora Xfce and I know what I'm talking about).

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Asked: 2014-03-10 20:42:51 -0500

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Last updated: Mar 29 '14