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Ivan Moreno
Ivan Moreno

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How to encrypt an existing archlinux LVM installation [LVM on LUKS]

Many users need to secure their laptop, workstation or regular PC, this users want to protect their information. In Linux exist many cryptographic techniques to protect a hard disk, directory and partition, one of this techniques is Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS) which uses the kernel device mapper subsystem via the dm-crypt module which make the encrypted device transparent to the user.

Assumptions

This tutorial only encrypt an existing LVM installation, the EFI and boot partitions are in a non-encrypted partition. In order to encrypt an existing LVM installation we need to have root permissions and an external temporally drive to allocate the entire volume group.
In this tutorial the system drive is called rootDrive and temporally drive is called tmpDrive, the LVM root partition (partition to encrypt) is called rootDriveXY, the temporally partition is called tmpDriveXY both are formatted as Linux LVM.
The entire system are installed in a single volume group, in this tutorial is called β€œvg-sys”.
You can realize the entire process without umount any partition because of flexibility of LVM, in summary this process can be do on-the-fly.

Warning

Only realize the process if you know what are you doing a bad execution can result in a system damage and data-loss. I recommend to realize a backup before starting this tutorial.

The specific case

I have an existing archlinux installation on LVM volumes, the entire system is in a single volume group β€œarch”, I have 5 logical volumes (swap, root, var, home and data) in a single physical volume, the entire disk have 3 partitions EFI (/dev/sdb1), boot (/dev/sdb2) and LVM (/dev/sdb3). In order to encrypt an existing LVM installation (/dev/sdb3) I have an empty temporally hard drive (/dev/sda1) with the minimum size of volume group allocated size, in my case the allocated size is 208 GiB (arch volume group), the temporally drive have 465 GiB (/dev/sda1), the temporally drive is formatted as Linux LVM, this setup is showing in the next image

specific-case

Steps

The first step is to create a physical volume in temporally drive, extend the β€œvg-sys” volume group to temporally drive and move volume group to temporally drive.

Create physical volume

$ pvcreate /dev/tmpDriveXY
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Extend "vg-sys" to temporally drive

$ vgextend vg-sys /dev/tmpDriveXY
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Move volume group to temporally drive

$ pvmove /dev/rootDriveXY /dev/tmpDriveXY
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Once the volume group is moved, reduce the rootDriveXY from volume group β€œvg-sys” and remove the physical drive to be encrypted /dev/rootDriveXY

Remove physical drive from volume group

$ vgreduce vg-sys /dev/rootDriveXY
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Remove physical drive

$ pvremove /dev/rootDriveXY
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Change the partition type of root drive, on GPT the code is 8309 for Linux LUKS

$ gdisk /dev/rootDrive
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Change type with t, choose partition number
Set type 8309 for Linux LUKS
See changes whit p and write with w

$ gdisk -l /dev/rootDrive  
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Wipe the partition to prevent cryptographic attacks or unwanted file recovery

Create a temporary encrypted container

$ cryptsetup open --type plain -d /dev/urandom /dev/rootDeviceXY to_be_wiped
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Verify

$ lsblk
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Wipe with zeros, wait til "No space left on device" be patient, this step takes a long time

$ dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/mapper/to_be_wiped bs=1M status=progress
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Close wiped device

$ cryptsetup close to_be_wiped
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A this point probably you want to check performance of encrypt algorithms, use the next command to run a benchmark

$ cryptsetup benchmark
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benchmark

I choose an aes-xts-plain64 cipher with a key size of 256 and sha256 hash. To encrypt the rootDriveXY use the next command

Encrypt device and set passphrase

$ cryptsetup -v --type luks --cipher aes-xts-plain64 --key-size 256 --hash sha256 --iter-time 2000 --use-urandom --verify-passphrase luksFormat /dev/rootDriveXY
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Open encrypted device with passphrase, create a LVM physical volume, extend the β€œvg-sys” volume to encrypted physical volume and move the temporally drive to encrypted

Open encrypted volume

$ cryptsetup open /dev/rootDriveXY cryptarch
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Create a physical LVM device

$ pvcreate /dev/mapper/cryptarch
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Extend the "vg-sys" group

$ vgextend vg-sys /dev/mapper/cryptarch
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Move volume group to encrypted drive

$ pvmove /dev/tmpDriveXY /dev/mapper/cryptarch
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Now remove the temporally drive from LVM

$ vgreduce vg-sys /dev/tmpDriveXY
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Remove physical volume from temporally drive

$ pvremove /dev/tmpDriveXY 
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Configure mkinitcpio, first edit /etc/mkinitcpio.conf file and change hooks like this

HOOKS=(base udev autodetect keyboard keymap consolefont modconf block encrypt lvm2 filesystems fsck)
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Then recreate the initramfs image for linux-lts kernel

$ mkinitcpio -P linux-lts
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Configuring the boot loader to unlock the encrypted root partition at boot, the following kernel parameter needs to be set by the boot loader, this can be set in /etc/default/grub

Get UUID of encrypted drive, in this case /dev/rootDriveXY NOT /dev/mapper/cryptarch

$ blkid
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Add this line in GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX option, in /etc/default/grub file

cryptdevice=UUID=rootDriveXY-UUID:cryptarch root=/dev/vg-sys/root
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Uncoment GRUB_ENABLE_CRYPTODISK="y"
Regenerate /boot/grub/grub.cfg file

$ grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
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If everything goes fine reboot the system and in boot time the system should ask a password to open the encrypted rootDriveXY as shown in the next image

result

Finally I recommend to wipe the temporally drive to prevent unwanted data recovery.

Top comments (1)

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raldone01 profile image
raldone01

Great guide! I did it all without restarting my system once! Linux is so awesome! Although lvm was badly fragmented afterwards but I just defragmented it with this ruby script: git.slxh.eu/silex/lvm-defrag/

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