[dm-crypt] Bug Report to Ubuntu regarding dangerous installer

Arno Wagner arno at wagner.name
Sun Apr 17 03:53:32 CEST 2011

On Sat, Apr 16, 2011 at 08:20:02PM -0400, M Thomas Frederiksen wrote:
> On Sat, Apr 16, 2011 at 12:18, Cristian KLEIN <cristiklein at gmail.com> wrote:
> > ...
> >
> > I understand that the alternate installer is supposed to be for
> > experts, but I still think that:
> > 1) Ubuntu failed to detect the existing dm-crypt volume, thus
> > confusing the user.
> > 2) The installer did not provide an easy-to-find command for
> > activating the dm-crypt volume.
> > 3) Airbags have been turned off, without the user's knowledge.
> >
> > Please comment and tell me if I am wrong.

I agree with you. While there are a number of things you could
have done to prevent this problem, the root cause of the 
problem is that the installer made it far too easy to kill your 
LUKS volume.

Still, backup is non-optional with LUKS as well. Remember that
disks have about a 5%/year failure rate (if treated well) and
that about half die without warning.
> I've had the same problem with Ubuntu.  It gives you the impression that
> you're activating the partition, and then scribbles all over your data.  Any
> other type of partition you can activate w/out damage, or reformat.  It's a
> horrible installer.  One thing that LUKS might do, is remove this
> --batch-mode option (if a header is found).  That way if a LUKS header is
> already there, it will not overwrite the header.  If the user really wants
> to scribble on the data, make them pop open a console and type YES.

The --batch-mode option is there for a reason. It assumes that
the wrapper process knows what it is doing. It is also necessary
in some circuymstances, so removing it is not the right approach.

What I don't like is that the Ubuntu installer turns off the checks
and then does not supply an adequate replacement for the situation
it is run in. We will see whether anything will come from my complaint.

Arno Wagner, Dr. sc. techn., Dipl. Inform., CISSP -- Email: arno at wagner.name 
GnuPG:  ID: 1E25338F  FP: 0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C  0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
Cuddly UI's are the manifestation of wishful thinking. -- Dylan Evans

If it's in the news, don't worry about it.  The very definition of 
"news" is "something that hardly ever happens." -- Bruce Schneier 

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