[dm-crypt] Newbie questions: how to configure and mount an encrypted partition on bootup?

Arno Wagner arno at wagner.name
Mon Mar 19 08:02:19 CET 2012

I suggest you read up on encryption in general. If the passphrase
is stored on the system, the encryption becomes totally worthless.


On Sun, Mar 18, 2012 at 08:33:43PM -0700, David Li wrote:
>       Hi,
>         I am totally new to dm-crypt. My OS is RHEL5/6.
>         Here is what I want to do:
>         I have a system that is pxebooted and the root fs is nfs mounted
> from
> another server.  But I have a local disk that can be used as an encrypted
> storage perhaps for user data.  In the beginning it's blank with no
> partitions.
>         So the first time I would let the user to decide how to partition
> and
> set up LUKS.  From that point on each subsequent boot would automatically
> mount the encrypted partitions as configured.
>         I am looking for general programmable way  to achieve this. Maybe
> someone has done the exact thing before.
>         Specifically,
>       1.      On first boot, how should I modify the initramfs to prompt
> the
> user to set up LUKS? Or initramfs is not the way, what else?
>         2.      On each subsequent boot, how would I let dm-crypt to
> automatically retrieve the passphrase once the user logins into the system.
> Assume that the passphrase has been stored on the same server to store the
> root fs. I don't want to force him to type in the LUKS passphrase again to
> unlock the partitions.
>         Thanks.
>         David

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Arno Wagner, Dr. sc. techn., Dipl. Inform., CISSP -- Email: arno at wagner.name 
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One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty 
are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled 
with doubt and indecision. -- Bertrand Russell 

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