Possible to install two different Distros on an full Encrypted drive?


#1

I was wondering if it is possible to install two different Distros on a fully encrypted drive (either ssd or hdd) ? What I have found so far is that if you try to do so then the new distro doesn’t think you have anything on it to install along side it.

No I don’t know why you would want to do so, just interested if it was possible to do it.


#2

What do you mean by that?


#3

It means that; if you go and try to install another along side one you have on, it is not recognised as being there - therefore the distro you are thinking of installing will attempt to do an install as if it is the only distro, not an additional one


#4

I think the problem is that one is trying to let the distro do the thinking. I do the thinking myself, whenever possible. This means, I partition the drive myself and do not let that slip into the hands of the distro, alone, ever.
That said, I am used to having an option like “Install on Encrypted drive…” or something like that when installing major Linux distributions. Never used that option so far, though.


#5

Ubuntu & its deviates do offer full disk encryption and Logical Volume Manager (LVM) during the installation process, found on the Ubuntu installer (pictorial guide) https://help.ubuntu.com/community/GraphicalInstall

Then there is the manual installation. http://linuxbsdos.com/2014/01/16/manual-full-disk-encryption-setup-guide-for-ubuntu-13-10-linux-mint-16/

Both methods work, USUALLY applied to full disk encryption, both will need need a separate BOOT partition and there are systematic differences of opinion about encrypting the swap partition.

Conclusion

Manual or Auto full disk encryption work, depending on your requirement. Auto requires ONE password to unlock the encrypted partition. Should you opt for the manual method it will require THREE passwords to unlock all encrypted partitions, then your normal password to gain access to the desktop.

It is essential that you keep the boot as a non-encrypted ext2 partition.

The pros of an encrypted system outweigh the cons, but you have to remember it is only, though a powerful front door key, once open and left unattended, it is easy for some one to copy and paste data to a fat32 memory stick.

Protected with BIOS password, adds another layer of security, plus move the Hard-drive to the 1st boot position and the DVD or USB to the 2nd and 3rd boot position. Makes a dormant computer near impossible to break into, for a large majority of humans.

Caveat

As UEFI and GPT is becoming the norm, has throw other variables into the mix, it works with HDD technology in legacy mode, but I was unable to to find a solution when utilising an SSD and UEFI, the auto installer didn’t at the time allow for two separate (esp and ext2) boot partitions or the necessary SSD maintence becoming a potential flaw, data leakage.

The OS-probe probably won’t find the second OS on either on your disk or if you have second HDD.

:sunglasses:


#6

Thank you @mack I was just interested if it was possible to do it as doesn’t seem possible to do it in Mint 19.1 easily having the whole disk encrypted. I have always protected my bios for as long as I can remember but it is worth mentioning again for some who don’t do so.


#7

Hi ElectricDandySlider

I have never tried or considered doing a second encrypted install to the same disk. Though did have OS-probe issues when attempting to do an install to my shiny new (second) disk I bought for my rig a few years ago.

Never experiment on your production machine (meaning your Sunday best or your only machine) buy a cheap working lappy/rig to experiment with, (bad experiences, abject failure and train wrecks, hurt less, though just as frustrating) and are available for @ £50ish on ebay.

Initial thoughts. Do “auto install” as this would be less effort and time consuming, then from your installed OS of choice, reduce the extended partition by 50GB using Gparted.

Then do a manual encrypted install, following the link from my previous post. Another “auto install” wont work for obvious reasons.

Good luck :wink: :sunglasses: