Question Encrypted portable Linux instalation on a flashdrive.

Feb 14, 2020
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Hello!
I would like to create an encrypted Linux installation on an USB stick that i can boot into on multiple computers. Could you please give me a hand? I’m not quite sure how to go about it.

It’s not the first time i installed Linux, i used Debian previously for quite some time and installing linux encrypted is not the problem, it’s the bootable on multiple PCs part I’m having trouble figuring out, though i imagine the encryption might require some tweaking too if I want the stick to work on multiple computers, i really have no idea. I thought of using Devuan instead of Debian since AFAIK systemd which Debian uses is hard to make portable. Honestly I’m not very set on the distro, i would prefer a fully FOSS distribution but if having some proprietary software installed will be required/much easier I’m just gonna deal with it, I’ll probably need to install graphics drivers for at least two PCs I’m gonna be booting the stick on.

I know I’m probably not going to have full disc encryption but i would like to encrypt more than just /home, encrypting the entire / partition with only /boot left readable would be ideal.

Could you please give me some instructions on how to go about making such installation?
 

Wu-Zi-Mu

Reputable
Feb 20, 2016
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The usual way to do this is to set up an encrypted LVM on that drive and put everything in it except /boot. Debian installer offers this as an automatic option. /boot code handles LVM/LUKS so having multiple computers has nothing do to with it.

Not that encrypting / without /boot still doesn't protect you from an evil maid attack (someone tampering physically with your USB and altering /boot to steal your encryption password the next time you boot).
 

Grobe

Distinguished
I actually did this just a few days ago:
OS : Linux Lite 4.8
USB sick : Corsair Voyager GT 64BG USB3.0

I choosed encrypted LVM under installation and I also disconnected the internal storage devices just in case before installation.

The result : It totally work. But there is a caveat. On this particular USB stick (and probably the same for most other usb sticks on the marked in same price range) - the responsiness of the system is flat out terrible - because of poor write performance to that device.
So - as an emergency backup OS yes. As a day-to-day use, no.
 

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