How to rescue an encrypted root filesystem?

tatters at tatters at
Tue Aug 4 16:39:56 UTC 2009

On Tue, Aug 04, 2009 at 08:30:22AM -0500, Mikkel L. Ellertson wrote:
> Derek Tattersall wrote:
> > Well, I screwed up.
> > 
> > I tried to upgrade from f10 to f11, and it seems to have failed. It gets
> > partway through the boot up and throws a bunch of errors regarding
> > missing libraries. I would like to rescue some data off of the disk
> > before I reformat it and try again, however I chose the encrypted file
> > system option when I installed f10 originally.
> > 
> > So, I boot the machine with the f11 live cd, and that works, but how do
> > I mount the hard disk? What encryption method did f10 use by default
> > when I set up the disk originally? blowfish, aes? What set of arcane and
> > cryptic commands do I have to use to mount the hard disk within the live
> > cd?
> > 
> > I backed most everything up before I tried to upgrade, but there still
> > some things I would like to recover if I can. It's no huge loss if I
> > have to reformat and start over, but I'd still like to try to get some
> > stuff off of the hard disk.
> > 
> > Thanks.
> > 
> > Derek Tattersall
> > 
> You would probably have better luck booting with the F10 install
> media, and choosing to rescue an existing installation. If you tell
> it to mount you file system, it will ask you for your encryption
> password. You can then copy what you need to other media.

That will work, I'll do that. I do have the password after all, and 
this is my own machine. This is not about trying to get data that 
doesn't belong to me.

I'd still like to know how to mount the encrypted filesystem that
Fedora creates when you select the encrypted filesystem option at 
install time. Even if it's only for my own intellectual curiosity.

What encryption method does the default installer use, and what
procedure is used to mount it at boot time during regular operation?

> Mikkel
> -- 
>   Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
> for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!


Derek Tattersall

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