parallel installation of 2 distros, both encrypted, need help

Discussion in 'General Linux' started by 40two, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. 40two

    40two New Member

    Oct 21, 2013
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    I have worked with Linux before but it's been a while and I've never actually set up a Linux system myself in any non-standard configuration, so I hope I can get some help here.

    I'm trying to install ubuntu 13.10 and kali 1.0.5 on my machine and I feel a bit helpless when it comes to the partitioning and the installation of a bootloader. I want both installed on seperate encrypted partitions on the same hdd. I have a few questions about how to do this that I couldn't figure out myself as of yet:

    1: Can I use a shared (encrypted) swap partition? Would this be a security risk (i.e. if one system is compromised, could an attacker restore swap data from the other system)?
    2: How would you recommend me to do the partitioning? Boot a live system from DVD, partition the hdd, then install? Or do the partitioning straight from one of the Installers (kali's that would be, the ubunto installer doesn't let me add or delete partitions or at least I haven't figured out how)?
    3: Encrypt the partitions right away while partitioning or only when it comes to installing the respective distro (and how would I do that for ubuntu as its installer only let's me encrypt when I use the whole disk) or can I encrypt after installing?
    4: I want to use GRUB as a bootloader, how and at what point do I install and set it up?

    I'm doing this mainly for learning, so if you have any useful resources to help me get my head around the stuff involved here I would be very grateful, even if that's the only help you can offer.

    Thanks in advance :)
  2. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

    Aug 4, 2012
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    1. Systems can share swap yes. But with it being encrypted..I would not try it. I would create swap FILES not swap Partitions. Place then in / and add them to the respected /etc/fstab
    2/3/4. I would setup the partitions with the live disk using Gparted. Then install one system. Allow that system to encrypt its partitions. Then install the second system but do not let it install grub to the MBR, install it to the second systems root partition. The first system you installed is going to manage grub. Boot into the first system and update grub. Using a grub command like
    sudo update-grub2
    should add the second systems grub to the menu list.
    Boot into the second system now and encrypt the partitions.
    Yes, Ubuntu can let you setup the partition table yourself. When you get to the section about where to install the system, choose "Something Else".

    That is what I suggest. I have never tried anything like this before though.

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