Ubuntu installer kills LUKS partitions without warning

Arno Wagner arno at wagner.name
Fri Apr 15 16:56:41 UTC 2011


first, I don't have Ubuntu and I don't plan on using it.
As I did not find another way that allows me to report 
a serious issue without subscribing to something, I use
this venue.

Please forward this to the Ubuntu installer development team.

The dm-crypt mailing list (archive here:
has had several reports that the Ubuntu installer creates 
new LUKS partitions (encrypted partitions) on top of exisiting
ones without giving adequate warning and at the same time
giving the impression that the existing LUKS partition would be
activated. The rather clear warning and verification question 
asked by the cryptsetup tool seems to get disabled with the
"--batch-mode" option.

This causes irreversible loss of all data! Nothing 
(in the cryptographically strong sense) can be done
to get the data back!

Checking for an existing LUKS partition is easy,    
it has the magic string 'L','U','K','S, 0xBA, 0xBe  
at the beginning. It seems this is not checked for,
or no additional warning or only inadequate additional
warning is given if a pre-exisiting LUKS partition 
is about to be permanently and irretrivably erased.

Please fix the installer ASAP and if you need help doing    
it right, _ask_! We will be happy to help.

Arno Wagner
Maintainer cryptsetup FAQ
Arno Wagner, Dr. sc. techn., Dipl. Inform., CISSP -- Email: arno at wagner.name 
GnuPG:  ID: 1E25338F  FP: 0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C  0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
Cuddly UI's are the manifestation of wishful thinking. -- Dylan Evans

If it's in the news, don't worry about it.  The very definition of 
"news" is "something that hardly ever happens." -- Bruce Schneier 

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