2 encrypted Linux distros as dualboot

Hello guys,

I’m watching the EndeavourOS project since the beginning, but still didn’t try it. Now is the time, that i plan to start it in the near future, but ran into a problem.

I bought a samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe (1 TB) and would like to install on it:

  • encrypted EndeavourOS
  • encrypted Xubuntu

The problem is, i need xubuntu for home office now and I have no idea, how i could install xubuntu encrypted on my NVMe, so that i can install EndeavourOS 1 month later, too. I mean without formatting and set everything up again.

I’m not so experienced in linux under the hood. I mean all the distro stuff :frowning:

Can someone help me to manage it?
Is there any tutorial for such an encrypted dual boot? I didn’t find any simple explained.

Hello @SoraWhiteDragon
The next ISO release is currently being worked on but won’t be released until April sometime and it should include full luks encryption i think. The only guide that i know of for encryption is quite advanced and i don’t think it’s what you are after. Are you thinking that the whole disk would be encrypted with both distros installed but only having to decrypt the single disc to access either one? I don’t have an answer on that as i haven’t tried it myself but maybe the user that wrote the guide will be able to answer those questions.

I’m always on the lookout for this type of information and have yet to see a tutorial that meets your needs, sorry.

But it can be done!
The problem is that it probably will require a lot of manual interaction (partitioning, the boot part, …) and depending on how Xubuntu sets up the encryption (encrypted or unencrypted /boot) you’ll maybe even want/need to set up a third installation just to easily choose your system at boot time.

Given your experience level, you may be in for a world of hurt.

Is Xubuntu a company, school or university requirement?
If it is just your personal preference, why not just try an encrypted EndeavourOS? Can*t imagine anything running on Xubuntu you couldn’t set up on Arch.

If you prefer LVMonLUKS there’s a tutorial here, but I would recommend you try the easier to install (~15m) beginner friendly BTRFSonLUKS setup described here.

One alternative (before real instructions are available) is to use a virtual machine for one of those distros.

It is of course not the best in terms of performance and certain (graphics) features, but better than nothing, and quite easy to set up. And the bonus is you can run both distros simultaneously.

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Sounds good, I will check it, when it’s being released.

No, I was thinking more in the way, that both distros are separatly encrypted with different encryption keys.

It’s not hard for me to follow a good explained tutorial. I mean in most cases it’s just copy&paste, but I didn’t find any in detail explained tutorial suiting what I would like to have.

I’m not completly unexperience in linux. But I think I have just the basic knowledge in using it. I can change configs, write simple bash commands and just work with it. But I have a lack of knowledge in the filesystem and all the bootloading stuff itself. I would like to improve it, because im seriously interested in learning what’s under the hood.

Why would I need a third installation?

Xubuntu is no requirement at all. I’m just used to debian based distros. Since the sysadmin of my company suggested to use it, I got used to it. So i can set everything up i need for home office very easily and ask him for help, if something doesn’t work at all. (He uses Xubuntu himself)
I could’ve set up arch, too, but I would run into beginner problems and I’ve got no time for that, when I have to do home office x) But yeah, I’m more interested in arch.

The second one looks great. Especially the auto snapshots are quite interesting. I’m gonna check it out more in details later.

That’s my current solution x)
I’ve set up a Xubuntu VM that day, because I had no time anymore.

Well… after all I would like to explain my imaginary holy grail setup I would like to use in the future:

  • I need 2 separated distros on the same NVMe which are encrypted with different keys.
  • When I come into the bootloader menu, I need the choice of which one of the 2 distros I want to boot. When I chose one, I have to decrypt it with it’s own password
  • I need a possiblity to SSH into my computer into the bootloader menu or something similar to it, so I can choose a distro and decrypt it via SSH. (Usefull for wake on lan uses-cases) I saw a solution for that some time ago. I just don’t remember the name atm.
  • I would like to have an automated snapshotting system. Would be nice, if I still can decide when exactly the snapshot should be done, too.
  • It should be easy to add another distro the way I added the second one, too. Maybe via a bash script or so

This is the direction I would like to go :smile:
For now my problem with the home office is solved via Xubuntu VM. It’s not perfect, but it’s fine for now to work with. I would like to move it to the explained setup.

After rethinking the plan I cannot find any benefits of decrypting 2 different distros separatly with different passwords :thinking:
I guess decrypting the whole drive would have the same benefits? :thinking: quite unsure

Have a nice day guys! :wink: