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I got an old machine with 16.04. The SSD is split in two partitions, one for root and one for home. The home partition is encrypted. Not sure of the details, I just used the wizard when 16.04 was installed.

Can I use a 18.04 boot-able USB to install Ubuntu in the root partition (wipe it) and use the encrypted home partition I already have? Say I use the same username and password for the new install, would that work?

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    I'm no expert in encrypted partitions, but I've installed a later Ubuntu over an existing install (with encrypted home) and had it work. I didn't wipe my /; I always use 'something else' & didn't see the need (I hoped it'd re-install most of my apps; which it did). In my case I only had to install a single package and it continued as before (but later Ubuntu) Sorry I forget the details, it was to 17.10, 18.04 LTS or to 18.10 (from earlier, possibly 16.04 LTS), but I forget which installation so can't search for package I needed or be precise. – guiverc Sep 19 '18 at 1:28
  • You can do it, but it's not straightforward because 18.04 doesn't support encrypted home out of the box. I got it to work but it was a big pain. I answered this on this site somewhere already, I will see if I can find it. – Organic Marble Sep 19 '18 at 11:55
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    Reference my answer here: askubuntu.com/questions/1024745/… – Organic Marble Sep 19 '18 at 12:48
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Based on @Organic Marble comment/answer, what I did was to flash a USB with Ubuntu 17.10 and used that to reinstall the OS.

In the installation wizard I selected:

  • Something else (when deciding what to do with the disk)
  • Selected my Root partition to be reformatted and mounted as an Ext4
  • Selected my existing encrypted home partition to be mounted as an Ext4, no reformat
  • When asked to set up a username and password I used the same pair I was already using

It worked perfectly, no surprises, no pain.

Once 17.10 is installed, you can do the upgrade to 18.04, if you still feel like it.

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    Surely you mean 17.10 and 18.04 ? – Carl H Sep 21 '18 at 8:52

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