The Ubuntu installation disk has an option to install Ubuntu encrypted using LUKS. However, there is no option to perform an encrypted installation along-side existing partitions for a dual-boot scenario.

How can I install Ubuntu encrypted alongside another partition from the live disk?

  • Looking at the cryptroot script, that rejected edit is actually correct. Each line in conf.d/cryptroot is treated the same as another cryptopts argument would be. Is it possible to use the installer without the decrypted partition being a volume group? I've tried and it looks like it won't let me use it without partitions. In my case it's an SSD with 3 partitions: Linux /boot, Linux /, Windows, with swap and /home being on the HDD so really no need for LVM. I'm guessing I'd have to stay with my original idea, which was to use debootstrap from the live CD.
    – user276047
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 22:32
  • Useful guide: "How to Setup an Encrypted Ubuntu Installation?", by Gayan at HecticGeek.com - hecticgeek.com/2012/10/… Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 7:57

4 Answers 4


First of all, if you want to install Ubuntu encrypted on a hard disk, replacing any existing partitions and operating systems, you can do this directly from the graphical installer. This manual process is only required for dual-booting.

This answer has been tested with Ubuntu 13.04.

  1. Boot from an Ubuntu live DVD or USB stick, and select "Try Ubuntu".

  2. Create two partitions using GParted included in the live disk. The first partition should be unformatted and should be large enough for root and swap, in my example, this is /dev/sda3. The second partition should be several hundred megabytes big and formatted in ext2 or ext3, it will be unencrypted and mounted to /boot (in my example this is /dev/sda4).

    In this screenshot, I have an existing unencrypted Ubuntu installation in two partitions: /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda5, highlight in the circle to the left. I have created an unformatted partition in /dev/sda3 and an ext3 partition in /dev/sda4, intended for the encrypted Ubuntu installation, higlighted in the circle to the right:

    GParted screenshot

  3. Create a LUKS container using these commands. Replace /dev/sda3 with the unformatted partition created earlier, and cryptcherries with a name of your choice.

    sudo cryptsetup luksFormat /dev/sda3
    sudo cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sda3 cryptcherries
  4. Warning: You'll notice that the luksFormat step completed very quickly, because it doesn't securely erase the underlying block device. Unless you're just experimenting and don't care about security against various types of forensic attack, it is critical to properly initialize the new LUKS container before creating filesystems in it. Writing zeros to the mapped container will cause strong random data to be written to the underlying block device. This can take a while, so it's best to use the pv command to monitor the progress:

    ### Only for older releases, e.g. not for 19.04, `pv` is not included in the repo must be added first
    # sudo add-apt-repository "deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu $(lsb_release -sc) universe"
    # sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install -y pv
    sudo sh -c 'exec pv -tprebB 16m /dev/zero >"$1"' _ /dev/mapper/cryptcherries

    or, if you're doing an offline install and can't easily get pv:

    sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/mapper/cryptcherries bs=16M
  5. Inside the mounted LUKS container, create an LVM physical volume, a volume group and two logical volumes. The first logical volume will be mounted at /, and the second one will be used as swap. vgcherries is the name of the volume group, and lvcherriesroot and lvcherriesswap are the names of the logical volumes, you can choose your own.

    sudo pvcreate /dev/mapper/cryptcherries
    sudo vgcreate vgcherries /dev/mapper/cryptcherries
    sudo lvcreate -n lvcherriesroot -L 7.5g vgcherries
    sudo lvcreate -n lvcherriesswap -L 1g vgcherries
  6. Create filesystems for the two logical volumes: (You can also do this step directly from the installer.)

    sudo mkfs.ext4 /dev/mapper/vgcherries-lvcherriesroot
    sudo mkswap /dev/mapper/vgcherries-lvcherriesswap
  7. Without rebooting, install Ubuntu using the graphical installer (shortcut is on the desktop in Xubuntu 18.04), choosing manual partitioning. Assign / to /dev/mapper/vgcherries-lvcherriesroot and /boot to the unencrypted partition created in step 2 (in this example,/dev/sda4).

  8. Once the graphical installer is finished, select "continue testing" and open a terminal.

  9. Find the UUID of the LUKS partitions (/dev/sda3 in this case), you will need it later:

    $ sudo blkid /dev/sda3
    /dev/sda3: UUID="8b80b3a7-6a33-4db3-87ce-7f126545c74af" TYPE="crypto_LUKS"
  10. Mount the appropriate devices to the appropriate locations in /mnt, and chroot into it:

    sudo mount /dev/mapper/vgcherries-lvcherriesroot /mnt
    sudo mount /dev/sda4 /mnt/boot
    sudo mount --bind /dev /mnt/dev
    sudo chroot /mnt
    > mount -t proc proc /proc
    > mount -t sysfs sys /sys
    > mount -t devpts devpts /dev/pts
  11. Create a file named /etc/crypttab in the chrooted environment to contain this line, replacing the UUID value with the UUID of the LUKS partition, and vgcherries with the name of the volume group:

    # <target name> <source device> <key file> <options>
    cryptcherries UUID=8b80b3a7-6a33-4db3-87ce-7f126545c74af none luks,retry=1,lvm=vgcherries
  12. Run the following command in the chrooted environment:

    update-initramfs -k all -c
  13. Reboot and boot into the encrypted Ubuntu. You should be prompted for a password.

  14. Check that you're using the encrypted partition for / by running mount:

    $ mount
    /dev/mapper/vgcherries-lvcherriesroot on / type ext4 (rw,errors=remount-ro)
    /dev/sda4 on /boot type ext3 (rw)
    # rest of output cut for brevity
  15. Check that you're using the encrypted swap partition (not any unencrypted swap partitions from any other installations) by running this command:

    $ swapon -s
    Filename                              Type      Size   Used Priority
    /dev/mapper/vgcherries-lvcherriesswap partition 630780 0    -1
  16. Check that you can boot into recovery mode, you don't want to find out later during an emergency that recovery mode doesn't work :)

  17. Install any updates, which are likely to rebuild the ramdisk and update the grub configuration. Reboot and test both normal mode and recovery mode.

  • 3
    I can verify that in 15.04 you can omit steps 11, 13 and 14, and that in fact it may be necessary to omit these steps (as running update-grub in this manner caused my Windows partition to get lost.)
    – mboratko
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 1:21
  • 5
    @process91 Looks like the steps changed numbers. Now you need to ommit 12, 14, and 15. Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 17:40
  • 5
    Great guide. Worked first time for Windows 10 with BitLocker and Ubuntu 16.04 omitting steps 12, 14 and 15 here. There were a couple of other stumbling blocks I noticed that could do with clarification, particularly what you select for bootloader partition (it gets installed to an existing EFI partition, but you can probably just select the disk where you're installing Ubuntu, e.g. /dev/sda). Anyone with full editor permissions welcome to copy-paste from my write up: stevenmaude.co.uk/posts/… Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 0:46
  • 5
    @unhammer just edited the answer and deleted a couple of the steps, for those reading through the comments and getting confused.
    – Flimm
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 15:47
  • 5
    Author has already taken away old steps 12,14,15. So do NOT skip any steps. Works with Ubuntu Mate 16.04.1. Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 11:22

It is possible to create an encrypted dual-boot setup using only the GUI tools of the Ubuntu LiveCD.


  • A USB Stick with the 19.04 Ubuntu Installer.
  • If you have an EFI Mainboard, make sure that the disk is using the GUID Partition table (GPT). Using an MBR disk with this method seems to fail. You can convert a MBR to GPT with Linux tools (gdisk), but you should do an backup first. If you convert the Partition table, you will need to fix the windows boot loader afterwards.


  • In the start bar type disk partition and select the first option (opening the disk partition manager from settings).

  • Shrink your primary partition to your desired Ubuntu size (I just used the default, splitting my 500GB drive into a 240GB Windows OS and 240GB unallocated space).


  • Disable secure boot (if you have bitlocker you will need to renable it to securely boot into windows each time) - this is fine for me since Ubu is my primary OS, just use windoze for gaming.

Ubuntu LiveCD

Finally - Boot into the 19.04 Installer USB

  • Hit Enter on the default Install Ubuntu option.

  • When you get to the screen that says Erase entire disk and has some checkboxes, click the Something else (manual partitioning) option. Otherwise you will lose you Windows Data!

Once the disk partition manager loads your disk, you'll have a large unallocated space. Click that and hit the Add button to create partitions.

  • First, create a 500MB /boot partition (primary, ext4).
  • Second, with the rest of the space make an encrypted volume. This will create a single LV partition. Modify it to be the selected root / partition. Saying it differently, hit the "change" button on /dev/mapper/sdaX_crypt and set the mount point to /
  • Then the rest of the installation process will work as usual.

When you boot for the first time, log in, open a terminal, run sudo apt-get update and sudo apt dist-upgrade, reboot and log in again.

A 2GB swap file will be created automatically. If you want an 8GB one instead, read this answer.

  • 4
    In May 2019 this is the preferred answer (seems working since 2012, actually), no command line complication needed. In the partitioning, after creating the physical volume for encryption I didn't see the new /dev/mapper/sdaX_crypt at the top of the list. This guide has screenshots and visualizes partition formatting, it can be helpful: hecticgeek.com/2012/10/…
    – firepol
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 9:02
  • 1
    Good answer, @Falieson! But, I didn't understand it for the first 14 days and 17 hrs of research I looked at it, so I think I'm going to write my own answer with screenshots. That article posted by @firepol (hecticgeek.com/2012/10/…) was SUPER helpful, and only AFTER following that article did your answer make any sense to me. Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 2:49
  • Also, I'd like to add next time you should quit using Windows Bitlocker & switch to VeraCrypt. It's Free and Open Source, no cost, & seems to work great with dual boot. My Windows partition is using it, as well as my external hard drives & some local file-based volumes now. Here's a great intro video to VeraCrypt: youtube.com/watch?v=C25VWAGl7Tw, & their downloads page: veracrypt.fr/en/Downloads.html. For Linux-based LUKS encryption on ext4 external drives, however, I'm using the included Ubuntu Disks utility, which has a LUKS encryption checkbox when formatting. Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 2:50
  • 1
    This is not using LUKS. SecureBoot is not a Windows/bad thing. Commented Dec 3, 2019 at 4:11
  • Please explain how this uses luks. Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 18:46

First, points why only encrypting the Linux partition may not be secure enough for you:

  1. https://superuser.com/questions/1013944/encrypted-boot-in-a-luks-lvm-ubuntu-installation
  2. https://security.stackexchange.com/questions/166075/encrypting-the-boot-partition-in-a-linux-system-can-protect-from-an-evil-maid-a
  3. https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/6e5qlz/benefits_of_encrypting_the_boot_partition/
  4. https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/422860/why-should-we-encrypt-the-system-partition-and-not-only-home
  5. https://www.coolgeeks101.com/howto/infrastructure/full-disk-encryption-ubuntu-usb-detached-luks-header/
  6. https://superuser.com/questions/1324389/how-to-avoid-encrypted-boot-partition-password-prompt-in-lvm-arch-linux

Now on, I followed this tutorial:

  1. https://www.oxygenimpaired.com/multiple-linux-distro-installs-on-a-luks-encrypted-harddrive
  2. http://web.archive.org/web/20160402040105/http://www.oxygenimpaired.com/multiple-linux-distro-installs-on-a-luks-encrypted-harddrive

On this answer, I am presenting a step by step (with pictures) installation of Linux Mint 19.1 XFCE and Ubuntu 18.04.2, both fully encrypted in a single disk. First I installed Ubuntu 18.04.2 on /dev/sda5 and I did not create the swap partitions because Linux Mint 19.1 and Ubuntu 18.04.2 do not use them, i.e., they use swap files.

Ubuntu 18.04.2 Bionic Beaver

First, insert the Ubuntu installation media and reboot the machine into the Ubuntu live session, then, select Try Ubuntu and open one terminal, then

  1. sudo su -
  2. fdisk /dev/sda, then, create the following partitions
    • enter image description here
  3. cryptsetup luksFormat /dev/sda5
  4. cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sda5 sda5_crypt
  5. pvcreate /dev/mapper/sda5_crypt
  6. vgcreate vgubuntu /dev/mapper/sda5_crypt
  7. lvcreate -L10G -n ubuntu_root vgubuntu
    • lvcreate -l 100%FREE -n ubuntu_root vgubuntu (optional, instead of running lvcreate -L10G -n ubuntu_root vgubuntu, you can run this lvcreate -l 100%FREE -n ubuntu_root vgubuntu to use your whole disk free space, instead of only 10GB)
    • enter image description here
  8. Do not close the terminal, and open the distro installer, select Something else and mark the following options
    • /dev/sda1 mounted as /boot partition with ext2 format
    • /dev/mapper/vgubuntu-ubuntu_root mounted as / with ext4 format.
    • /dev/sda as boot loader installation
    • Do not mark anything else
    • enter image description here
    • enter image description here
  9. Select Install Now after selecting the above options
  10. Do not reboot, click on Continue Using Linux, and select the open terminal
  11. mkdir /mnt/newroot
  12. mount /dev/mapper/vgubuntu-ubuntu_root /mnt/newroot
  13. mount -o bind /proc /mnt/newroot/proc
  14. mount -o bind /dev /mnt/newroot/dev
  15. mount -o bind /dev/pts /mnt/newroot/dev/pts
  16. mount -o bind /sys /mnt/newroot/sys
  17. cd /mnt/newroot
  18. chroot /mnt/newroot
  19. mount /dev/sda1 /boot
  20. blkid /dev/sda5 (copy UUID without quotes and use it on the next step)
  21. echo sda5_crypt UUID=5f22073b-b4ab-4a95-85bb-130c9d3b24e4 none luks > /etc/crypttab
    • enter image description here
    • enter image description here
    • enter image description here
  22. Create the file /etc/grub.d/40_custom
    • enter image description here
  23. Edit /etc/default/grub and set
    • enter image description here
  24. update-initramfs -u
  25. update-grub
    • enter image description here
    • enter image description here
  26. exit
  27. reboot
  28. After rebooting your computer, select the option Ubuntu and it will correctly ask for your encryption password
    • enter image description here
  29. After you logged in, run
    • sudo apt-get update
    • sudo apt-get install gparted
  30. And by opening gparted you will find this
    • enter image description here

For more detailed instructions, read the original tutorial pointed out on the top of this question or search on google about the usage of these commands.

Linux Mint 19.1 Cinnamon

For the remaining Linux installations, reboot your Ubuntu machine, boot with Mint 19.1 (Live CD) installer, and open a terminal window

  1. sudo su -
  2. cryptsetup luksFormat /dev/sda6
  3. cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sda6 sda6_crypt
  4. pvcreate /dev/mapper/sda6_crypt
  5. vgcreate vgmint /dev/mapper/sda6_crypt
  6. lvcreate -L10G -n mint_root vgmint
    • lvcreate -l 100%FREE -n mint_root vgmint (optional, instead of running lvcreate -L10G -n mint_root vgmint, you can run this lvcreate -l 100%FREE -n mint_root vgmint to use you whole disk free space, instead of only 10GB)
    • enter image description here
    • enter image description here
  7. Do not close the terminal, and open the distro installer, select Something else and mark the following options
    • /dev/sda2 mounted as /boot partition with ext2 format
    • /dev/mapper/vgmint-mint_root mounted as / with ext4 format.
    • /dev/sda2 as boot loader installation (do not select /dev/sda as before)
    • Do not mark anything else
    • enter image description here
    • enter image description here
  8. Select Install Now after selecting the above options
  9. Do not reboot, click on Continue Using Linux, and select the open terminal
  10. mkdir /mnt/newroot
  11. mount /dev/mapper/vgmint-mint_root /mnt/newroot
  12. mount -o bind /proc /mnt/newroot/proc
  13. mount -o bind /dev /mnt/newroot/dev
  14. mount -o bind /dev/pts /mnt/newroot/dev/pts
  15. mount -o bind /sys /mnt/newroot/sys
  16. cd /mnt/newroot
  17. chroot /mnt/newroot
  18. mount /dev/sda2 /boot
  19. blkid /dev/sda6 (copy UUID without quotes and use it on the next step)
  20. echo sda6_crypt UUID=5f22073b-b4ab-4a95-85bb-130c9d3b24e4 none luks > /etc/crypttab
    • enter image description here
    • enter image description here
    • enter image description here
  21. update-initramfs -u
  22. update-grub
    • enter image description here
    • enter image description here
  23. exit
  24. reboot
  25. After rebooting your computer, select the option Linux Mint on /dev/sda2
    • enter image description here
  26. Then, it will correctly start Mint 19.1 and asked for the encryption password
    • enter image description here
  27. After you logged in, run
    • sudo apt-get update
    • sudo apt-get install gparted
  28. And by opening gparted you will find this
    • enter image description here

Related links:

  1. How can I resize an active LVM partition?
  2. How can I resize an LVM partition? (i.e: physical volume)
  3. https://www.tecmint.com/extend-and-reduce-lvms-in-linux/
  4. Grub chainloader doesn't work with Windows 8
  5. UEFI Booting With Encrypted /boot On Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  • 1
    I have 1 hard disk on my computer and it had one existing non encrypted Kubuntu 18.04. I've installed second encrypted Kubuntu 18.04 near the first non encrypted Kubuntu based on this. Now both are working well on one hard disk. Thanks for detailed answer.
    – Ikrom
    Commented Apr 22, 2019 at 17:41
  • 1
    The part about Linux Mint should be removed from this answer. This part is off-topic, has not been asked by OP, it makes the answer unnecessary long and leads to off-topic follow-up questions like this one.
    – mook765
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 9:11
  • -1 for Mint related part.
    – user68186
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 19:16
  • You could take the -1 for the Mint related part and the +1 for the Ubuntu related part and give a 0, i.e., do not vote neither up or down.
    – user
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 22:30

Adding another answer here as many of the other resources I've found (here and elsewhere) are quite a bit outdated, and I think some of the steps can be simplified.

First, as mentioned in other answers, If you don't want to dual boot, simply choose the encryption option in the automated installer.

It is worth noting that this method doesn't encrypt /boot. While there are valid reasons for encrypting /boot, the graphical installer does not encrypt it when you do a graphical install with LUKS. As such, I'm matching that precedent, and keeping the simplicity of an unencrypted /boot partition.

Ubuntu 20.04 and Windows 10

Throughout this guide, I'm going to reference /dev/sda. Yours might be different - in particular, it might be /dev/nvme0n1. Simply make the substitutions as appropriate below, noting also that /dev/sda1 would correspond to /dev/nvme0n1p1.1

Partitioning can be done with GParted, sgdisk, or gdisk. sgdisk is easiest to reference here as commands.

  1. Configure your BIOS for UEFI only. No MBR, no legacy boot.2
  2. Initialize the drive as a GPT drive and create a 550M EFI system partition formatted as FAT32 (as root).
    # sgdisk --zap-all /dev/sda
    # sgdisk --new=1:0:+550M /dev/sda
    # sgdisk --change-name=1:EFI /dev/sda
    # sgdisk --typecode=1:ef00 /dev/sda
    # mkfs.fat -F 32 /dev/sda1
  3. Install Windows. In the installer, choose to create a new partition for Windows, and make this the appropriate size (roughly half your hard disk). Leave unallocated space to use later for Ubuntu. When you do this, the installer will actually make multiple partitions for Windows reasons.
  4. If desired, after Windows installation is complete, enable BitLocker on your C: drive. This will make another partition.
  5. Make partitions for Ubuntu (as root). The 768M partition is for /boot. The other is for Ubuntu and will be encrypted with LUKS and use LVM (similar to how the default installation process would set it up). (If you didn't set up BitLocker before, your partition numbers will be off by 1 from my example below (so my sda5 is your sda4).
    # sgdisk --new=5:0:+768M /dev/sda
    # sgdisk --new=6:0:0 /dev/sda
    # sgdisk --change-name=5:/boot --change-name=6:rootfs /dev/sda
    # sgdisk --typecode=5:8301 --typecode=6:8301 /dev/sda
    # mkfs.ext4 -L boot /dev/sda5
  6. Set up LUKS and LVM (as root). I did 8G of swap space. A good rule of thumb is the amount of RAM in your system. Swap will be encrypted.
    # cryptsetup luksFormat --type=luks1 /dev/sda6
    # cryptsetup open /dev/sda6 sda6_crypt
    # pvcreate /dev/mapper/sda6_crypt 
    # vgcreate ubuntu-vg /dev/mapper/sda6_crypt 
    # lvcreate -L 8G -n swap_1 ubuntu-vg 
    # lvcreate -l 100%FREE -n root ubuntu-vg
  7. Install Ubuntu using the graphical installer. Choose the partitions yourself.
    • /dev/sda5 as ext4 for /boot
    • /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-root as ext4 for /
    • /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-swap_1 as swap
    • The bootloader device should be /dev/sda
  8. When the installer finishes, don't exit. We need to set up /etc/crypttab (as root). This is what will trigger your passphrase prompt on boot. Replace the UUID in the file with the UUID of your drive, obtained from sudo blkid /dev/sda6
    # mount /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-root /target
    # mount /dev/sda5 /target/boot
    # for n in proc sys dev etc/resolv.conf; do mount --rbind /$n /target/$n; done 
    # chroot /target
    # mount -a
    # echo 'sda6_crypt UUID=abcdefgh-1234-5678-9012-abcdefghijklm none luks,tries=0,discard,loud' > /etc/crypttab
    # update-initramfs -k all -c

Done! If you use BitLocker on Windows, it won't like being booted with grub. Instead, boot directly to Windows from your BIOS boot options.

  • If you're interested, I wrote a blog about this with a little more detail here: mikekasberg.com/blog/2020/04/08/… I see the benefit of consolidating answers here on AskUbuntu, so this is summarized succinctly in my answer above.
    – mkasberg
    Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 2:46
  • Great tutorial! But you got a few strays ` in the sgdisk section. I had to insert for n in proc sys dev etc/resolv.conf; do... in a file and use chmod +x to run it (it did not work from the terminal: bash: syntax error near unexpected token 'do'). You also forgot to mention (it is written on your blog) that you need sudo blkid /dev/sda6 to get the UUID of sda6. Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 20:14

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