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I have encrypted my home directory and am prompted for the passphrase on boot, to decrypt the volume. The problem with this approach is that boot is blocked till somebody (usually me) has physical access to the machine.

Is there a way to not block the boot and perform decryption either on login or another user (say root)?

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It sounds like you've got full system encryption, probably with dm-crypt / cryptsetup, since encrypting just your home (with eCryptFS) would boot the computer first and then ask you for your login passphrase.

If that's what's going on, you could remove the full system encryption to have the computer boot on it's own. It might be easier & quicker & safer to first backup your data and just re-install with no full system encryption, only encrypting your home folder.

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