I have a dual boot Windows/Linux machine that I am doing a full revamp of. After saving my personal files, I wiped the 1 TB drive and did a clean install of Windows 10. I have reduced the Windows partition to 120 GB and now I want to add a 80 GB /root partition for Linux and a /home partition with all the remaining space (plus a 4 GB swap partition). If I encrypt the /home partition during install, will I still be able to access the files in it if in the future I do a new install of Ubuntu (or if I try another distro like Mint, Peppermint, Elementary, etc.) and re-adopt the /home partition? Or is it safer in this scenario to not encrypt /home? Are there any special steps I need to take to re-access the encrypted /home if I install a new distro in the future?
Yes you will be able to access to your data of course.
There are many way of doing that and I am going to suggest you 2 here.
1) You decrypt your home partition before re-installation and you can do this by using the following command:
Here is the step by step about how to remove the decryption from your home.
I tried myself and it worked for me.
2) You can install your system and choose /home partition the existing one by de-selecting to format the partition and that will basically take it as your /home, but you will still need to access to it as it is encrypted.
are the 2 main tools that you will work with. You can find different how-to's about this but here is the step by step one:
There are many other ways to do that but the easier way would be of course to remove the encyrption before re-installation.