I installed OpenSuse one year ago on my notebook. I created all partitions except /boot inside an LVM partition. I enabled encryption for it during setup. The system asked me a password on each boot later. Everything seemed fine...

But one day I wanted to cancel the boot process and did it with SysRq REISUB. During entering this combination, the system suddenly continued to boot without any password being entered. I had no /home and no swap, but / was mounted! I checked multiple times, it was inside an "encrypted" physical LVM volume.

Later I found out that OpenSuse can't encrypt / at all. There is an option to enable encryption for each logical volume, and indeed it fails for /.

Later I tried Fedora. The options during partitioning were misleading by same means. I could enable "encryption" of a physical volume and each logical subvolume. With the exception that Fedora actually allowed to encrypt /.

Question: What's the point of setting up "encryption" for a physical LVM volume, when it doesn't imply (real) encryption of its logical subvolumes? Did I get something wrong in this whole concept?

  • The why you have asked your question is argumentative. We don't know why Suse designed their system they way they did. Why don't you ask this on a Suse forum? – Zoredache Jun 23 '10 at 16:41
  • As I said, it's not only Suse but also Fedora. I thought it might be some "secret" concept behind this. – java.is.for.desktop Jun 23 '10 at 20:55
  • +1 after the edit for removing the argumentative phrase of the question – Mark Henderson Jun 28 '10 at 5:39

There are two ways to encrypt an LVM volume:

  1. You create an encrypted partition, create the PV inside it and then the whole PV is encrypted
  2. You create a normal LVM, create LV inside it and then create an encrypted partition inside the LV.

If you use method 1 your root partition is encrypted. You might have gotten an emergency shell.

If you use method 2 you might want to leave the root unencrypted to simplify recovery if something goes wrong. Normally the root partition should hold system file, not private files.

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