RAN_Feld
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Re: XPS 13 9370 Ubuntu full disk encryption

Ok, an update:

In "Updates" under "Ubuntu Software" I see an update named "XPS 13 9370 System Update" from 0.1.5.1 to 0.1.6.3. Oddly, the description list a MS-Windows issue. Weird. I am not sure if this is the case also for factory-default setups. My  main issue is still the one at the message above, however.

Here is the description of this update:

"This stable release fixes the following issues:
• Fixed the incorrect Windows operating system logon message that is displayed on the lock screen of Windows.
• Fixed the issue where the characters fail to display on the screen while typing continuously.
• Enabled support for Intel Turbo Boost Technology on I3-8310U processors that was disabled by default.
• Optimized the battery diagnostics in Dell Enhanced Pre-boot System Assessment (ePSA)."

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dell-mario l
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Re: XPS 13 9370 Ubuntu full disk encryption

@RAN_Feld

The same BIOS image is provided to both Windows and Linux customers.  So yes, fixes that apply only to Windows will be included as well.

Regarding your error, I believe that Dell Linux Assistant may have an implicit dependency on a recovery partition (which isn't present when you choose your own partitioning layout).  You should be able to remove it using apt.

I'll let the team know about this error so they can improve that in the future.

 

APT repositories are still configured and you should still receive your updates.

Christophe14
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Re: XPS 13 9370 Ubuntu full disk encryption

Hi @dell-mario l,

I confirm @RAN_Feld findings regarding Dell Linux Assistant and Dell Recovery applications.

To all users,

Meanwhile, I will add an additional step on the how to proposed:

19 - Perform a CloneZilla image of the entire disk (before any update / new software installation)

Why ?
After having succesfully encrypted the disk, I have updated Ubuntu, installed Firefox, configured the BIOS in Secure Mode and performed a sudo apt-get autoremove command.

Result of these actions : I was no more able to boot (unfortunately, I haven't written down the error message).

So, I have restored the entire disk with CloneZilla tool. It was definitively faster than reinstalling everything (also considering the non QWERTY encryption passphrase issue).

Are you aware of any conflict with full disk encryption feature ?
Have you encountered any issue after encrypting the entire disk ?

Thanks !

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dell-mario l
1 Nickel

Re: XPS 13 9370 Ubuntu full disk encryption

This installation process using partition encryption is off the tested beating path, so finding some issues (such as the problem with keyboard layout) isn't too surprising.

I would need to see either the error message or the logs of what was changed from your updates to advise what's happening.  But my best guess is that running `apt auto-remove` removed something it shouldn't have.

 

 

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Christophe14
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Re: XPS 13 9370 Ubuntu full disk encryption

Hi @dell-mario l,

I have made a new trial with command "sudo apt-get autoremove".

After the command execution, I have restarted XPS 13. There is no real error message when booting.
Here is what is displayed on the screen :

"BusyBox v1.27.2 (Ubuntu xxx) built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

(initramfs)"

Any idea ?

Kind regards

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dell-mario l
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Re: XPS 13 9370 Ubuntu full disk encryption

Some package that was removed from auto-remove was actually necessary if that's what's happening after auto-remove.

Do you have an older kernel installed that you can boot into from GRUB menu perhaps?

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Christophe14
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Re: XPS 13 9370 Ubuntu full disk encryption

I have made a CloneZilla image before performing the apt-get autoremove command.
No worry about this.

But I cannot post here the output command that shows the modules removed.
Each time I am posting the log, the message is not saved and posted (no error is returned).
So I am sending it to you in a private message.

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michaelzap
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Re: XPS 13 9370 Ubuntu full disk encryption

I very much appreciate all of the effort that folks in this thread have put into trying to get FDE to work. It still seems as if the process is a bit buggy and complex, and I definitely don't want to run the risk of an autoremove completely locking me out. I have been using LUKS encryption on my previous XPS (which was originally a Windows machine) for years, and this is one feature that I don't really consider optional.

Given that I really need my XPS to be stable and I also want FDE, I'm considering:

  • Backing up my system and trying the steps listed here, although the fact that they don't seem to produce a 100% stable system is worrisome.
  • Updating to 18.10 and trying to get home directory encryption to work there (which also seems dicey).
  • Wiping everything and installing Mint 19 with FDE and trying to use the Dell-specific drivers with that (is there a tutorial for using Dell drivers in Mint?).

I have enjoyed vanilla Gnome Ubuntu for the last few weeks on my new XPS, but I've been a happy and productive Mint MATE user on my old XPS for years and wouldn't mind switching back to that (or perhaps a different DE) as long as I won't lose Dell driver support.

Suggestions?

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Christophe14
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Re: XPS 13 9370 Ubuntu full disk encryption

Hi Michael,

I fully agree with you : I consider Full Disk Encryption support by Dell a must have !

Kind regards

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michaelzap
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Re: XPS 13 9370 Ubuntu full disk encryption

Indeed. It's really a shame that this is not possible with Dell's official installation media. I can imagine that it might complicate support requests occasionally, but it would also be a huge selling point for many security-minded customers.

I need to decide what to do to to resolve this on my system, since I definitely don't plan to travel again without FDE. I don't think that home directory encryption is an acceptable substitute really, so I'm going to strike that option from my list. I'm a long-time Linux user and fairly technical, and I'd be happy to write up a tutorial for others (like the steps that you've worked through so far), and if it turns out that the only reliable solution is to do a fresh installation, I'd probably switch to Mint and write up the steps for doing that instead.

I hope that I can get FDE working with the official Dell Gnome installation. A lot of effort seems to have been put into getting everything working smoothly and I like the idea of participating in Sputnik. So I'll probably try to back up everything, reformat with FDE, and then restore it all first and see how that goes (and if it can be done that way, then I'll post steps for that).

One way or another, we'll get over this bump!

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