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Fixing Ubuntu 18.04 cryptsetup passphrase recognition issue on Dell XPS 13 9370

Ubuntu 10

If you’re using Ubuntu 18.04 on a Dell XPS 13 9370 and facing issues with cryptsetup passphrase recognition, this article will guide you through the process of troubleshooting and resolving this issue.

Quick Answer

To fix the cryptsetup passphrase recognition issue on Dell XPS 13 9370 running Ubuntu 18.04, you can start by checking the keyboard layout and verifying the encryption configuration. If the issue persists, you can try manual decryption, checking LUKS header information, confirming the device name, and checking logical volumes. If none of these solutions work, seeking assistance from the Ubuntu community or reinstalling Ubuntu with LUKS encryption may be necessary.

Understanding the Issue

The cryptsetup utility in Ubuntu is used to manage encrypted storage volumes. Sometimes, you may encounter an issue where the passphrase you’ve set isn’t recognized, preventing you from accessing your encrypted data. This can be due to a variety of factors, such as a keyboard layout issue, encryption configuration errors, or problems with the underlying system.

Preliminary Checks

Before diving into more complex troubleshooting steps, it’s worth checking some basic factors that could be causing the issue.

Keyboard Layout

Firstly, ensure that the keyboard layout is not the issue. You can do this by setting a simple passphrase like “abcd” and see if it’s recognized. If it’s not, then the problem is not related to the keyboard layout.

Encryption Configuration

Next, verify that the encryption itself is configured correctly. Boot from the live USB system and use the “Disks” utility to unlock the drive with your chosen password. If you can successfully unlock the drive using the same passphrase, then the encryption configuration is likely not the problem.

In-depth Troubleshooting

If the preliminary checks don’t resolve the issue, it’s time to dive deeper into the system to identify and fix the problem.

Manual Decryption

Switch to the command-line by hitting F1 or AltTab, type the password again, and check for any errors. If you find an error, try searching for it online to get more information.

After a few minutes, you should be shown the initramfs/BusyBox console screen. Here, you can check the syntax of your kernel arguments by typing cat /proc/cmdline. Pay special attention to the value of root and if rootdelay is set, consider increasing the system wait time.

You can also manually decrypt the device using the following command:

cryptsetup --debug luksOpen /dev/XXX mapper-name

In this command, --debug is an option that enables debug-level logging, luksOpen is the action to perform (opening a LUKS-encrypted device), /dev/XXX is the device to operate on, and mapper-name is the name to assign to the decrypted device in the device mapper.

Make sure you are using the correct device by running dumpe2fs /dev/XXX in the initramfs/BusyBox console and confirming that it reports as crypto_LUKS.

Checking LUKS Header Information

You can dump LUKS header information from the device using the following command:

cryptsetup --debug luksDump /dev/XXX

In this command, luksDump is the action to perform (dumping the LUKS header information), and /dev/XXX is the device to operate on. If there is corruption of on-disk metadata, you can use the cryptsetup repair <device> command to fix it.

Checking Device Name

On the “Please unlock disk XXX_crypt” screen, note your device name and confirm that Ubuntu is asking you to decrypt the correct device. Sometimes the order of disks can change, so Ubuntu may use the last known device location when it can’t connect to the lvmetad service.

Checking Logical Volumes

You can run lvm lvs or lvm vgscan to check for any errors related to logical volumes. Use the command cat /proc/modules to check for any missing modules that you can load using modprobe.

Testing Previous Kernel

If you recently upgraded your system, you can also test your previous kernel by holding Shift during boot and selecting “Advanced options” to choose the version you want to test.

Conclusion

These steps should help you troubleshoot and resolve the cryptsetup passphrase recognition issue on your Dell XPS 13 9370 running Ubuntu 18.04. If none of these solutions work, consider seeking further assistance from the Ubuntu community or reinstalling Ubuntu with LUKS encryption. Remember, always keep your system updated and back up your data regularly to prevent data loss.

How can I check if the issue with cryptsetup passphrase recognition is due to a keyboard layout problem?

To check if the issue is related to the keyboard layout, set a simple passphrase like "abcd" and see if it is recognized. If it is not recognized, then the problem is not related to the keyboard layout.

How can I verify if the encryption configuration is set correctly?

Boot from the live USB system and use the "Disks" utility to unlock the drive with your chosen password. If you can successfully unlock the drive using the same passphrase, then the encryption configuration is likely not the problem.

How can I manually decrypt the device?

In the initramfs/BusyBox console, you can manually decrypt the device using the command cryptsetup --debug luksOpen /dev/XXX mapper-name. Replace /dev/XXX with the correct device and mapper-name with the desired name for the decrypted device in the device mapper.

How can I check the LUKS header information of the device?

To check the LUKS header information of the device, use the command cryptsetup --debug luksDump /dev/XXX. Replace /dev/XXX with the correct device. If there is corruption of on-disk metadata, you can use the cryptsetup repair <device> command to fix it.

How can I check if Ubuntu is asking me to decrypt the correct device?

On the "Please unlock disk XXX_crypt" screen, note your device name and confirm that Ubuntu is asking you to decrypt the correct device. Sometimes the order of disks can change, so Ubuntu may use the last known device location when it can’t connect to the lvmetad service.

How can I test a previous kernel version to see if it resolves the issue?

If you recently upgraded your system, you can test your previous kernel by holding Shift during boot and selecting "Advanced options" to choose the version you want to test. This can help determine if the issue is specific to the current kernel version.

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