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How To Mount BitLocker Encrypted Drive on Ubuntu

Ubuntu 15

In this article, we will guide you on how to mount a BitLocker encrypted drive on Ubuntu. BitLocker is a full volume encryption feature included with Microsoft Windows versions starting from Vista. It is designed to protect data by providing encryption for entire volumes. However, BitLocker-encrypted drives can be challenging to access on non-Windows operating systems such as Ubuntu.

Fortunately, there is a tool called Dislocker that allows us to decrypt and mount BitLocker encrypted drives on Ubuntu. We will walk you through the process of installing and using Dislocker.

Quick Answer

To mount a BitLocker encrypted drive on Ubuntu, you can use a tool called Dislocker. Install Dislocker, create the necessary folders, decrypt the BitLocker drive using the appropriate command based on your password or recovery key, and then mount the decrypted drive. Finally, you can access your decrypted data in the mounted directory.

Prerequisites

Before we start, ensure that you have administrative access to your Ubuntu system and know your BitLocker password or have the BitLocker recovery key.

Step 1: Install Dislocker

Dislocker is a tool designed to read BitLocker encrypted partitions under a Linux or macOS system. The software can decrypt these partitions given a BitLocker recovery key or user password.

For Ubuntu 18.04 and later, you can install Dislocker from the Ubuntu Universe repository. Open the terminal and run the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository universe
sudo apt update
sudo apt install dislocker

The sudo add-apt-repository universe command enables the universe repository which contains community maintained free and open-source software. sudo apt update updates the package lists for upgrades for packages that need upgrading. sudo apt install dislocker installs Dislocker on your system.

Step 2: Create Necessary Folders

We need to create two directories where we will mount our BitLocker drive. Run the following commands in the terminal:

sudo mkdir /media/bitlocker /media/mount

The mkdir command is used to create directories. /media/bitlocker will be used to decrypt the BitLocker encrypted drive, and /media/mount will be used to mount the decrypted drive.

Step 3: Decrypt the BitLocker Drive

First, we need to identify the partition of your BitLocker-encrypted drive. You can do this by running the fdisk -l command:

sudo fdisk -l

The fdisk -l command lists out the partitions on your system.

Once you’ve identified the BitLocker partition (e.g., /dev/sdaX), you can decrypt it using Dislocker. The command you use depends on whether you have a recovery password, a user password, or a recovery key file (.BEK file).

  • If you have a recovery password, use the following command:
sudo dislocker -r -V /dev/sdaX -p <recovery_password> -- /media/bitlocker
  • If you know your user password, you can use the following command:
sudo dislocker -r -V /dev/sdaX -u <password> -- /media/bitlocker
  • If you have a recovery key file, use the following command:
sudo dislocker-fuse -V /dev/sdaX -f <path_to_bek_file> -- /media/bitlocker

In these commands, -r is used to deny write access on the BitLocker volume, -V followed by the partition path (e.g., /dev/sdaX) is used to specify the BitLocker volume, -p or -u or -f is used to specify the recovery password, user password, or recovery key file respectively, and -- /media/bitlocker is used to specify the folder where the decrypted drive will be mounted.

Step 4: Mount the Decrypted Drive

After decrypting the drive, we need to mount it to access the data. Switch to the root user and navigate to the /media/bitlocker directory:

sudo -i
cd /media/bitlocker

Then, mount the decrypted drive using the following command:

mount -r -o loop dislocker-file /media/mount

In this command, -r is used to mount the file system as read-only, -o loop is used to setup loop device, dislocker-file is the decrypted BitLocker volume, and /media/mount is the directory where the decrypted drive will be mounted.

If you encounter a “Permission denied” error, try adding the -r option for read-only access and retry.

Now, you can access your decrypted data by navigating to the /media/mount folder.

Conclusion

Mounting a BitLocker encrypted drive on Ubuntu may seem complicated, but with the help of Dislocker, it becomes a straightforward process. This guide has shown you how to install Dislocker, decrypt a BitLocker encrypted drive, and mount it on Ubuntu. Always remember to handle your encrypted data with care and ensure that you have the necessary permissions and keys before attempting to decrypt and mount a BitLocker drive.

Can I mount a BitLocker encrypted drive on Ubuntu without using Dislocker?

No, Dislocker is the recommended tool for mounting BitLocker encrypted drives on Ubuntu.

Can I mount a BitLocker encrypted drive on older versions of Ubuntu?

Dislocker is available for Ubuntu 18.04 and later versions. If you are using an older version, you may need to upgrade your Ubuntu installation or explore alternative solutions.

Can I mount a BitLocker encrypted drive on other Linux distributions?

Yes, Dislocker is available for various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Fedora, and CentOS. The installation process may differ slightly based on the distribution you are using.

What if I don’t have administrative access to my Ubuntu system?

You need administrative access to install Dislocker and mount BitLocker encrypted drives. If you don’t have administrative access, you will need to contact the system administrator or obtain the necessary permissions.

Can I mount a BitLocker encrypted drive on macOS using Dislocker?

Yes, Dislocker can also be used to mount BitLocker encrypted drives on macOS. The installation process and commands may vary slightly, but the overall steps are similar.

What should I do if I forget my BitLocker password or lose the recovery key?

If you forget your BitLocker password or lose the recovery key, it may not be possible to mount the encrypted drive. It is essential to keep a backup of your recovery key in a safe and secure location to avoid data loss.

Is it possible to write to a BitLocker encrypted drive mounted on Ubuntu?

By default, Dislocker mounts the BitLocker encrypted drive in read-only mode to ensure data integrity. If you need to write to the drive, you will need to remount it with write permissions, but this may compromise the security and integrity of the encrypted data.

Can I access the decrypted data on the BitLocker encrypted drive from other applications?

Yes, once the BitLocker encrypted drive is decrypted and mounted, you can access the decrypted data using file managers or any other applications that have access to the mounted directory.

What precautions should I take when working with a BitLocker encrypted drive on Ubuntu?

It is crucial to handle your encrypted data with care. Ensure that you have the necessary permissions and keys before attempting to decrypt and mount a BitLocker drive. Always keep backups of your recovery key and follow best practices for data security.

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