Day 15 - Brand new Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

YAY! Brand new Ubuntu! The installation took a LOT of time. Most of which was spent in partitioning the drive properly. I had a good plan for how to do it, but the encryption thing really got in my way, and took up a lot of time. So, here’s the long and short of it.

At first, I didn’t really know whether the root (/) partition can be encrypted or not. While encrypting that would have been good, I didn’t mind / being unencrypted because it mostly just had installation files and config files and not any personal data.

But a tutorial on the internet, told me that I could actually have encrypted root partitions. I just had to give a few 100 MB to the /boot partition which would have all the files in / that are absolutely required just for booting.

So, I followed that guide. It didn’t work. In the guide’s defense, it is almost 5 years old. I hoped that it would work, but after a few attempts which took up almost 2 hours, I had resigned to my fate and accepted that / couldn’t be encrypted.

/home of course could be encrypted, and in fact, there’s an option right after the partition table screen, so just create an ext4 partition, choose the right mount point and tick the encryption option on the next screen. A breeze!

The remaining two partitions that I wanted, LUKS + ext4 partitions were a bit tricky. Basically, if I selected an encrypted /home partition in the partition table screen itself, it wouldn’t let me proceed with an unencrypted swap partition. This is not totally bonkers, but is slightly bonkers. Swap is highly volatile, has some process information and keeps changing, it’s unreasonable to believe that I want an unencrypted swap. Weirdly enough, if you encrypt /home from the screen where you have to enter your username and password, it won’t bother you about the encrypted swap partition. So, maybe it is tied to the root partition’s encryption? I don’t really know exactly how that screen works, and I would love for it to be a little bit more presentable.

Talking about the partition table screen, it’s horrible. I can’t maximize it for some reason. You have to “scroll” horizontally to see the partitions, and the partitions crazily enough have colours in the main timeline like diagram, and there is an index below them that is NOT EVEN aligned! My god, it was such a terrible screen. Why don’t they take pointers from gparted’s beautiful way of showing partitions? Even Windows’ Disk Manager (run diskmgmt.msc after pressing WinKey+R) shows partitions in a very sane fashion.

After the partition step, you select the timezone, enter your username password, and finally, it starts installing. The downloading packages step took a long time, almost 2 hours, the rest of the part was fairly fast even on a two year old Intel i5 processor with a Hard Disk Drive (the one with Spindles and Sectors and moving parts! I feel like these things have become so slow these days!)

One slight scare was when I restarted the computer while it was running from the Live USB after having touched the GPT of the Hard Drive. This led to Grub (of course) not finding the operating systems, and dropping me to a Grub2 shell where the Flash Drive, which should have shown up as hd1 was not showing up. Thankfully, I was able to get back into Bios using the designated key for my laptop, and boot back up using the Flash Drive, if that had not been possible, I don’t know what my way out would have been!

I am yet to write the appropriate lines inside /etc/crypttab to make sure that the protected ext4 LUKS partitions are mounted at startup. That seems like an easy process, atleast now that I have seen one SO question on it and done nothing about it at all. I am pretty sure it’s not as easy as I think right now. More on the tomorrow!

Big Little Lies had some major progress today. I actually ended up getting through 56% of the book! So, I am pretty into the story now. If you read yesterday’s post, know that Celeste had a reason. I don’t want to spoil the story again today by revealing something.

Also, I hate Renata and Harper. Bonnie and her yogi thing and her vegan thing that she’s converting Abigal into is also rather irritating. There’s an Orwell line in one of his essays that fits perfectly for the present situation:

One may feel, as I do, a sort of aesthetic distaste for Bonnie, noe may reject the claims of sainthood made on her behalf (she never made any such claim, herself) by the way.

– Reflections on Gandhi (The name “Gandhi” replaced with “Bonnie”!)

POST #15 is OVER