Trisquel: fully customizable installation using FDE

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nadebula.1984
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Joined: 05/01/2018

As requested by some other users, I did this test.

Requirements: Trisquel network installer or Live USB media, and one of the following networking condition (the last two options also require some network traffic fees):

1. Wired ethernet
2. Internal ath5k/ath9k (but not ath10k/ath11k)
3. USB ath9k-htc
4. WWAN modem that doesn't require non-free firmware
5. Android smart phone that supports USB tethering

If you already have the Live USB, you needn't to download the network installer. Just select the text mode installer after selecting language.

When you partition the hard disk, you'll need to create a /boot partition (for BIOS and MBR), or /boot and biosboot partitions (for BIOS and GPT), or /boot and /boot/efi partitions (for UEFI). Then create a partition used as physical volume for encryption using any available space.

Select "configure encrypted volumes" to set the password and make the encrypted volume usable.

Select "configure logical volumes" to set up volume groups (VG) and logical volumes (LV). You can customize all mountpoints.

The remaining installation processes are very straightforward and self explaining. You also have a chance to select services (including SSH) and desktop environments (mainly KDE and MATE).

The ubiquity-based installer (run under Live session) is rather inefficient. It basically extracts the squashfs image and then has to uninstall most of the language packages.

jlb
jlb
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Joined: 03/28/2021

Thanks for the guide. I used the graphical installer on my current installation, and I was quite surprised that I couldn't encrypt any partition if I chose to do it manually.

I hope the new installer Ubuntu will use is better than Ubiquity, although I would prefer Anaconda Installer.

nadebula.1984
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Joined: 05/01/2018

The text mode installer is very similar with Debian Installer, which is designed for installing Debian testing branch. It is almost fully customizable, except for certain very rare situations, such as when the user wants to decrypt existing encrypted physical volumes (PV) and reuse the existing VGs and LVs on those encrypted PVs. If users want GUI, Debian Installer also has its own GUI, albeit not implemented in Trisquel's media. Anyway, having such a highly customizable (alternative) installer is a major feature.

Ubuntu's ubiquity was born in the BIOS era (~2006) and is very difficult to maintain. Canonical already sentenced it to death. Many users can't install Ubuntu on some new UEFI systems at all, due to its poor UEFI support. However, Ubuntu's new desktop installer is no good, either, as it is based on Google's Flutter. But there are still other options. For example, Debian doesn't have anaconda (used by RedHat and Fedora) but has calamares, a distribution-independent installation framework. Trisquel community can develop its own installer based on calamares. It's in Debian buster and should be available in Trisquel 10.