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Howto install slackware64 -current with full disk encryption, including swap on Linode

The task

To have a working virtual machine in Linode, running and tracking Slackware64 -current, with full disk encryption, including swap, using LUKS with a custom partitioning schematic using LVM.

The steps I followed

Linode offers Slackware64 14.2 out of the box. This can be upgraded to current in the normal fashion. See this post, which is what inspired me to get started on this.

This howto can be used to make a fresh installation of slackware64 14.2 or current. The default image as provided by Linode is stripped down due to their size restrictions. As someone used to following the recommendation to do a full install, I realized it can be a pretty long haul to have this setup just like my local PC.

As an example of a little shocker that enlightened me about the image size restriction,

root@darkstar:~# which perl

no perl in (/usr/local/sbin:/usr/sbin:/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/games:/usr/lib64/qt/bin)

It is useful to be able to a full fresh install instead, in the following manner.

  1. Spin up your Slackware 14.2 Linode in the usual manager. I did this via the Linode Cloud Manager.
  2. Add a new Volume to hold the installation media. This is to be attached to the Linode created above. The details are of the Volume are available in the Linode Cloud Manager (their web portal). Note down the /dev/disk/path-to-volume. I added a Volume named Installer sized 10 GB, which is the default minimum available.
  3. Similarly, add a new Volume for the new OS itself with size of your choosing. I added a Volume named Slack64curr.
  4. Login to the Linode
  5. Download the ISO (Thanks to AlienBob!)
  6. dd the ISO to the Volume named Installer. Example (replace the path/filenames with your actual)
    dd if=/home/maha_d/slackware64-current-install-dvd.iso of=/dev/disk/by-id/scsi-0Linode_Volume_Installer
  7. Create or edit the Linode's configuration profile (in the Linode Cloud manager, this is available as Linodes→My-Linode–label→Configurations→Add/Edit. There is also a Clone Profile option, which is very useful here), so that the two new volumes are added in 'Block device assignments'. Swap out the default and the Installer volumes & make the Installer volume /dev/sda and the default Slackware 14.2 that was created by Linode, as /dev/sdX (replace X appropriately).
  8. Save and boot this configuration profile.
  9. Launch the weblish from the Linode Cloud Manager.
  10. The boot will fail and drop you a grub cli.
  11. Type 'exit' from the grub prompt, and switch to the Glish console where you will now have the slackware installer.
  12. Starting with fdisk /dev/sdX (Block device assigned to the Volume we created to be our primary Slackware64 -current OS disk), proceed with installation as usual. I followed this document and section named 'Combining LUKS and LVM'
For adding media source I used a slackware mirror. DHCP works to obtain internet connectivity.
  1. I used the mkinitrd generator helper.
  2. I used liloconfig to setup the bootloader in the MBR of /dev/sdd. I experienced this problem with grub.
  3. In lilo.conf, I set boot = /dev/sdd which was the 4th block device assignment, in the Linode Configuration profile I booted. This resulted in a warning, that it is not the first device when issuing /sbin/lilo command, which can be safely ignored.
  4. I issued a reboot from the command line.
  5. I then created a new Configuration Profile, in which delete the Block device assignments of the Installer Volume, as well as the default Slackware 14.2. Enable custom root and point it to your new OS device. In my case, it was /dev/sdd.
  6. Power recycling, and then using the Weblish / Glish launched from the Linode Cloud Manager, type 'exit' in the grub to login to your new installation!
  7. I had to manually setup the networking. Using slackware's netconfig TUI to use dhcp also works.
Linode provides a 'Lassie' shutdown watch dog utility, that should be disabled via the Linode Cloud Manager Settings.

Linode provides a Caution in their doc here.

Happy to be slackin'!

I am very grateful to Slackware and Linode indeed!

Mahadevan Rangarajan 2021/04/14 03:50 (UTC)


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