Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ubuntu Netbook Remix Encryption.

Netbook are quickly becoming the computer to have. And what better OS to run on it then Ubuntu Netbook Remix Edition? Its runs great on most netbooks, its fast, and its FREE. But its missing one critial feature, data protection.

With a laptop you can easly install Ubuntu with an Alternative cd and have Full disk encryption, so that if a baddy gets access to it, it wont do them much good. The problem is you cant install with encryption on the Live CD, and UNR dosnt have an Alrenative installer -.-, you cant have full disk encryption, or can you? This will be a how-to in installing UNR with full disk encrytpion, enjoy :D

Part One: Getting the Nessarry Equiment.

For this you will need a computer already running Ubuntu (this can be your netbook), a 1gb flash drive (pen drive whatever :\), and your netbook. The first thing you will need to do is download the Ubuntu 9.04 ISO here. Once that is done, plug in that flash drive to your computer and go to System -> Administration -> USB Startup Disk Creator. Choose the
ISO file we just downloaded and the Flash drive you want to install it to and press ok, it could take a while.

Part Two: Installing Ubuntu

Ok first things first, BACKUP ANY AND ALL DATA YOUR NOT WILLING TO LOSE! I cant stress that enough. Once you have done that, plug that flash drive into your netbook and boot from it. Continue as you normally would until you get to the partion ediotor, thats the part we are looking at. The easyist way to do it is to Select the option labeled: Guided -- use entire disk and set up encrypted LVM. Write changes to disc --IF YOU MADE BACKUPS-- and creat a passphrase. Make sure you rember this, because this is like the "access code" need to boot up Ubuntu. Let the install finish and reboot into Ubuntu.

Part Three: Upgrading to Ubuntu Netbook Remix

Ok so now we have Ubuntu 9.04 installed on your encryped hard drive we need to "transform it" into Ubuntu Netbook Remix, but wait. First things first, update your system! You can do this by either running the update manager in System -> Administration -> Update Manager or by running the code
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
now that your system is up to date, we need to add the Repo for netbook remix. Do to this go to System -> Admintration -> Software Sources, then press the 3rd party tab. Click on the Add button and copy the following lines in, one at a time

deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main

Now we are going to install the key to make sure that the file we get from that repo are valid. To do this right click here and select save target as. Then in Software Sources click on the tab labeled Authentication and then press import key file. Chose the file that you download and then you can close that window -- if it asks to renew the software list, let it. Phew that is a decent amount of work just to install the repo, but dont worry we are almost done!

Next we need to do to the acutall installing. Open up System ->Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager. Go to Edit -> Mark Packages by Task... and check the option Labeled Ubuntu Netbook Remix and press OK. Press apply and let it do its work then reboot your netbook. (Note it will say one of the apps that needs to be removed is ubuntu-desktop, don't worry this is normall)

Part Four: Finishing up (yes were almost done!)

After reboot you should notice that you have the Ubuntu Netbook Launchers in place of your normall desktop. The only problem is that the panels didn't change to the normall ones for Ubuntu Netbook Remix -.-" Right click on the bottom panel and delete it, is not used in Netbook remix. On the top panel get rid of everything but the time and notification area. Right click on the panel and select add to panel, and you want to add the go home applet and the windows picker applet. There you go! You now have your netbook running one the of top Os's out there, and now it is Encrypted! Enjoy :D

Errors and Known Bugs.

Some times the panels don't show right after your first reboot into netbook remix. To fix this open up the terminal and run

sudo apt-get remove gnome-panel && sudo apt-get install gnome panel ubuntu-netbook-remix

and that will fix it for ya

Thanks for taking the time to read my Blog! Please comment and ask any questions if you have them. Happy Ubuntuing!


  1. Great Post!!

    I had a problem with my panels and your fix didn't get them going. I think because compiz was set to normal by default rather than off as it should be. Once I turned it off, I had to add gnome-panel to the startup applications in order to consistently get the panels at boot.

  2. Error free essay writing is challenging pursuit for a new essay writers review. It’s no problem ones a times it will be right. So you will be continuing your writing.