I want to be able to use a CD/USB bootable "live" linux distribution to:

  • read a truecrypt volume
  • mount local drives

Ubuntu Privacy Remix seemed perfect as it does include TrueCrypt, but it explicitly cannot see local drives (kernel source modified, as discussed here).

I want to use this live CD/USB distribution for backup/data recovery purposes, as in this question. For example, I might want to use truecrypt to decrypt the local drive and back it up unencrypted. Or, I might want to back up an unencrypted local drive to a truecrypt encrypted backup drive. Or both.

Yes, it really really must be truecrypt (or something that can safely and reliably read/write all valid truecrypt partitions...).

I'm aware that it is possible to boot one of the many live distros that doesn't have truecrypt, plug in a usb device with truecrypt on it, install truecrypt, and then use it for the above purposes. But that's painful and inelegant. Hence my question.

edit I have tried to use cryptsetup, as described in the answer from Xen2050. Cryptsetup has problems mounting some truecrypt partitions. So the question still stands.

closed as too broad by Braiam, jasonwryan, Anthon, John WH Smith, Ramesh Jan 8 '15 at 15:39

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • cryptsetup can open existing truecrypt partitions... – frostschutz Jan 5 '15 at 1:41
  • I think this question was wrongly closed as "too broad". I know that there are many linux distros, and have no desire to start a distro war, but I really do need a distribution that includes TrueCrypt (not cryptsetup, as my edits detail) and can mount disk drives, and cannot find one. This seems a perfectly valid thing to want. I tried (based on the boilerplate reason for closure) to fix it, but it was still closed. Can someone please either (1) post an actual (not boilerplate) comment about why this question is "too broad", or (2) reopen the question. – stochastic Jan 19 '15 at 5:13
  • The fact that there is a bug in cryptsetup (that won't open your particular truecrypt containers) does not mean it's a bad answer (it's probably the only answer for easy to use current Ubuntu-based distros, considering TrueCrypt is apparently at end-of-life). – Xen2050 Jan 22 '15 at 3:21
  • @Xen2050 it isn't a bad answer. It does not answer my original question really, but is certainly the most helpful in finding a solution. I've marked it as the answer again. I was hoping that (1) the question would get unclosed and (2) possibly someone would know of a distribution that has truecrypt. Both seem unlikely. – stochastic Jan 22 '15 at 5:40

Any live distribution with cryptsetup should be able to read truecrypt volumes, and I thought they all could mount local drives (apparently you found one that can't).

I know Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Debian, CrunchBang can, probably any Debian-derived distro, or Arch, or Red Hat, I think they all can install cryptsetup one way or the other.

FYI, from cryptsetup's help:

   open --type tcrypt <device> <name>
   tcryptOpen <device> <name>  (old syntax)

          Opens the TCRYPT (a TrueCrypt-compatible) <device> and sets up a
          mapping <name>.

          <options> can be [--key-file, --tcrypt-hidden,  --tcrypt-system,
          --readonly, --test-passphrase].

          The  keyfile  parameter  allows combination of file content with
          the passphrase and can be repeated. Note that using keyfiles  is
          compatible with TCRYPT and is different from LUKS keyfile logic.
  • Unfortunately, cryptsetup seems to have some limitations. See this question. A pity it doesn't work yet, it seemed like such a great solution! – stochastic Jan 20 '15 at 10:24
  • @stochastic The "real" truecrypt executable is only about 5MB (the amd64 version from last year anyway), the .tar.gz is under 3MB. "Installing it" to a live boot works excellent, and you can run the "real" truecrypt then. (installing anything to a live boot is possible, .deb files, apt-get's, as long as you have the ram for it) – Xen2050 Jan 20 '15 at 10:33
  • You are correct, of course, but that means that I have to get the truecrypt executable. It's not in apt-get, which means I have to manually download it from somewhere (requiring internet access, which I otherwise don't need or want for data recovery) and verify it, or else prepare, say, a bootable usb stick with persistent storage. Possible but harder, hence my question. I'm beginning to wonder if what I want simply doesn't exist. Blast that funky truecrypt license :-P – stochastic Jan 20 '15 at 20:06
  • Persistence would work but not needed. With a bootable live USB you can have a 2nd partition with whatever files you want, or even just add some files to the live partition, especially with a grub multiboot usb that uses whole iso files, adding more files is just a copy & paste away. And even if truecrypt were in a standard debian/Ubuntu repo you'd still need internet access to get it, unless it were in a file as above. And there at least to be PPA's with it... Truecrypt is "apparently" at end of life anyway, so one way or another migrating to another secure solution is in your future :) ` ` – Xen2050 Jan 21 '15 at 5:25
  • all good points. – stochastic Jan 21 '15 at 5:37

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