I have a LUKS encrypted SSD and I would like to clear it and install a different Linux distro (Debian -> Ubuntu). I want to decrypt my drive and I tried to use:

cryptsetup luksRemoveKey /dev/DRIVE

It returned:

This is the last keyslot. Device will become unusable after purging this key.

It got me worried so I'm here asking this question. Does this mean that the drive will be completely unusable or will the data simply be erased? If it will become completely unusable, how do I decrypt my drive?

  • That’s not possible, copy your data elsewhere and rebuild your disk with Ubuntu and the backed up data.
    – user2497
    Feb 3 '19 at 5:04
  • What do you mean by "decrypt"? Do you want a non-encrypted volume with the same data as the encrypted volume, or do you just want to overwrite the encrypted volume and are not interested in the data?
    – AlexP
    Feb 3 '19 at 7:03
  • @AlexP I am looking to overwrite the data, I was wondering if I would still be able to use the ssd as a regular drive (eg. install new OS) with no issues after the process.
    – Eric Leus
    Feb 3 '19 at 12:50

The device will still be usable, but the data not accessible (without a header/master key backup)

You will be able to overwrite the data afterwards.

  • So I will be able to install a new OS on the drive without any extra hassle?
    – Eric Leus
    Feb 3 '19 at 12:52
  • Yes, usually on the storage section of the setup you will be given the option of what partitions/drives to install the OS over, you should get an option to reformat the given drive to be something else.
    – Torin
    Feb 3 '19 at 12:59
  • If the data on the LUKS partition is anything important, make sure you have backups of it or else it will be permanently lost.
    – Torin
    Feb 3 '19 at 13:01

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