I have installed Pop!_OS distro on my local machine, and turned on the full-disk encryption layer, which means on each boot I'll have to enter the password in order to access it, lately, I'm facing some issues booting into the distro after entering the password to unlock the encrypted partition.

Now what I want to do is to remove the encryption layer completely, that is, decrypting the whole filesystem and keep the files as is.


I have looked up on ways to remove this cryptsetup software and the suggestions were to unlock the drive using a live linux USB, copy the files, remove the encrypted layer, and copy back the files (and reconfigure some stuff that I didn't fully understand what they are), I can't go with this option as I don't have an external drive with enough storage to back up my data to it.

Others have suggested that cryptsetup does include an option to decrypt the drive, as mentioned in http://man7.org/linux/man-pages/man8/cryptsetup-reencrypt.8.html, I'm supposed to run

cryptsetup reencrypt /dev/partition --decrypt --header header_file.img

where the header file can be obtained using (which I also backed up)

cryptsetup luksHeaderBackup /dev/partition --header-backup-file header_file.img

Reference: Replace LUKS partition with ext4 partition with same contents

What I tried

I downloaded arch linux live CD, boot it up, ran the above commands and waited for the decryption process to finish, all went well, however when I reboot the machine I'm still getting a prompt to insert my password, and even if I enter it now it doesn't boot and I'm in a busybox/initramfs shell, so I'm stuck here and have no idea what I'm supposed to do next, I tried searching in google and stack exchange but couldn't find similar situation that could help.

So... how can I fix this?

  • I tried to mount the same partition after the decryption process but I'm getting "unknown file system crypt LUKS" or something like that, so no I can't mount it. About that backup, again, I'm out of space and can't backup the data right now as I mentioned above. Remember, I just want to get rid of the encrypted drive and keep the files, yes I may be taking some risks from doing so, and I'm fully aware of it. – Revo Mar 29 at 17:35
  • Chen She suggests unix.stackexchange.com/questions/60971/… as a duplicate – Jeff Schaller Aug 25 at 23:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.