This is a laptop with an SSD. The Debian installer defaults are for luks2. Using these breaks the installation at the grub part, as the latest grub version doesn't support argon2id PBKDFs. argon2id is supposed to be a lot better than the luks1 way, however the latter should work out of the box. (Other than grub, Debian installed without problem.)

I have followed a couple of videos to install Debian from a live USB. (debian-live-12.1.0-amd64-lxqt.iso)

My disk setup was to have a 1 GB EFI partition. (This may be too big…) An encrypted partition named crypt, an LVM inside it (which I probably didn't need actually) and in the LVM, a volume group vg-1 and in that a vg1-debian ext4 root partition and a vg1-store ext4 partition for my data.

nvme0n1             259:0    0 238.5G  0 disk 
├─nvme0n1p1         259:1    0     1G  0 part  /boot/efi
└─nvme0n1p2         259:2    0   215G  0 part 
  └─nvme0n1p2_crypt 253:0    0   215G  0 crypt
    ├─vg1-debian    253:1    0  46.6G  0 lvm   /
    └─vg1-store     253:2    0 167.6G  0 lvm   /media/user/store

1 Answer 1



  • Back up your data!
  • Having another computer helps!
  • This takes some time, even if everything works correctly on the first try!
  • You have to unlock the encrypted drive TWICE on boot.
  • I have only tried the UEFI mode install.


So, the solution to this problem is to use a live USB, create the partitions, install Debian, skipping grub, boot with the live USB, chroot into the new install and compile and install the patched grub.
Because this is so damn tedious, I have made a script for it.
I used the name gil_install.sh:

#! /usr/bin/env bash

script_full_path="$script_rel_path/"$(basename "$0")

# choose which part of the script should run based on cli argument
# no argument case
if [ -z "$1" ] ; then

    # assuming installed debian 12 system is mounted to /mnt
    mkdir "/mnt$script_rel_path"
    cp "$0" "/mnt$script_full_path"

    # mount essentials for chroot
    # https://wiki.debian.org/chroot
    mount --bind /dev /mnt/dev/
    mount --bind /dev/pts /mnt/dev/pts
    mount --bind /proc /mnt/proc
    mount --bind /sys  /mnt/sys
    mount --bind /run  /mnt/run

    # chroot and start the next part of this script from within the chroot
    # couldn't get this part to work right
    #chroot /mnt /bin/bash -i "$script_full_path 1"
    echo "After chroot, enter command: cd $script_rel_path; bash $script_full_path 1"
    chroot /mnt

if [ "$1" == 1 ] ; then

    echo "Installing build packages"
    apt install -y gnulib libdevmapper-dev libfreetype-dev gettext autogen git bison help2man texinfo efibootmgr libisoburn1 libisoburn-dev mtools pkg-config m4 libtool automake autoconf flex fuse3 libfuse3-dev gawk

    # mawk gives make error, so using gawk
    mv /usr/bin/mawk /usr/bin/mawk_bu
    ln -s /usr/bin/gawk /usr/bin/mawk

    # git clone needed repos
    git clone https://git.savannah.gnu.org/git/grub.git
    cd grub
    git clone https://git.savannah.nongnu.org/git/grub-extras.git
    git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/grub-improved-luks2-git.git
    git clone https://git.savannah.gnu.org/git/gnulib.git

    cp "$0" "./"$(basename "$0")

    /bin/bash -i $(basename "$0") 2

if [ "$1" == 2 ] ; then

    echo "Compiling grub"

    # This part is copied from grub-improved-luks2-git/PKGBUILD
    # It patches grub and compiles and installes it

    patch -Np1 -i ./grub-improved-luks2-git/add-GRUB_COLOR_variables.patch

    # Patch grub-mkconfig to detect Arch Linux initramfs images.
    patch -Np1 -i ./grub-improved-luks2-git/detect-archlinux-initramfs.patch

    # argon2
    patch -Np1 -i ./grub-improved-luks2-git/argon_1.patch
    patch -Np1 -i ./grub-improved-luks2-git/argon_2.patch
    patch -Np1 -i ./grub-improved-luks2-git/argon_3.patch
    patch -Np1 -i ./grub-improved-luks2-git/argon_4.patch
    patch -Np1 -i ./grub-improved-luks2-git/argon_5.patch

    # make grub-install work with luks2
    patch -Np1 -i ./grub-improved-luks2-git/grub-install_luks2.patch

    # Fix DejaVuSans.ttf location so that grub-mkfont can create *.pf2 files for starfield theme.
    sed 's|/usr/share/fonts/dejavu|/usr/share/fonts/dejavu /usr/share/fonts/TTF|g' -i "configure.ac"

    # Modify grub-mkconfig behaviour to silence warnings FS#36275
    sed 's| ro | rw |g' -i "util/grub.d/10_linux.in"

    # Modify grub-mkconfig behaviour so automatically generated entries read 'Arch Linux' FS#33393
    sed 's|GNU/Linux|Linux|' -i "util/grub.d/10_linux.in"

    # Pull in latest language files
    #[ ! -z "$GRUB_ENABLE_NLS" ] && ./linguas.sh

    # Remove lua module from grub-extras as it is incompatible with changes to grub_file_open
    # http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/grub.git/commit/?id=ca0a4f689a02c2c5a5e385f874aaaa38e151564e
    rm -rf ./grub-extras/lua

    export GRUB_CONTRIB=./grub-extras
    export GNULIB_SRCDIR=./gnulib

    mkdir ./build_x86_64-efi
    cd ./build_x86_64-efi
    ../configure --with-platform=efi --target=x86_64 --prefix="/usr" --sbindir="/usr/bin" --sysconfdir="/etc" --enable-boot-time --enable-cache-stats --enable-device-mapper --enable-grub-mkfont --enable-grub-mount --enable-mm-debug --disable-silent-rules --disable-werror  CPPFLAGS="$CPPFLAGS -O2"

    cd ..
    # now we should be in /home/tempuser/grub (on the mounted filesystem)
    /bin/bash -i $(basename "$0") 3

if [ "$1" == 3 ] ; then

    echo "Installing grub"
#    exit

    cd ./build_x86_64-efi
    make DESTDIR=/ bashcompletiondir=/usr/share/bash-completion/completions install
    install -D -m0644 ../grub-improved-luks2-git/grub.default /etc/default/grub


Once you have the live USB running, open the encrypted volume (change this!)

sudo cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/nvme0n1p2 crypt

Mount it to /mnt (change partition name!)

sudo mount /dev/mapper/vg1-debian /mnt

Mount the efi partition to /mnt/boot/efi (change partition name!)

sudo mkdir /mnt/boot/efi
sudo mount /dev/nvme0n1p1 /mnt/boot/efi

Opt: Make a backup of the Debian grub config
(or to use this one comment out the appropriate line in my script)
(The one in the patch is for Arch, but works.)
(Maybe the base Debian version is better, but I haven't tried that.)

sudo cp /etc/default/grub /etc/default/grub_bu

Download my script and start it:

sudo bash gil_install.sh

NOTE that after entering chroot, you will have to copy and execute a command manually.
(It is in the script. / Printed out to the terminal.)
After that, the script should run, make and install the patched grub.
You may continue the script from various points using CLI arguments.
(See inside script.)
NOTE that the script copies itself across multiple directories, so be careful which one you edit or execute.

See: https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/GRUB#LUKS2
Inside chroot:
Enable cryptodisk in grub
(Also change Arch to Debian...)

nano /etc/default/grub

Use the grub-mkconfig tool to generate /boot/grub/grub.cfg:

grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Install grub to efi partition

grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot/efi --bootloader-id=GRUB

Create /boot/grub/grub-pre.cfg

nano /boot/grub/grub-pre.cfg
set crypto_uuid=3b411d89-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx  
cryptomount -u $crypto_uuid
set root=lvm/vg1-debian
set prefix=($root)/boot/grub
insmod normal

Make EFI image:

grub-mkimage -p /boot/grub -O x86_64-efi -c /boot/grub/grub-pre.cfg -o /tmp/grubx64.efi luks2 part_gpt cryptodisk gcry_rijndael argon2 gcry_sha256 ext2 lvm

Copy to ESP:

install -v /tmp/grubx64.efi /boot/efi/EFI/GRUB/grubx64.efi

Add EFI entry:

sudo efibootmgr -c -d /dev/nvme0n1 -p 1 -L "debian" -l "\EFI\GRUB\grubx64.efi"

After all this and some efibootmgr 'magic' I could boot into my brand new Debian 12 installation.
Hope this helps.
I probably won't be around to maintain this, sorry.
(I have wasted too much time on it as it is.)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .