Debian boot: cryptsetup fail

On the train to work I opened my Purism Librem 13 v3 laptop, and the screen did not wake up. Normally I have to hold the power key for 2-3 seconds to enable it in such a case, but this time that did not work. ( I decided to reboot.

The boot logo appeared, grub flashed, and then I saw:

cryptsetup: Waiting for encrypted source device UUID=d21486a-2088-4949-9e9f-deadbeefcafe
cryptsetup: Waiting for encrypted source device UUID=d21486a-2088-4949-9e9f-deadbeefcafe
Gave up waiting for suspend/resume device
cryptsetup: Waiting for encrypted source device UUID=d21486a-2088-4949-9e9f-deadbeefcafe
Gave up waiting for root file system device.  Common problems:
 - Boot args (cat /proc/cmdline)
   - Check rootdelay= (did the system wait long enough?)
 - Missing modules (cat /proc/modules; ls /dev)
ALERT! /dev/mapper/boo--vg-root does not exist. Dropping to a shell!

BusyBox v1.35.0 (Debian 1:1.35.0-3+b1) built-in shell (ash)
Enter ´help´ for a list of built-in commands.

(initramfs) _

I could not enter the password to decrypt the hard disk, and so the laptop could not boot.

I am using Debian unstable, and this is the first time this was a problem: I was bitten by Bug #1023492 . And yes, I am running kernel 6.0.6-2. And I had purged the 5.x kernels a couple of days earlier when cleaning up the system :(

The bug report said that the bug was fixed with Debian kernel 6.0.8-1. But how do I upgrade the kernel on a system that does not boot?

Booting live disk

I downloaded a live image and copied the .iso file to a USB flash drive with cp. After plugging it into the laptop I could boot from it and had a shell.


The live CD did not have cryptsetup on board, so I had to install it. Luckily I have an USB ethernet adapter, so I simply plugged it into the laptop and ran:

# see the available network devices
$ ip addr
# who had the idead to use the mac address in the device name?
# that one did not think of the people that have to manually type them!
$ dhclient enx000ec6e25b11
# check if the device is up now
$ ip addr
$ apt update && apt install -y cryptsetup

Now I could finally decrypt the harddisk and mount the partition. I had a LVM group so mounting was not as straight-forward as I had hoped:

$ cryptsetup open /dev/sda5 sda5_crypt
$ mount /dev/mapper/crypted_sda5 /mnt/
mount: /mnt: unknown filesystem type "LVM2_member"
$ vgdisplay
 --- Volume group ---
 VG Name    boo-vg
$ mount /dev/boo-vg/root /mnt/
$ ls /mnt/
bin  boot  dev  etc  home  ...

cryptsetup warning

At first I used "crypted_sda5" as last parameter for cryptsetup. This worked, but when updating the kernel I got an error:

update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-6.0.0-4-amd64
cryptsetup: WARNING: target 'crypted_sda5' not found in /etc/crypttab

It is better to look into /etc/crypttab to see the name you have to use.


Now that I could mount the harddisk, I only had to chroot into the system and update the kernel.

$ mount /dev/boo-vg/root /mnt/
$ mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot
$ mount -t proc proc /mnt/proc
$ mount -t sysfs sys /mnt/sys
$ mount -o bind /dev /mnt/dev
$ mount -t devpts pts /mnt/dev/pts
$ chroot /mnt
$ dhclient enx000ec6e25b11
$ apt update && apt upgrade -y
# manually force regenerating initramfs when you run into
# the "target 'crypted_sda5' not found in /etc/crypttab" error
$ dpkg-reconfigure linux-image-6.0.0-4-amd64
$ exit
$ reboot

With the updated kernel I could enter the harddisk password at boot, and the system started up normally.

The process of fixing this problem took ~ 2.5 hours.

Written by Christian Weiske.

Comments? Please send an e-mail.