How to Access a Bitlocker-Encrypted Windows Partition from Linux

Bitlocker Linux Featured

The are many reasons why you might want to dual-boot Windows and Linux. The majority of the time you’ll find no problems with this setup, but if you have a BitLocker-encrypted Windows partition, you’ll find it difficult to access your files.

The good news is that there is a way to work around this issue using a free Linux tool called Dislocker. You can use Dislocker to decrypt and mount a BitLocker-encrypted partition so that you can access it while you’re running Linux. This tutorial will show you how.

Install Dislocker

Dislocker is capable of decrypting BitLocker-encrypted partitions. It converts them into virtual partitions which can then be mounted on Linux and accessed like any other partition.

Bitlocker Linux Dislocker Installation

First, install Dislocker. If you’re running Ubuntu or Debian-based Linux distributions, including elementary OS and Linux Mint, enter the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt install dislocker

If Disclocker isn’t available in the repositories of your preferred distribution, then you can follow these instructions to download, compile, and install Dislocker on your machine.

Create Two New Mount Directories

Create two directories before you begin decryption. The first is for your “dislocker-file,” which is the virtual NTFS partition “file” that’s created by Dislocker before you mount it for access. The second is the folder you’ll need when you actually mount the decrypted partition.

Bitlocker Linux Create Mount Folders

Enter the following commands in your terminal to create the folders you need:

sudo mkdir -p /media/bitlocker
sudo mkdir -p /media/mount

Find the BitLocker Partition

The device name of the decrypted partition is needed in order to tell Dislocker to decrypt it. Use fdisk to list all available partitions.

Bitlocker Linux Fdisk Partitions And Dislocker

Run the following command:

sudo fdisk -l

Make a note of the device name of your BitLocker-encrypted partition.

Decrypt the BitLocker Partition

The next step is to decrypt the partition. The device name of the BitLocker partition is needed as well as the password you used when encrypting that partition. Enter the following command:

sudo dislocker -V <devicename> -u <yourpassword> -- /media/bitlocker

Replace <devicename> with the device name of the partition that you make note of earlier. Replace <yourpassword> with the BitLocker password that you used to encrypt your drive.

If you want to decrypt the volume as read-only, then include the -r option:

sudo dislocker -r -V <devicename> -u <yourpassword> -- /media/bitlocker

Mount the Partition

The final step is to mount the partition so that you can access your files. Use the following command:

sudo mount -o loop /media/bitlocker/dislocker-file /media/mount

You should now be able to access the “/media/mount” folder in your file manager and have full access to your encrypted volume on Linux.

Bitlocker Linux Partition Mounted And Decrypted

If you wish to mount the partition as read-only, then include the -r option:

sudo mount -r -o loop /media/bitlocker/dislocker-file /media/mount

Encrypting Partitions on Linux

BitLocker isn’t natively supported, which is why you need a tool like Dislocker to work around the problem. You can encrypt your partitions on Linux to ensure that all of your data on that platform is kept safe, too. You’ll know that your data is encrypted no matter which OS you’re running.

Do you have any other Linux encryption tips to share? Leave them in the comments section below.

Ben Stockton
Ben Stockton

Ben is a UK based tech writer with a passion for gadgets, gaming, and general geekiness.

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