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.
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.
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.
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.
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
<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
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.
If you wish to mount the partition as read-only, then include the
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.
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