[18.10] WARNING: sda5_crypt: lvm is not available (after last kernel updates)

Hello UM friends!

I was pretty sure that I had already posted about this problem back at the beginning of this year but I seem unable to locate my post. Also, being on a time constrain then, I sadly ended up reinstalling both systems so I could resume my activities. But today I am yet again facing this issue.

So the problem that I am facing is that after installing the latest batch of updates (kernel included), I am now unable to boot onto my encryption partition on a Dell XPS13 laptop. The error I have is "WARNING: sda5_crypt: lvm is not available".

At boot/GRUB, I can either select "4.18.0-13-generic" or "4.18.0-15-generic". When I select either one I am then prompted for my partition password, which I key in, and then then get greeted by the initramfs prompt.

Here are the last couple of lines of when booting in recovery mode (from either versions) and that displayed immediately after that I got the "lvm is not available" error.

random: 7 urandom warning(s) missed due to rate limiting
Begin: waiting for suspend/resume device ... Begin: Running /scripts/local-block ... done.
Gave up waiting for suspend/resume device
Begin: Waiting for root file system ... Begin: Running /scripts/local-block ... done.
Gave up waiting for root file system device. Common problems:
<2 lines of generic examples removed here>
ALERT! /dev/mapper/ubuntu--mate--vg-root does not exist. Dropping to a shell!


As I remember posting back then: I feel challenged when facing the initramfs prompt hence there are so many things that I can think of doing in such situations. Off those ones I did tried and can confirm that:

  1. I see my drive listed @ /dev/disk/by-id (It is a M.2 drive, if that matters?);
  2. lsblk being not available I am unable to provide more detail;
  3. /etc/fstab is not present (most possibly missing mount/irrelevant).

So that's where I am right now.

Any ideas and/or anybody else having this issue?

I have never been able to achieve very much with initramfs prompt either, the most useful command I have found in there is 'reboot'.

I would start by installing another operating system in another media. You can use a LiveCD or a Live USB but personally I find it more convenient to use another fully installed operating system. If your regular operating system is 64bit make sure your maintenance and rescue operating system is also 64 bit so you can chroot later if necessary.

Then I would install the lvm tools and the LUKS file system encryption/decryption tools in the other operating system and use them to gain access to the disabled operating system's file system.

You might only need to run a file system check on it, probably by the command line unless GParted can handle LVM now. It might be worth a try.

You can also try mounting the file system so you can rescue any files saved after your last backup, and possibly if needed, edit important operating system files if necessary to fix your stricken operating system.

Finally, you can chroot into your operating system and complete updates, often that fixes undiagnosed problems. Chroot is short for 'change root', meaning you boot up in one operating system and then use the kernel you have running to kind of enter and take control over the root system of the operating system you want to fix. Something like that anyway, I'm not sure if I have done a good job with the explanation, but I hope it's enough to give you the basic idea.

All of these things will require further explanation and probably specific commands which will already be searchable on the internet but you'll need to be able to adapt those commands to your particular setup. Or if required I could try to give you more detailed help once you have another copy of Ubuntu MATE or some similar operating installed in another disk.

Thanks for your great reply. What I ended up doing was (again) booted up with a live system, mounted my crypted system, copied /home/ over and re-installed. This time I just forgotten about using encryption and LVM at boot.

Sucks :frowning:

I think you made the right decision.
I think I have tried and tested just about every kind of installation for Ubuntu that anybody can think of and in the end I prefer the speed and convenience that comes with simplicity.

Don't stop learning though, LUKS file system encryption is great on it's own and LVM is way cool too, it's just a big step when they're both combined and the operating system is already running inside them.

It's not too hard to make yourself a LUKS encrypted USB drive or a camera card for sensitive files. Here's a link about that: https://ubuntu-mate.community/t/create-a-partially-encrypted-external-drive/11140

LVM is a lot of fun to play around with if you have a collection of cheap USB drives or something like that, and the knowledge gained could be useful, especially if you ever get around to setting up your own server.

Good luck with your future gnu-linux endeavours.

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