Just like the last 2 years, I joined the FOSDEM fun. Just like every year there were lots of awesome beers, chocolates, waffles and of course conference full of awesome hackers from all over the world & their awesome talks. In short, the same old 'awesome' experience. Also I finally got to meet Jens George (phako) in person. Another thing that went it a totally unusual (and unexpected) direction was my home directory. Here is how it went:
Early Sunday morning (8:00) my alarm goes off to wake me up in time for my 10:15 am talk. I manage to get up after half an hour of snoozing the alarm, get ready (including getting a shower out of almost non-functional shower), back-up my slides on USB stick and manage to get to the conference room 10 minutes before the talk along with my room-mates, Marc-Andre and Juerg. Failed to get anything to eat or even a cup of coffee before that.
I open-up the lid of my laptop to find out that it won't be able to wake-up from suspend. No problems, happens all the time even since I moved to Ubuntu so I apply the usual solution: Forced reboot. When the system boots I get into another issues that I had been having ever since I moved to Ubuntu: Soon after I provide the password for my encrypted partition (home and swap), I am told that home partition could not be mounted. No problems, I again apply the usual solution: Hit escape key to get to a root shell, where I do this:
# cryptsetup remove home
# cryptsetup create home /dev/sda6
# mount /home
Normally, at this point I just hit CTRL+d and normal boot sequence resumes and everyone on the laptop lives happily ever after. However, this time thats not what happens. `mount` says:
mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/mapper/home,
missing codepage or helper program, or other error
In some cases useful info is found in syslog - try
dmesg | tail or so
This has also happened before but usually this means I mistyped the password and I just have to repeat the above procedure. However, after trying several times, I keep getting the same message. I give-up and lend Marc-Andre's laptop for the slides show. After the presentation, I tried everything and asked everyone I knew who might have any clues but no help came.
Since I get the same questions each time I tell this story to anyone, I thought I append this blog entry by an FAQ:
Q: Why on earth are you encrypting your partitions:
A: Nokia security policy.
Q: What makes you so sure that you haven't just forgotten the password.
A: Because I keep the exact same password for both the partitions and I am able to successfully decrypt one of them.
Q: Have you tried looking at `dmesg | tail`?
A: Yes, nothing in there.
Q: Have you tried fsck?
A: Yes, that can't make any sense out of the "unencrypted" block device either. Because of this, I suspect something is wrong on the actual (encrypted) device, which fsck can not help with.