Mounting an encrypted zfs filesystem

I got a new SSD and did a fresh Ubuntu 23.04 install. What I usually do, is connecting the old disk via USB and copy data over from the old disk to the new SSD.

But my old disk used encrypted ZFS. It took me some time to figure out how to mount that that so here’s what I did.

The old disk gets detected as /dev/sda . There are 2 pools, rpool and bpool in my case. rpool is the one that contains my home directory and also the root directory. Let’s import that pool:

# zpool import -f rpool
# zpool list
rpool  1.81T  1.29T   536G        -         -    21%    71%  1.00x    ONLINE  -

After the pool import, there is now the LUKS encrypted keystore available under /dev/zvol/rpool/keystore . That keystore does contain the ZFS key for encrypting/decrypting. so let’s luksOpen that one:

# cryptsetup open /dev/zvol/rpool/keystore rpool-keystore
Enter passphrase for /dev/zvol/rpool/keystore: 

And now the newly created mapper device for the opened crypt device:

# mount /dev/mapper/rpool-keystore /mnt/
# ls /mnt/
lost+found  system.key

So system.key is there. Let’s load it so ZFS can use it and clean up:

# cat /mnt/system.key | sudo zfs load-key -L prompt rpool
# umount /mnt
# cryptsetup close rpool-keystore

With zfs list the different datasets can be listed. To mount the /home/$USERNAME database, find the right one, change the mountpoint and mount it (/mnt/home-myuser must be created before):

# zfs list|grep home
rpool/USERDATA/myuser_xq8e3k                                                                        1.22T   478G      986G  /home/myuser
# zfs set mountpoint=/mnt/home-myuser rpool/USERDATA/myuser_xq8e3k
# zfs mount rpool/USERDATA/myuser_xq8e3k
ls /mnt/home-myuser  # this should show the files from your home now

That’s it. The last steps can be repeated to mount any other ZFS dataset (eg. the one for /)


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