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Thread: Booting from USB a hidden partition

  1. #1
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    Default Booting from USB a hidden partition

    Hi guys.

    Today I came across this idea.

    Is it possible (in opensuse 11.4) to have a hidden partition in the HD and boot it (make it visible) using a external USB (or CD/DVD)? If so... please be so kind to reference or provide me with some links (howto's, etc).

    Probably I should have said encrypted partition. The point is that I don't wnat this partitions (/, /swap /home ) to be mountable by anyone else except me.

    Example of this:

    My daughter boots my computer and she will have access to the normal system lets say kde 4.6 (sda1/, sda2/swap, sda3/home) but I do not want her to see anything else in .. let's say.. GNOME in sdb1/, sdb2/swap and sdb3/home just to give an example... this partitions should only be mounted and reachable when booting with some kind of external device (USB/CD,ect).

    Hey guys.. maybe this is just a weird idea but I have the feeling that this has been made before.

    In the other hand, I dont want to make a USB with all 3(or2) partitions inside to work on it just because after some time of use, data gets corrupted (I used it with PuppyLinux), the idea is just to boot MY Hard Disk's partitions with a USB using opensuse of course (NOT anyother distro).

    I hope it's clear.

    Please. feel free to criticize me in case you guys believe I'm crazy

    Regards

    Luis
    La Humildad no es "Status"..
    ... es un �"Don"!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Booting from USB a hidden partition

    Quote Originally Posted by LuisC-SM View Post
    Is it possible (in opensuse 11.4) to have a hidden partition in the HD and boot it (make it visible) using a external USB (or CD/DVD)?
    Yes, that would be possible. But it's a lot of trouble, and there is a risk that you would accidently overwrite it.

    The trick would be to have an unassigned part of the disk. The USB could have code to switch a partition table entry, so as to make that partition visible (and a different partition hidden).

    Quote Originally Posted by LuisC-SM View Post
    Probably I should have said encrypted partition. The point is that I don't wnat this partitions (/, /swap /home ) to be mountable by anyone else except me.
    That's a more sensible approach. Yes you can do that, and even google for documentation on how. You will need a separate small unencrypted "/boot" partition. Nobody would be able to see the encrypted partition without the key.
    openSUSE Leap 15.3; KDE Plasma 5.18.6;

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Booting from USB a hidden partition

    I would like to know what the definition is of a "hidden partition". Just curious. IIRC fdisk does not have a possibility to make such a partition (whatever it is). And to whom/what is it hidden?
    Henk van Velden

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    Default Re: Booting from USB a hidden partition

    On 04/30/2011 03:06 AM, LuisC-SM wrote:
    >
    > Please. feel free to criticize me in case you guys believe I'm crazy


    not crazy....maybe a little misguided in the means to this end...

    to me it sounds like you want to make a 'key' that must be inserted in
    the USB to access the entire machine..

    since once another person has physical access to the machine there is
    *no* security that can't be bypassed (eventually)...why not just give
    your daughter her own user ID and password, and set the permissions of
    the various partitions/directories/files to allow what you wish...its
    all built into Linux..

    i mean, your USB 'key' is easily bypassed with the openSUSE (or
    anyother) Live CD...put it in, boot up -- bingo, full access to
    everything not encrypted..

    and, encrypted is the reason i threw in that "(eventually)" because lets
    say your daughter is really some government agency (friendly or not)
    with enough computing power a few thousand man years of trial and error
    can be accomplished in mere weeks or months (or microseconds) just
    depends on how many supercomputers 'they' wanna throw at the task..

    and, security by obscurity is no security, that won't work either...i
    mean, thinking she won't know how to view my good stuff with a Live CD
    is an indication you don't have a healthy respect (yet) for the devilish
    and inventive ways of youngsters... ;-)

    sorry, i do NOT know the best way to solve the problem of keeping folks
    out...but, this is not a security forum....it is a looking for, so it is
    the right place to ask, and my best answer in this forum is: use Google
    to find several _good_ forums/books/doctoral dissertations and etc on
    Linux System Security and Encryption..

    --
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    [openSUSE 11.3 + KDE4.5.5 + Thunderbird3.1.8 via NNTP]
    HACK Everything -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5b4CCe9pS8&NR=1

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    Default Re: Booting from USB a hidden partition

    Well, I did not read all the words DenverD wrote above, but I think the OP triggered more or less the same ideas with me. When you have more users, you give them a username as usual. You do not create a special bootable system for them (there might be reason for it, one only wanting to use Ubuntu and the other openSUSE comes to mind). But maybe we do not quite understand the reasoning behind the OPs wishes.

    Strangest to me in this thread is the term "hidden partition" as if this is a normal thing that everybody knows about. I may be the only one, but I don't. Please enlighten me!
    Henk van Velden

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    Default Re: Booting from USB a hidden partition

    @Henk and DenverD.

    Thanks guys for your comments.

    I have said it's weird in the first instance because the pc I'm talking about is the one shared by my 2 youngest daughters.

    The point is I have no privacy, and for some "mysterious" reason my session's desktop is full of dolly icons, cartoons, etc.. That is one of the things I pretend to avoid.

    So that's the main reason I started to "dream" a little bet. Just for your information my linux skills are no of that level but I just wnated to get some orientation to learn. My business has nothing to do with programing. It's just that like to do some weird things on my own.

    Oh and I forgot to say ... I do not want to hide anything for any government agency (RLMAO). I don't have that much money. This was only for my own knowledge.

    Thanks in advance for your comments (if any of them should arise). But don't be so hard with me .

    Kind Regards

    Luis

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    Default Re: Booting from USB a hidden partition

    Quote Originally Posted by LuisC-SM View Post
    The point is I have no privacy, and for some "mysterious" reason my session's desktop is full of dolly icons, cartoons, etc.. That is one of the things I pretend to avoid.
    If that's the main problem, then you can just create a separate account under linux. Have it setup so that the system automatically logins into the account witht "dolly icons, cartoons, etc". To get to your real account, you then logout from that children's account and then login to your real account.
    openSUSE Leap 15.3; KDE Plasma 5.18.6;

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    Default Re: Booting from USB a hidden partition

    @nrickert

    Thanks a lot for your comments

    Let's forget th Hidden partitions then please.

    My idea was something like a PupyLinux partition, but to boot everything with a suselinux usb, it does not matter that you can see the partitions with a live cd, but they will be not accessible to everyone.

    And yes!, I have searched for encrypted partitions but honestly, I was thinking of something very basic with openSuSE. I'm not afraid of the command line. I just need a guide.

    Kind Regards

    Luis
    La Humildad no es "Status"..
    ... es un �"Don"!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Booting from USB a hidden partition

    Quote Originally Posted by nrickert View Post
    If that's the main problem, then you can just create a separate account under linux. Have it setup so that the system automatically logins into the account witht "dolly icons, cartoons, etc". To get to your real account, you then logout from that children's account and then login to your real account.
    That's sounds sensible. So your idea is to have just 2 /home partitons?... correct me if I'm wrong please.

    Kind Regards

    Luis
    La Humildad no es "Status"..
    ... es un �"Don"!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Booting from USB a hidden partition

    When you say your desktop is fulll of dolly icons, you did the next worse thing after revealing the root password: you revealed your own passwrd. Else I can not understand this.

    In Linux everybody has his own account (username/password). And apart from making your files writebale for others, I see no way how your daughter(s) could put dolly icons in your home directory, let alone meddle with your desktop configuration.
    Henk van Velden

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