Decrypting an external M.2

I had an issue with my Librem 14 with coreboot and PureOS. I have sent it into Purism without the main SSD.

I have an adapter for the M.2 drive and have the ability to boot from USB.

Although, part of the issue I believe I am having is that my only personal notebook I have is a macbook (others are work related and I work in security and these require strict physical separation). The drive simply is not being read, although I know the drive works, for sure.

Assuming I am able to power on and connect the M.2 drive and boot to it, I should be presented with my decryption (luks) password and be able to transfer my data off of it, just as if it were internally mounted, right?

Not entirely sure but this link: or another suitable and indeed related link should help with:
brew install ext4fuse −− provided here just as introduction/orientation

Another way would be to transfer PureOS 10.0 image to some external USB Flash drive and boot it as Live from there, in order to mount your related M.2 SSD.

Please just give up on such idea (as with my best imagination concluding: no way).

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Thanks for the input. On the second part, I am not sure I follow?

There are SATA to USB and M.2/M.2 nvme enclosures that connect via USB. What is the issue with using those?

I have used SATA that way in the past with other OS’s…So, unless there is something with the M.2 NVMe architecture or the software of PureOS, I do not see an issue. Is there one?

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It is not about used external enclosure for the particular SSD, external enclosure with USB-A or USB-C male connector is needed anyway. It is about that your PureOS M.2 drive is partitioned to be used with Linux and in particular formatted as ext4 partition (second one with your data, first one is probably ext2).

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Ok that makes sense. Thanks for explaining. So, lets say I use a live USB to mount PureOS, then manually mount the external drive. I should get prompted with a password on mount or would I have to decrypt that through a set of other commands?

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Yes please, my recommendation. To install PureOS .iso image on USB and boot PureOS from there.

Yes, I’m quite sure. And, in addition, external drive should be, after connected to your laptop USB port, automounted and therefore ask you for your luks password. Note: avoid manual mounting of encrypted drives as long as such option is not needed.

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Awesome. Thank you. I will give it a shot and post my info/results here.

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If you have the nvme drive in a USB enclosure and then have your bios boot off of USB, I don’t see why that wouldn’t work, unless I’ve missed something? I had a (albeit different) Linux distro in that same setup for a little while, it booted fine.

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This is exactly what I was thinking.

So, booting to PureOS did not work completely. I ended up getting a CLI grub output from boot. Using a live Manjaro USB worked. Connecting the M.2 via a USB enclosure did work. In Manjaro everything worked (excepted for the Macbook trackpad and keyboard). Using external peripherals worked. From there, no CLI was needed. Clicking on the home folder and then navigating to an already mounted external drive prompted me with the password for the luks decryption. It worked. Zero issues. I wouldn’t have lost data anyway, but still wanted to be sure.

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I had either forgotten or didn’t realize you were booting pureos which wouldn’t have the necessary drivers, my apologies.

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It’s all good. It worked and that is what matters.