second encrypted and mounted operating system


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Jun 7, 2020
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Good day all

I am currently working on a project where the goal is to have a second operating system (Kali Linux) encrypted and mountable/unmountable on a Ubuntu system. All work must be kept on the encrypted partition and nothing can be installed or held on the Ubuntu operating system.

There will be an Intel NUC sitting on a remote clients network which will be turned off, I will wake on LAN which will initiate the VPN server, I will then connect the VPN client on my machine then use SSH from my machine at home to access the Ubuntu operating system. From here I would like to mount the second operating system (Kali Linux) and begin using the tools within it.

So far I have tried installing Virtualbox on the mounted partition and then installing Kali on the virtualbox, as I'm sure you guys know, virtualbox didn't install on the partition, it installed on the main disk. This is an avenue I am still pursuing in the hope that I can change the install location and move everything onto the encrypted partition.

The gold standard I dream of is not using virtual box and having kali linux on the second partition so that when mounted, all tools are accessible and all data is kept on the second partition. Therefore Ubuntu would only be used for initial access. This is what I am looking for advice on please, can it be done?

No doubt you have also seen areas in my plan which I haven't so feel free to point them out. The key thing to know is that no one will be able to access the NUC to insert any decryption key etc, it must all be done remotely with maximum security in mind. The initial OS does not have to be Ubuntu but the second OS does have to be Kali.

Thanks for reading

Just some random thoughts here after reading this (I'm certainly no 'expert'):

If I understand this correctly you want to SSH into a remote machine with Ubuntu installed on it and from there "mount" a Kali Linux installation on an encrypted partition?

I'm wondering why not just install Kali on the Ubuntu box in a dual-boot configuration?

If the Kali installation is "mounted" within Ubuntu won't there inevitably be some "bits" left here and there? Especially so whereas the Ubuntu install would be controlling the RAM data?

Just thinking out loud here :)
Some very good thoughts which I like.
Your understanding is also correct.

I thought it would not be possible to remotely access an encrypted operating system? I thought I would have to remote into an unencrypted OS such as Ubuntu, then enter the encryption key for the second OS from there.

So I should install Kali on the Ubuntu Box? I thought dual boot was a situation of once installed, choosing which of the OS to boot. Wouldn't I still be stuck with the issue of not being able to remotely access due to it being encrypted? I will go ahead and try dual boot now, it's an avenue I wrote off and didn't pursue.

Some bits left here and there isn't ideal, the main concern would be someone being able to take this disk and tamper with it. Obviously network security is also a concern but this is hopefully to address physical security more so.

thanks for your reply
Pardon my interruption, but it sounds as if Kali on USB (the USB stick being equivalent to an encrypted partition/hdd) would be easier.
Plus, wouldn't Kali be running in RAM, leaving no trace after shutdown? You tell me, Kali fans!