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Date:      Fri, 27 Jul 2007 22:21:30 +0200
From:      Rolf G Nielsen <>
Subject:   ELI passphrase on boot with USB keyboard
Message-ID:  <>

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I recently purchased a new USB keyboard, since my old PS/2 one has seen 
its best days. This has caused me annoying problems with my ELI disks, 

I have four SATA harddrives, all of which are encrypted using ELI 
encryption. I've encrypted the raw disks, ad0, ad1, ad2 and ad3. The 
resulting devices ad0.eli, ad1.eli, ad2.eli and ad3.eli, I've 
concatenated into a large device, cc0, on which I have several 
partitions. To get this working, I of course need to boot from a 
separate device, and for that I use an SD card, which holds a boot 
directory. With my old PS/2 keyboard, this worked like a charm, but it 
seems to me, the ukbd driver isnt activated until after the ELI 
encryption, which means I'm unable to enter the passphrases for the 
disks, thus I can't get the computer passed the first passphrase prompt.

Currently I have both the old keyboard and the new USB one connected. I 
use the PS/2 one to enter the passphrases, then I put it on the floor 
under my desk and use the USB keyboard. As you may very well understand, 
this is quite annoying. Is there a way to get the USB keyboard to work 
at the point where I enter the passphrases?

I've tried to change the keys for the disks to not use a passphrase, but 
only keyfiles and load them from loader.conf, just as described in the 
GELI man page (yes I did set the -P option), but that simply will not 
work (and to be honest, it's not a solution I'd favour); if I set the -b 
option (ask for passphrase on boot), it still asks for the passphrase, 
though there is none, and if I set the -B option (don't ask for 
passphrase on boot), the computer ends up at the "mountroot>" prompt.

I'd appreciate any help.


Rolf Nielsen


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