ComTech: IT Support Stirling

How to recover deleted files on a Linux system

Last week we had a look at recovering lost files on a Windows system so this week we shall have a look at recovering deleted files on a Linux system instead.  For the purpose of this tutorial I will be using a Linux Mint 13 live CD to recover files from a Ubuntu 12.04 system but the steps are the same for all the major distributions.


The partition from which you are attempting to recover files MUST BE UNMOUNTED hence why I am using a live CD.

Boot the system from the live CD. When the desktop environment is reached you will need to install a package called extundelete (you can install a limited number of packages when using a live CD) so open up a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install extundelete

Once installed we need to check the designations of the partitions on the hard drive so type:

sudo fdisk -l

For the purpose of this tutorial I will attempt to recover deleted files from the /dev/sda1 partition so in your terminal type:

sudo extundelete /dev/sda1 –restore-all

This will locate any deleted files on the /dev/sda1 partition and restore them to a directory called ‘Recovered Files‘.

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter



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