Take the 2-minute tour ×
Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems.. It's 100% free, no registration required.

This question already has an answer here:

By mistake I ran rm * on the current directory where I created many c program files. I had been working on these since morning. Now I can't take out again the time that I spent since morning on creating the files. Please say how to recover. They aren't in recycle bin also!

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by Anthon, jasonwryan, slm, Bernhard, rahmu Nov 15 '13 at 22:53

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

2  
Linux/Unix doesn't forgive :) –  Jiri Xichtkniha Nov 15 '13 at 9:07
2  
Checkout them from the version control system you use. You use one, right? –  choroba Nov 15 '13 at 9:08
2  
There are SOME ways to recover files/data. But most of them is very hard to do. Be sure you don't write any more to the disk or you are doomed completely. –  Jiri Xichtkniha Nov 15 '13 at 9:12
1  
When I did this, when I was young, it was not as bad as I thought. This is how I discovered that most of the time taken to write is in thinking. The second time around there will be less thinking, and you may even improve it. –  richard Nov 15 '13 at 9:13
2  
Unmount the file system ASAP to avoid the blocks previously allocated for the deleted files from being overwritten. Assuming the underlying file system is either ext3 or ext4, you might have some luck recovering files using extundelete. –  Thomas Nyman Nov 15 '13 at 9:14

2 Answers 2

If a running program still has the deleted file open, you can recover the file through the open file descriptor in /proc/[pid]/fd/[num]. To determine if this is the case, you can attempt the following:

$ lsof | grep "/path/to/file"

If the above gives output of the form:

progname 5383 user 22r REG 8,1 16791251 265368 /path/to/file               

take note of the PID in the second column, and the file descriptor number in the fourth column. Using this information you can recover the file by issuing the command:

$ cp /proc/5383/fd/22 /path/to/restored/file

If you're not able to find the file with lsof, you should immediately remount the file system which housed the file read-only:

$ mount -o remount,ro /dev/[partition]

or unmount the file system altogether:

$ umount /dev/[partition]

The reason for this is that as soon as the file has been unlinked, and there are no remaining hard links to the file in question, the underlying file system may free the blocks previously allocated for the deleted file, at which point the blocks may be allocated to another file and their contents overwritten. Ceasing any further writes to the file system is therefore time critical if any recovery is to be possible. If the file system is the root file system or cannot be made read-only or unmounted for some other reason, it might be necessary to shutdown the system (if possible) and continue the recovery from a live environment where you can leave the target file system read-only.

After writes to the file system have been prevented, there is no immediate hurry to attempt the actual recovery. To play it safe, you might want to make a backup of the file system to perform the actual recovery on:

$ dd bs=4M if=/dev/[partition] of=/path/to/backup

The next steps now depend on the file system type. Assuming a typical Ubuntu installation, you most likely have a ext3 or ext4 file system. In this case, you may attempt recovery using extundelete. Recovery may be attempted safely on either the backup, or the raw device, as long as it is not mounted (or it is mounted read-only). DO NOT ATTEMPT RECOVERY FROM A LIVE FILE SYSTEM. This will most likely bring the file system to an inconsistent state.

extundelete will attempt restore any files it finds to a subdirectory of the current directory named RECOVERED_FILES. Typical usage to restore all deleted files from a backup would be:

$ extundelete /path/to/backup --restore-all 
share|improve this answer

Yes, I am able to recover my files. I haven't checked yet whether all are recovered or not but yes a few I have checked are recovered. As there are many many files which are recovered via that tool/command I need to grep some text pattern in those files and see which are mine. The files are recovered with different names (may be generated by system). I got the solution from a different forum and the command is photorec

sudo photorec

This will open a text based window. I followed the instructions and yes it's superb.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.