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I was at work today faced with a situation where I have to prove that I did not make a mistake. Without going into detail, yesterday I generated an important document which was to be printed. For reasons of organizational oversights, I did not have access to the corporate printer, so the document was printed by another person.

Before printing this document, I flashed a preview in a browser window, which now I have to get back to have proof that the document has been generated with the correct data. I have my entire operating system with all the files on my private pendrive (today got my work machine, so I worked on Ubuntu installed directly on the stick).

Browser which I used was Google Chrome in the latest stable version OR Firefox available in the official repositories of Ubuntu 14.04. The document was a PDF. I made a search for all files with this type (find ~ -exec file {} \; | grep 'PDF') in my home directory, but none was found, except few unimportant documents in Downloads folder.

Is there any chance to recover this document? It seems to me that the browser should keep this file somewhere in cache.

  • Is your computer still running since that session, or did you reboot it since then? How did you get the document printed: did you use the printing system, or did you send the PDF file to that other person, and how? Where did the PDF come from in the first place? – Gilles Aug 30 '14 at 0:04
  • I did not restart system or session. Except a /tmp directory which was mounted as in-memory tmpfs, all files and data are intact - as soon as the mentioned situation occurs I unplugged stick from my working machine and mounted it on a running system on my home computer in read-only mode. Document wasn't printed from my computer, it was generated again on another machine from shared corporate account on Fedex system and then printed. The document was standard Fedex delivery note with address, package ID etc., and i'm 100% sure that it was generated with correct data by me. – Galmido Aug 30 '14 at 17:19
  • I still have access to company Fedex account and I see that this particular shipment has incorrect delivery address, so somebody who printed this must change address. We have shared account and shared internet connection, so my only chance to prove that I did not make a mistake is original PDF print preview which was displayed on my working machine (but not printed). This PDF wasn't saved or downloaded, it has been only displayed for a few minutes in a browser tab and then simply closed, 2-3 hours before I realized what happened and "hard" unplugged stick to save as much possible cache data. – Galmido Aug 30 '14 at 17:25
  • I think the print preview of a web page is only in memory. If it had been a PDF, it would have been saved somewhere, but quite possibly in /tmp, it's a pity you didn't save that. The browser cache is in ~/.mozilla/firefox or ~/.cache/mozilla/firefox or ~/.cache/google-chrome. The file name won't be .pdf. Look for files containing #!PDF, perhaps — though they might be compressed. – Gilles Aug 30 '14 at 21:28

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