Accidentally /usr/ directory got deleted, in Cent OS 8. For recovering CentOS, I have found this link which needs live CentOS 8 installed in USB drive. However CentOS 8 doesn't have live ISO release as per this discussion.

In MS-Windows, I get errors when trying to install DVD iso to USB drive using Rufus and also Etcher. Kindly point me how to recover data in CentOS?


The simplest and fastest way is to make backup of your files (working, personal one) and install from scratch. Any other action can lead to inconsistency of the system in some degree


Re-Installation. All your installed programs rely on data in /usr, so you can't simply reinstall. Your idea about using a live CD/DVD goes in this direction. You use them to FIX the problem. This would be the reinstallation of all programs, which won't work. Since this would be invoked within a chroot, it doesn't matter that you are on a live system which has some working copies. You could spend one week, to find which directories to bind mount...

Stick to a backup with a live cd like knoppix and a usb drive and then reinstall.


  • knoppix is giving some error while booting .. so i have used system-rescue-cd.org for live cd booting and mounted the live partition to backup files ... Thanks for the suggestion.
    – Genie
    Mar 11 '20 at 15:36
  • Had some problems from time to time, too. Maybe it should be evaluated at a large scale with definitiv feedback.
    – WGRM
    Mar 11 '20 at 18:33

If you have a separate /home partition then all is good. Just re-install OS to root partition, your user files will still be there.

Else copy everything from /home to somewhere safe, then reinstall and copy back the files.

Other things that can make it easier in the future are configuration management tools, use these to install your system, then you can re-install very quickly.

  • He deleted /var. I doubt the home partition will survive a reinstall. But i like the advice regarding management tools. Considering they are way more complex than an installation itself...
    – WGRM
    Mar 6 '20 at 19:29
  • @WGRM Are you doing some sort of opposite language thing that I am not groking. You like the bit that is harder to do, and needs doing before the problem starts, but don't like the easy bit. Also I have not gone full Configuration management on my systems, as I don't have enough of them. However I do have some scripts and meta packages, to help me install and setup the system. Mar 7 '20 at 18:14
  • Oh oh oh oh, noooo discussions in the comments or the mighty .... Well, im still collecting packages and will go for meta packages then, as well. Im not on the workstation, but im sure there are several k's, till now. Im going full Linux in every aspect. Funny, you are the first person using "to grok" in 20 yrs. Oh, btw. Naaaah, i wouldn't do s.th. like that. Indian honor promise! PS Is that a NAZI salut in your profile pic?
    – WGRM
    Mar 8 '20 at 1:45

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