I've accidentally deleted some files in my package managers's cache after an update (so I've deleted all packages that were downloade and unforunately they weren't even installed).

Here's what I've done:

  1. Booted to a Ubuntu System that's on the same HDD as the Arch system.

  2. Now that I booted into Ubuntu the root partition of the Arch System is unmounted so, extundelete gave me this output:

    $ sudo extundelete /dev/sda1 --restore-directory /var/cache/pacman/pkg/
    WARNING: Extended attributes are not restored.
    Loading filesystem metadata ... 232 groups loaded.
    Loading journal descriptors ... 30722 descriptors loaded.
    Searching for recoverable inodes in directory /var/cache/pacman/pkg/ ... 
    9385 recoverable inodes found.
    Looking through the directory structure for deleted files ... 
    9385 recoverable inodes still lost.
    No files were undeleted.

Is there anything I can do about it? Or am I completely screwed?

  • Was the disk mounted when you ran extundelete?
    – terdon
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 0:53
  • @terdon no, if it was, it'd have error'd out. I ran this through another Linux system not on Arch.
    – Fallen
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 0:54
  • OK just asking cause I saw some emails on the extundelete mailing list that gave the N found and N still lost message on mounted partitions. Could you edit your question and explain exactly what you have done? I.e. logged in through ssh from another machine, unmounted the / partition on a running system and ran extundelete?
    – terdon
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 0:57
  • I did my best to explain. Hope this is enough
    – Fallen
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 10:32

1 Answer 1


From the author of extundelete:

I guess that it is not finding a way to link the inodes with a file name, in which case the --restore-all method is your best shot at getting your files back.


So in your case, you would instead run:

sudo extundelete /dev/sda1 --restore-all

Although from my experience the output is deceptive because the files (inodes) that are still "lost" are for the whole partition and not just for the directory you specified, meaning that most of what it's able to restore has already been restored. But it doesn't hurt to try --restore-all since it may find some file fragments that it doesn't know the path for.

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