Linux Magazine: Averting Disaster: Undeleting Files
Oct 14, 2000, 21:13 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jason Perlow)
Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers
"Have you ever had the horrible sinking feeling that you just
deleted a file you didn't want to delete? As fate would have it,
it's usually something incredibly important to you, like your
entire year's worth of personal financial data that you forgot to
back up, or in my case, my last three months of On The Desktop
"For most of the PC world, this typically isn't a major tragedy.
Under Microsoft Windows or Mac OS, users are lucky enough to have
such things as the "Recycle Bin" and the "Trash Can," where the OS
keeps track of all the files you've deleted, so you can happily
retrieve them before permanently wiping them from your hard
"Unfortunately, under Linux it's not so simple. When you
delete a file on the Linux ext2 file system, be it in KDE, Gnome,
or via the command line using the rm command, the file is gone --
and there's no friendly trash can from which to pull it.
However, the file might not be gone permanently. The actual process
of deletion doesn't exactly erase the file from the disk, all it
does is to unallocate that file's inode, which is essentially an
index pointer for that file."