How to Restore a Deleted File in Linux

If you’ve accidentally deleted a file in Linux, don’t worry, you can probably still restore it as long as that area of disk has not yet been overwritten. This post will show you how to easily restore a deleted file in Linux.

Foremost is able to search a disk or raw image file to recover files based on their headers, footers, and internal data structures.

Install Foremost

Foremost is available in many different distributions of Linux.


We can install Foremost in Linux Mint, Debian, or Ubuntu by simply running the following command.

apt-get install foremost

Restore a Deleted File

Next we’ll create a directory to restore our files to. Foremost requires an empty directory for this purpose, so we’ll make /root/restored/.

[root@centos7 ~]# mkdir /root/restored

Now we are ready to run the Foremost command and restore our image file. The -i switch is used to specify the disk or image file that we want to search, while -t is used to restore files of the type specified. Foremost supports many different files, check the foremost man page for the full list. This is required as foremost searches the disk based on the headers which that type of file uses.

[root@centos7 ~]# foremost -i /dev/sda3 -t jpg -o /root/restored/
Processing: /dev/sda3

This took approximately 2 minutes to complete on an 18gb disk. This will find any .jpg files in /dev/sda3 and restore them into the /root/restored/ directory, as long as the space they are using on disk has not yet been overwritten by anything else.