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11+ Data Recovery Tools from and for Linux

Have you experienced the horror of having your computer crash before you backed up your data? Or perhaps you were fiddling with the system and accidently deleted important files. Virus and malware attacks have also been known to lock you away from your data and damage your system.

Whether it is your irreplaceable personal files or many hours’ worth of professional work, losing your data can be devastating, especially if you are unaware of the existence data recovery tools.

They do exist, however, and you do not have to accept the loss of your valuable data. Thanks to data recovery software, you will very likely be able to recover your information from the hard drive of your crashed computer.

If you are a Linux user, the following list will clue you in on some of the tools available to help you to safely recover data from the damaged or corrupted hard drive of your operating system.

Of course, none of these tools can be expected to perform magic in retrieving data lost or damaged beyond repair, but the way some of them work, you may think they come close to doing that very thing.

Disk Doctors

This Linux recovery software is easily found and simple to use. It will help you retrieve data that would otherwise be lost from the ext2, ext3 and ext4 file systems. These file systems are part of many common Linux distributions, such as Kubuntu, Redhat, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Suse, Caldera, Gentoo, and Slackware.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to encounter disk errors and data loss while using a Linux operating system, due perhaps to its speedy action.

Disk Doctors Linux recovery software has been specifically designed to defy various disk corruption and file loss issues by retrieving your deleted or damaged files.

Human mistakes, power failure, crashed systems or virus attack can all cause your files to be lost. Various disk corruptions can make them appear to be irretrievable. Disk Doctors Linux recovery program will dig almost anything out of the rubble.


If your computer is suddenly informing you that certain files are not found, unable to be read, or of an unknown type, you can turn to Stellar Phoenix Linux recovery software to retrieve them.

Stellar software will salvage lost folders, files, directories, and volumes from IDE, EIDE SATA and SCCI and any physical and logical drive. It will easily untangle your missing data from ext3, ext4, FAT12, FAT16, and FAT32 Linux file systems.

Files that have been accidentally deleted during a system upgrade or seem to have vanished in the throes of malfunctioning software or attacking viruses do not need to be given up as lost. Stellar recovery software can scan your hard drive and produce images of the entire drive or only those parts you select.

You do not have to have a lot of technical experience to be able to use it either; the interface is extremely user-friendly.

If you’ve accidentally deleted image or video folders, this system recovers them easily for you, along with any other missing documents and file types. Stellar also offers a ‘Deep Scan’ option, which delves into the depths of your deleted files to bring back anything you accidentally sent to the trash can. I also love that you can search by file type, which is really useful when there is something specific you can picture in your mind but can’t find on your computer. They also use ‘SMART’ – an inbuilt monitor which detects any viruses before they have the chance to strike. This keeps you safe while recovering from whatever incident struck you down in the first place – the best of both worlds! 

Trinity Rescue Kit

Also simple to use, the Trinity Rescue Kit was developed solely to retrieve and restore operations. Anyone with basic keyboard skills and knowledge of the English language can scroll their way through the text menu, do maintenance work and make repairs to their computer using this kit.

You can use this free software to reset passwords, clean up disks, and scan your computer for viruses. Its straightforward interface even makes it easy to recover deleted partitions and evacuate failing disks.

The Trinity Rescue Kit includes complete read and write support, and can be booted either from a CD, from a USB device, or from a network with PXE.

Basically – it does everything you can think you could ever need in the event of a virus attack, unknown crash or power failure to ensure your computer or laptop is returned to its normal, glorious self!


Ddrescue recovers data by copying it from a damaged file or hard drive and saving it on a whole one. It operates automatically, letting you avoid the hassle of watching for an error, halting the program, deciphering the log and starting everything again manually.

Ddrescuelog works with the log files of your system, shows them, compresses them, tests their rescue status and can delete them once the rescue is complete.

To recover data using this tool, you will need to be able to connect your faulty disk to a working Linux machine, as it is not a live distribution.

The reason this recovery system made my list is that it’s super easy to use – it does its own thing so that you don’t have to sit in front of it for a long time, manually working your way through all the steps to get your documents back!

Test Disk

This free, dominant software can be used by a novice with very little experience in data recovery, but it also includes features that will appeal to experts in the field. Licensed with a GNU general public license, this open source software is a powerful choice.

Test Disk is adept at finding lost or deleted partitions and can be used to repair or rebuild partition tables, FAT tables, and NTFS boot sectors. It can be used for advanced operations like recovering a NTFS boot sector by accessing its backup.

Avira Rescue System

A free application, Avira Rescue System is somewhat difficult to install. However, it has interactive GUI interface that will lead an inexperienced user through the scanning and repair process.

This system will have no trouble getting to the data on your damaged hard drive. It can be used to scan your hard drive for infections so that your operating system can be cleaned up and repaired.

Gparted Live

This is a bootable live distribution that is particularly useful for working with partitions. Installed on a CD, USB device, PXE server or hard disk, it can be utilized on various file systems to recover, resize, generate, or erase partitions.

A small Linux distribution, Gparted Live, none-the-less can handily access all the features of the most recent Gparted Live application.

Gparted Live is also totally free, which only adds to its list of plus points – why pay for an expensive system when you can use one with all the bells and whistles for no money at all? Use with a blank CD or memory stick, or a hard disk drive. There’s plenty of online support to help you use this recovery system, so don’t worry if you’ve suddenly found yourself with none of your files and images – you will get them back! Gparted is well-trusted among those in the know, so you can be safe in the knowledge that it will work hard to recover your work while looking after you and your computer or laptop.


If your system has locked up, crashed or been corrupted, Knoppix is a favorite option for recovering your data. It can boot directly from a CD or USB and is one of the best tools available for retrieving data and repairing systems.

Knoppix makes it easy to mount a crashed hard drive and select data to be copied. You can also use it to explore and test your PC. This software is complete with Linux commands, and is a widely-used, safe and free tool.

This is a pretty hefty download, so you’ll have to be patient! Trust me, it’s worth it though. On the note of patience, it may take a while for everything to load up, so make sure you wait – if you’re anything like me, you’ll be manically clicking every two seconds and slowing everything down… 


This system recovery tool is a great choice for rescuing data and repairing a crashed system. It does not need to be installed as it can be run from a bootable CD or USB device.

You can use SystemRescueCD to carry out various administrative tasks on your PC. It comes with plenty of Linux software and tools for recovering files, manipulating partitions, testing and formatting your hard disk.

It is a capable system that can be used on Windows or Linux, desktops or servers.

This will do all the hard work for you after a computer crash or virus attack, so that you’ll soon be reunited with all of your old files and documents.


A sophisticated and flexible software, R-studio’s settings can be customized to fit your needs. You have complete control with this tool, and will find that, in the hands of an expert, it excels at a variety of recovery tasks.

R-studio is compatible with several different systems. It can retrieve deleted or empty files from Windows, Solaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and Macintosh operating systems.

Data corrupted by viruses or lost because of an unplanned shutdown or power failure can also be recovered using this powerful tool.

The best thing about this system? It uses ‘raw file recovery’ to dig deep and recover files that may have been damaged or reformatted into new files following a virus or unknown crash.

F-Secure Rescue CD

Another free and fairly simple Linux tool, F-Secure Rescue CD can be used to perform advanced repairs and recover lost or corrupted data.

Because it contains Knoppix, F-Secure Rescue CD can be run from a CD, letting you safely access your hard drive. It can then act as an anti-virus, quickly and securely scanning your computer for malware and system infections.

This CD gains access to your computer or laptop to recover lost files quickly and efficiently – one of the best out there.

Once you start searching for data recovery software, the number of products available may seem a bit overwhelming. Some specialize in one thing, some in another. Some are more effective when operated by an expert, while others are almost fully automatic.

Our purpose in compiling this list is to make the choice a easier for you. This list includes some of the best Linux data recovery tools available. They can deal with dying hard drives, virus infection, and system errors. Many of them are even free.

So, next time you accidently delete hours of irreplaceable work, or your computer suddenly locks up, stops allowing you access to certain files, or crashes without warning, you won’t need to despair. You will be prepared to access your system using one of the above tools and recover your important data.

It is true that the more you understand how these recovery tools work, the more effectively you will be able to use them to search and administrate your files. However, some more good news is that you don’t have to be a technological wizard to be able to use most of the recovery tools listed above.

Linux data recovery tools are constantly being improved. Simple, easy-to-use interface is becoming more common, and instructions for running a recovery program are generally not hard to find.

All that is left now, is to decide which of the above tools will work best for you and set it to doing surgery on your ill or injured PC.

It can be pretty traumatic when something happens to your computer or laptop and you lose data, memories and all of your hard work! Thankfully, there are plenty of recovery systems out there to help you get everything back. There are also plenty of options for virus-protection, so make sure you keep yourself safe and backed-up!

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