Linux Commands

Top data recovery tools for linux

Sadly sometimes we lose precious information by formatting a wrong partition or disk, due to hardware problems or transference errors. Luckily we have many free tools available to recover our lost data. This is not a tutorial but a fast review on the most popular free data recovery software available for Linux.


Is a command line tool which tries to recover good sectors from damaged devices or partitions. It requires minimal dedication by the user, the whole process is automated and it even deals with errors without interacting with the user. It does not overwrite bad sectors. If you have different sources from the lost data DDrescue knows how to merge good sectors from different copies to recover your data.You can download DDrescue from:

To install it on Debian or Ubuntu users can run:

apt install gddrescue -y

Then run:



GParted is an old solution, if I’m not wrong it is among the first graphical alternatives to carry out partitioning on Linux, very similar to PartitionMagic for Windows devices. It is the most user friendly alternative because of it’s simple graphical interface. It is available for Linux, Macintosh and Windows devices.

To install Gparted Debian and Ubuntu users can run:

apt install gparted -y

It can also be found at:

Trinity Rescue Disk (Linux Distribution)

Trinity Rescue Disk is a Linux distribution to recover lost data. You can use it as a booteable CD or USB or through network with PXE. It is useful to rescue information or gain access to devices with lost credentials, similarly to Hirens Boot CD it allows the user to reset the OS password for Windows systems and includes tools for data recovery in general.

You can download TRK from: Trinity Rescue Kit: Download

PhotoRec & Test Disk

Photorec is a also a multiplatform tool to recover data, including media files, from damaged devices or sectors. Photorec even includes versions for Linux, Intel and PPC Mac devices, last Windows versions and even  Windows 9X and DOS. PhotoRec comes as part of TestDisk, a partitions recovery tool.

apt install testdisk -y

System Rescue CD

Another Linux distribution to run from CD or USB. It contains recovery tools including Gparted, Ddrescue and TestDisk named above among others, this software has the advantage of being operable by blind users.  You can get System Rescue CD at:

Mondo Rescue

Mondo Rescue calls itself a disaster recovery solution.  It is a great solution to backup and restore installations, it is available for Debian, Suse, Gentoo and Red Hat based distributions.

It can be downloaded from:


The Open Source community offers many free alternatives to deal with problematic storage situations.  Anything from partition problems to physical broken disks can be treated with the proper software and patience. DDrescue was the first listed tool because of its simplicity and lack of dependency on the user, you can leave it working and forget about the task, or stop and restart the process from the paused step.

I hope you found this article useful to recover your data. Keep following LinuxHint for additional tips and updates on Linux.

About the author

David Adams

David Adams is a System Admin and writer that is focused on open source technologies, security software, and computer systems.