Although used by just over 1% of computer users in the first half of 2020, we still feel Linux and Linux-based operating systems such as Ubuntu are invaluable. They’re not tied to a major corporation, won’t cost you a penny, and don’t require you to purchase a device or a license. With that said, the users share a common problem, which is data loss. The cause can be a lightning strike, hard drive failure, corruption due to a virus, or even an error on your part. The solution? Using one or more of our best data recovery software for Ubuntu. And fast!
We’re starting with software that is, in our opinion, the easiest to use. After you download it, you can make it bootable from a CD or, better yet, USB drive. After you’re back on your feet, it can serve as a software for backup and restoration. The interface is extremely simple and won’t confuse even if this is your first rodeo. Plus, it allows you to edit text or use your browser while the recovery process is running. That way, you don’t need to step out for a break or look at your phone. The efficacy varies on the type of files and the time it passed since the initial disaster.
If you read our list of best data recovery software for Windows, you’d have seen we didn’t mention support for Linux. And that’s true, but it is also true that EaseUS supports data recovery on file systems EXT2, EXT3, and EXT4, which are common on Linux. Most people use dual-boot between Linux and Windows, mainly for gaming purposes. This makes it easy for them to just install the software on Windows, connect the Ubuntu drive, and point the program to where it should search. You’ll see just how efficient their scan is very quickly. Plus, you can take advantage of their offer of up to 2 GB of data recovery free of charge.
While we hopefully have you convinced, we thought it would be fair to continue with software that also has a great graphical interface. It supports Windows and Mac, too. The creators described it as an all-in-one data recovery solution. R-Studio combines a variety of software, most of which you’ll see below or they exist separately in the form of other software, to create “one data restoration software to rule them all.” Anything you need, really, from disk or partition repair to fixing boot errors and directly retrieving data. It’s great for beginners but becomes a beast of software in the hands of professionals.
4. GParted Live
GParted is essentially GNU Parted utility, but with a graphical user interface (GUI). This Debian-based software earned fourth place because it looks very outdated, but that is an advantage in this situation. It works as a bootable CD or USB drive and can help you restore data from a failing system and its partitions, and relocate it to another folder. Of course, if your system didn’t crash, you can install it to your hard disk directly. Just as with Redo, you can use file manager, edit text, or browse the Internet while the recovery process is running.
Wondershare Recoverit is amongst the top data recovery options for Linux and Ubuntu. It operates on a point-and-click interface that makes it much simpler for the user. Other than Ubuntu it also works on Debian, Fedora, Mint, Solus, and even Manjaro. The software is effective enough to work with over 1000 types of files. And it can recover deleted, corrupted, or even formatted data. Wondershare Recoverit is also versatile enough to handle disk formatting, OS crash, virus attacks, and lost partitions. While the software offers high functionality, it is not free. The trial version can only recover 100 MB of data.
6. Mondo Rescue
Hugo Rabson, who created Mondo Rescue, describes this software as the GPL disaster recovery solution. And he wasn’t lying since the graphical interface is very reminiscent of installing an older version of Windows. That being said, it can be booted off a CD, DVD, and USB drive, and supports hard drives, Raid (both software and hardware), tapes, network, UEFI, and BIOS. It also supports multiple filesystems and operating systems such as FreeBSD (i386), and Linux (i386, x86_64, ia64). That includes Linux distributions such as Fedora, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Debian, Mandriva, Mageia, and a few others.
Here’s a collection of a wide variety of diagnostic and recovery tools packed together. Not every tool’s purpose is data recovery, though. An example of that is BIOS, CMOS Cleaner, CPUStress, and System Stability Tester. Those will help you troubleshoot and restore your Ubuntu computer to working order. Others are, such as Disk Partition Tools, Login Recovery, MBR and GRUB Recovery, and will either help you extract data or restore access to your computer. Furthermore, there are two standalone operating systems you can boot from a USB that help to fix issues on Ubuntu or Windows.
While we’re on the topic of live, bootable operating systems, here’s another. Knoppix is a standalone operating system that comes preinstalled with a large collection of GNU/Linux software. It can be used as an educational OS, to test or demonstrate software, or to troubleshoot and repair your primary OS, Ubuntu. Knoppix is equipped with an on-the-fly decompression feature. It allows you to install up to 2 GB of executable software and none of it will be installed to your hard disk. That significantly reduces the risk of data overwriting.
SafeCopy is a last resort Ubuntu data retrieval tool. It works through a command-line is and isn’t exactly the first pick for newcomers. However, it can restore files from hard drives, CDs, DVDs, and USB removable drives. SafeCopy is special because it is capable of performing low-level I/O operations. A failing hard drive won’t be triggered by those operations. This allows the software to extract as much data as possible.
TestDisk is SafeCopy’s younger freeware “brother” because it typically used after it for complete results. That’s because SafeCopy does its best to uncover data. But it does so by copying it to a safe location on another partition or drive. TestDisk is designed to repair partition tables, recover bad sectors on Ubuntu, and rebuild the boot sector of file systems such as NTFS or FAT12/FAT16/FAT32. This can be useful because a failing hard drive sometimes doesn’t allow copying files. And because TestDisk works with multiple file systems, besides Ubuntu, it is also compatible with DOS, Windows, macOS, FreeBSD, and SunOS.
Many professionals hold PhotoRec in high regard. However, we saved it for the last spot because it has its limitations. This is mainly due to file types – besides photos, it can only retrieve videos, documents, and archived files. However, it is not based on file systems like the majority of software we mentioned is, thus allowing you to recover files that have been corrupted, fragmented, or reformatted. While it works, it uses a read-only mode. This eliminates the chance of deleting the remnants of old files. We would use it after SafeCopy and TestDisk have done their magic.
Extundelete can handle data recovery from EXT3 or EXT4 partitions. It is the first-of-its-kind software that can recover data in its entirety from an EXT4 partition. The software relies on the extensive ext2fs library. Hence, Extundelete can handle multiple EXT3 and EXT4 file system attributes. Although the software can’t restore hard and soft links, it can recover the files associated with the link. It is simple to set up, and the recovery process is also relatively quick. But the drawback is its limited ability to support only EXT 3 and EXT file systems.