There’s a good digital picture and file recovery tools works in Ubuntu, it’s called PhotoRec which recovers video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures from digital camera memory.

PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media’s file system has been severely damaged or reformatted. It can recover lost files at least from FAT, NTFS, EXT2/EXT3, HFS+.

For more safety, PhotoRec uses read-only access to handle the drive or memory card you are about to recover lost data from. Important: As soon as a pic or file is accidentally deleted, or you discover any missing, do NOT save any more pics or files to that memory device or hard disk drive; otherwise you may overwrite your lost data. This means that while using PhotoRec, you must not choose to write the recovered files to the same partition they were stored on.

Install PhotoRec:

PhotoRec is a companion program to TestDisk, available in Ubuntu Software Center by default.

For others, download PhotoRec & Testdisk from this page.


To recover files from hard disk, USB key, Smart Card, CD-ROM, DVD, etc. PhotoRec needs root privilege, use command:

sudo photorec

To recover files from a media image, run:

  • photorec image.dd to carve a raw disk image
  • photorec image.E01 to recover files from an Encase EWF image
  • photorec ‘image.???’ if the Encase image is split into several files.
  • photorec ‘/cygdrive/d/evidence/image.???’ if the Encase image is split into several files in the directory d:\evidence

For more, read photorec step by step guide.