Most computer users come across situations where data recovery is needed at any cost. Either the data is deleted accidentally by some hackers or due to virus attacks. This article will introduce Linux users to the seven best data recovery tools they can use to recover their essential data, such as deleted documents, media, and other files.

Table of Content:

What is Data Recovery?

Before we enlist the top data recovery tools for Linux, let’s understand the concept of data recovery. The computer data is stored in storage mediums like Hard drives, SSD, USBs, DVDs/CDs, etc. Recovering the data refers to retrieving damaged, lost, or corrupted data from these storage devices.

Data recovery tools – behind the scenes

The Linux OS marks this memory sector as free space whenever the data is deleted from a storage device. What data recovery tools do is that they gain access to these memory sectors and recover the data before other data overwrites it.

Top 7 Linux Data Recovery Tools

The data recovery from the storage devices is carried out using some special software. Each data recovery software provider implements its technique behind the scenes and tries to achieve the upper position among the competition of data recovery tools. So, we will discuss the best Linux data recovery tools.

1. Knoppix

Knoppix (developed by Klaus Knopeer – a Linux consultant) is the best and most widely used data recovery software for Linux operating systems. It is based on Debian and designed to execute directly from the CD/DVD or USB media. After running from the media, it is decompressed and loaded into RAM.

Knoppix can perform a deep scan of the hard disk and retrieve the deleted data. It is available in two editions – the CD edition and the DVD/MAXI edition, which provides some extra features.

Key Features

  • Bootable from USB
  • Copy files easily from hard drives with inaccessible operating systems
  • Can be installed into Linux OS as a software
  • CD edition contains 1000+ software packages
  • DVD edition contains 2600+ software packages
  • Terminal server

2.   TestDisk

TestDisk is a free data recovery software for Linux OS. It offers recovery of lost partitions and boot repair of bootable devices. If you want to recover the partition table of a hard disk or USB that was damaged by certain types of viruses or attackers, TestDisk can be the choice.

The TestDisk interface is relatively easy to use and does not require special knowledge about data recovery techniques. Its primary use is to repair partition and partition tables. It can be a handy tool in performing onsite recovery.

Key features

  • Fix partition table and recover deleted partition
  • Recover deleted or corrupted data
  • Rebuild the NTFS boot sector and fix FAT tables
  • Able to undelete data from NTFS, FAT, exFAT, and ext2 file systems
  • Simple interface and lightweight data recovery tool

3.   SafeCopy

SafeCopy is a free data recovery package for Linux-based operating systems that tend to extract as much lost data as possible from a storage device, such as a hard disk. If the storage medium can seek problematic (damaged sectors), it can still recover data from it. The software can resort to device-specific low-level operations if required.

SafeCopy has an advantage over other Linux data recovery tools because it continues the recovery process even when I/O errors occur. Its key features are mentioned below.

Key Features

  • More readable output as compared to other recovery tools
  • Recover corrupted files on the partially recovered file system
  • Incremental data rescuing
  • Provides RAW and generic hardware access
  • Apply quick data restore, thorough restore techniques, or their combination

4.   Redo Backup and Recovery

Redo Backup and Recovery is one of the Linux Data recovery utilities with a Graphical User Interface. It was released under the GNU GPL3, and due to its GUI, it is easy to use even for the layman needing data recovery on its Linux OS.

It is available as an ISO file which can be used to create a bootable CD/USB drive and recover the data. You can use this tool on any other platform. It can recover a lot more data from different partitions of the media.

Key Features

  • Restore system to the blank new drive and running in minutes
  • Selective data restoring
  • Accessible remotely
  • Point and click interface for beginners and pros alike
  • Free and open source

5.   PhotoRec

PhotoRec is another fantastic tool to recover deleted data in Linux OS. It is developed by CGsecurity to accurately recover deleted images, videos, and other graphical media files. It is a free, open-source data recovery tool available under GNU General Public License.

Key features

  • Support recovery of a wide range of media files format
  • Recover deleted images, videos, and media from CD, HDD, and even Digital Cameras
  • Free and open source
  • Simple but powerful textual interface walkthrough

6.   SystemRescueCD

SystemRescueCD is a Linux data recovery tool developed on Gentoo Linux. It supports both Linux and Windows OS and is capable of performing data recovery on almost all file systems, including some rare/old ext2/3/4, NTFS, VFAT, XFS, and BTRFS. Moreover, it also works on network file systems. No installation is required as it executes directly from the external disk.

Key Features

  • Support all major file systems mentioned above, including HFS
  • Archive and Unarchive capabilities
  • Active support and community
  • Integrated Linux speak-up screen reader for blind or limited vision person
  • Regular Updates

7.   Foremost

Foremost is another best software to recover data on Linux-based operating systems. It recovers the lost files using a popular recovery method called “file carving”. In this method, the software uses data structures, headers, and footers to recover deleted files.

This Linux hard drive recovery tool is developed for law enforcement organizations. However, you can use it free for data recovery on Linux.

Key Features

  • Capable of ignoring core file system
  • Define your own file types in an additional configuration file
  • Retrieves data from image files as well
  • Specify the format to recover


With the advancement of technology and increase in data variety, the software providers are also upgrading their data recovery tools. There are plenty of data recovery tools for Linux available over the internet. However, we have filtered out some of them in this article. You can choose from these according to your requirements.

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