“rm -f *” undelete



I really ought to find a way to alias “rm -f *” to “rm -i” IF the time is between 1 AM and 7 AM…. Last night I was working late (2:30AM or so when this happened). I had just made a few “refinements” to some of my audio streaming scripts (kept in a “Foreign News Sources” folder). I was curious to see if I had any scripts that were still using realplayer, so I had done a “grep realplay *” and saw a lot of results… but most were in temporary files (left over from a text editor ending in ~)… so there’s radiopragueenglish and radiopragueenglish~ …………..



Well, I get the bright idea that most of those references look to be in the backup or temp files… let me clean them and I THOUGHT I typed “rm -f *~” enter….. unfortunately, when I followed up with the “grep realplay *” I got the dreaded “file not found” equivalent… “grep: *: No such file or directory” oh no…. on reviewing the history I had apparently not mustered the ~ at the end and so had issued a “rm -f *” command. Thank goodness I at least had the scripts in their own subdirectory….

Anyway, I had synchronized the folder with the laptop just a few days ago, but it was put up for the night and so I started looking at how to undelete in linux. I did find the undelete program which is supposed to work for ext2 (I guess it should for ext3 since the journal is the only real difference…) but I use reiserfs… so there is no undelete utility per se however I found references to something that might work.

“reiserfsck –rebuild-tree -S -l /root/rescue.log /dev/

The partition should be unmounted first. If it’s the home partition you’d have to go to single user mode for this. After the operation some files may be restored in place (where they existed previously in the directory structure), others may show up without their original names in a Lost+Found folder in the root of the partition.

You should be warned that the process will likely take a while depending on the size of the partition and may not recover everything. (Also it may cause file corruption for current good files.) So, the bottom line there is to backup the partition before trying this. Really the moral of the story is backup frequently.

Maybe I should just alias rm -f * after 1 am to something like ‘mv * /home/safetynet/’

Of course I’m typing this after copying files back from the laptop. Nothing big lost really. I think I had edited one link and renamed a couple of files. It really wasn’t worth pursuing the whole –rebuild-tree bit… Given the plugin architecture of the new reiserfs I’m wondering if there aren’t possibilities for deleted file recovery within that framework? It’s certainly no replacement for a good backup of some sort, but it might make for an extra layer of safety net…

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