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How to list recently deleted files from a directory?

I’m not even sure if this is easily possible, but I would like to list the files that were recently deleted from a directory, recursively if possible.

I’m looking for a solution that does not require the creation of a temporary file containing a snapshot of the original directory structure against which to compare, because write access might not always be available. Edit: If it’s possible to achieve the same result by storing the snapshot in a shell variable instead of a file, that would solve my problem.

Something like:

find /some/directory -type f -mmin -10 -deletedFilesOnly

Edit: OS: I’m using Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, but the command(s) would most likely be running in a variety of Linux boxes or Docker containers, most or all of which should be using ext4, and to which I would most likely not have access to make modifications.



You can use the debugfs utility,

debugfs is a simple to use RAM-based file system specially designed for debugging purposes

First, run debugfs /dev/hda13 in your terminal (replacing /dev/hda13 with your own disk/partition).

(NOTE: You can find the name of your disk by running df / in the terminal).

Once in debug mode, you can use the command lsdel to list inodes corresponding with deleted files.

When files are removed in linux they are only un-linked but their inodes (addresses in the disk where the file is actually present) are not removed

To get paths of these deleted files you can use debugfs -R "ncheck 320236" replacing the number with your particular inode.

Inode   Pathname
320236  /path/to/file

From here you can also inspect the contents of deleted files with cat. (NOTE: You can also recover from here if necessary).

Great post about this here.

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