Ubuntu - Preventing recovery of deleted files

April 2018

Purpose of this tip

Here below is a simple method, on how preventing the recovery of deleted files:
  • First, make sure the recycle bin of Nautilus (the file browser) is empty.
  • Right click on it and choose the option Empty Recylcle bin

Note that: If you have other partitions (FAT, NTFS ...), each of them has its own recycle bin and this manipulation will not be applicable tothem

To view these hidden files press (CTRL + H) and look at the root of each partition the directory for the .Trash ou .Trash-nameofpartition folders and delete the files.

Crushing the free space

  • To avoid the recovery of deleted files, use the secure-delete package .
    • Installation:
      sudo aptitude install secure-delete 
    • Command:
      sudo sfill -l -l -v / 
  • For a more effective results use the command:
    sudo sfill -v / 

Important notes

  • For certain file systems (such as ext3), it is impossible to guarantee a permanent deletion.
  • Programs are included with secure-delete: srm (deleting a file), smem (erasing the memory), sswap (erasing the swap file).
  • For a file to be never written unencrypted disk, you can use encrypted file systems like TrueCrypt.
Published by jak58. Latest update on April 30, 2010 at 12:00 PM by jak58.
This document, titled "Ubuntu - Preventing recovery of deleted files," is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (https://ccm.net/).
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