I followed a solution procedure on AskUbuntu, logged out and now all my data is gone (no guest account)

I did the following to get Skype to recognise my headset microphone (which was not working), as shown as a solution on a question on this website:

rm -rf ~/.config/pulse/
Log out
Log back in
go to desktop settings/'sound'
insert headphones
Go to 'input' section
Do microphone audio test on each available device

But upon logging back in, all my data and everything I customized (including extra programs) is gone. I did not log into a guest account, it’s my account and yet everything is gone. It’s like I’m a new user. Is there a way to restore this please?


This is the exact command I typed:

rm -rf ~/ .config/pulse/

with a space after the ~/ but no space between ~ and / Is that a problem?

Asked By: Bea



User home directory and everything in it were deleted


The command rm -rf ~ performs the following actions:

  • rm: This is the command used to remove files or directories in Unix-like operating systems.

  • -r stands for "recursive," which means it will delete directories and their contents recursively.

  • -f stands for "force," which means it will delete files without prompting for confirmation.

  • ~: This is a shorthand notation for the user’s home directory. In
    Unix-like systems, ~ represents the home directory of the current

What Now?

  1. Stop using the system (explained below)
  2. Create a Live Boot USB flash drive – ref
  3. Boot to the flash drive
  4. Recover data
  5. Verify data is back
  6. Create a separate post for the headset issue connecting with Skype

Recover Data

Here’s a previous post for recovery:

How to recover deleted files?

Where is the Recycle Bin?

TLDR Linux doesn’t have one

Ubuntu (or any Unix-like system) does not have a specific location where deleted files and directories are stored after deletion. They remain in the same location on the disk until their space is reused for new data. Once the space is reused, the deleted data becomes more difficult or impossible to recover.

If you’ve accidentally deleted files or directories and want to attempt recovery, it’s crucial to stop using the system immediately to prevent further data loss and use recovery tools like photorec from a live environment or another system to minimize the risk of overwriting the deleted data.

Answered By: musicman1979
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