Ubuntu – How is rm command different from the delete button


I read from a book where it says, the command rm deletes the inode and not the file. Which means if I delete with the rm command, then it cannot be restored.

I'm very new to Ubuntu environment. Now my doubt is, how does the Del key works? It is not deleting the inode as far as I am concerned, because I can restore it from my Trash folder. So am I right to say that Del key is doing a mv command to Trash folder leaving the inode unchanged? Or am I missing something here?

Best Answer

  • Your understanding is essentially correct - the Del key as used in Nautilus (or other file manager) is NOT the same as using rm; it "moves" the file to Trash instead so that it can be recovered unless you Empty Trash (which is the same as rm).

    Note that even if you rm a file, the actual data is still on the disk after the inode is deleted. If you act immediately before the data is eventually overwritten, you can still recover the data using a tool such as testdisk/photorec.