The system does not start. Did it by using rm - R accidentally. How can I recover the system?

  • are you sure you removed /usr/share folder.. give a try.. logon with live session.. copy and paste the /usr/share folder from live session to your root partitions /usr/share
    – UnKNOWn
    Apr 29, 2019 at 8:35
  • 1
    What @PRATAP suggested may get it so you can log back in, but many user programs store application data there, so that'll at best fix only programs used by your 'live' (install media) system. You'll then have to install --reinstall other programs; or you could just re-install using 'something else', no format & it'll take note of your installed apps, wipe system directories then install, then re-install your additional programs (if in Ubuntu repos); but this option can be a fallback anyway as you'll probably learn more trying to fix it first yourself. There's always restoring your backups.
    – guiverc
    Apr 29, 2019 at 8:43
  • -> with just rm -R in /usr/share NOTHING gets deleted. Contents are owned by root so a normal user can't delete it
    – Rinzwind
    Apr 29, 2019 at 10:50
  • @Rinzwind And if so, why system is not loading? How can I get the root to fix it?
    – Mouvre
    Apr 29, 2019 at 11:54
  • did you perhaps do sudo rm -R? The answer n0rbert posted looks good to me. That is the way to go
    – Rinzwind
    Apr 29, 2019 at 11:56

2 Answers 2


You need to reinstall all applications which have files in /usr/share.

  1. Boot system from Recovery Mode with root prompt.

  2. Remount rootfs to read-write mode with mount -o rw,remount /.

  3. Raise up ethernet interface and get IP address from DHCP server: dhclient enp0s3 (check correct interface name in ip a or ifconfig -a).

  4. Specify DNS server by

    rm /etc/resolv.conf
    echo "nameserver" > /etc/resolv.conf

    (change to yours gateway/router)

  5. You need to fix the dpkg package as it misses the /usr/share/dpkg/cputable file (otherwise you will face the "E: error reading the cpu table" on any apt/apt-get command)

    wget http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/main/d/dpkg/dpkg_1.19.0.5ubuntu2.1_amd64.deb
    dpkg -i dpkg_1.19.0.5ubuntu2.1_amd64.deb

    or installing it from cache:

    dpkg -i /var/cache/apt/archives/dpkg_*.deb
  6. update package cache:

    apt-get update
  7. reinstall essential componenets

    apt-get install --reinstall debconf linux-base
    mkdir /usr/share/python
    apt-get install --reinstall python2.7-minimal python3-minimal
  8. and then use one-liner below:

    apt-get install --reinstall $(dpkg -S /usr/share/ | sed 's/,//g' | sed 's/: \/usr\/share//g')


    • dpkg -S /usr/share/ shows the list of comma-separated packages
    • sed 's/,//g' - removes commas
    • sed 's/: \/usr\/share//g' - removes : /usr/share in the end

    This part may fail with messages about some packages. For example on my VM I have had a problem with bsdmainutils, so I reinstalled them with:

    dpkg -i /var/cache/apt/archives/bsdmainutils_*.deb

    and then reran one-liner above.

  9. fix broken packages

    dpkg --configure -a
    apt-get install -f
  10. finally fix /etc/resolv.conf link by

    rm /etc/resolv.conf
    ln -s /run/systemd/resolve/stub-resolv.conf /etc/resolv.conf
  11. reboot.

Note: the resulting fixed system do not show any problems while running sudo apt-get check or sudo debsums --all --changed.

  • this command shall be used from live session?
    – UnKNOWn
    Apr 29, 2019 at 9:05
  • @PRATAP from recovery mode is enough.
    – N0rbert
    Apr 29, 2019 at 10:03
  • OK, thats good.. but even after deleting /usr/share will grub work normally and show the grub menu? i think i have to delete it and see in my practical pc..nice answer..Thank you..
    – UnKNOWn
    Apr 29, 2019 at 10:05
  • 1
    I have just tested this on VM. It is almost working solution.
    – N0rbert
    Apr 29, 2019 at 10:07
  • 1
    @N0rbert Thank you for help, its really works!
    – Mouvre
    May 11, 2019 at 17:46

Short answer: you can't and you have to reinstall the apps, as suggested by a previous answer.

However, before that, I would mount the drive in another computer and test undelete utilities which are available for ext3/ext4. A quick search in Google points to these ones:

extundelete: http://extundelete.sourceforge.net/

easeus: https://www.easeus.com/resource/drive/ext3.htm

TestDisk: https://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

How to guide: http://translatedby.com/you/howto-recover-deleted-files-on-an-ext3-file-system/original/


  • I suggest testdelete because I have experienced once :p Apr 30, 2019 at 13:46

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