I got a frozen Ubuntu 14.04, and I have tried to follow some tips, but still I'm just able to get to the log in screen. After that nothing happen.

There is not a big problem to just reinstall everything, but there is one file in my system I have not backed up. By using I'm into the termnial, I find the file, but how to save that file?

I have an external HD, but it will not mount now. It did mount when the system worked fine.

I am on a wifi ,so is there a possibility to send the file online? Is there any terminalbased e-mail commands?

  • how did you try to mount the external HD? You can always do it with a live cd – Jacob Vlijm Nov 17 '14 at 9:37
  • Provided your data directories aren't encrypted, the solution provided by the previous commenter, using a live cd, will permit you to read the files. I've been encrypting the data directories of every computer I've installed linux on for at least two, and probably four years, so it wouldn't work for me, but it might work for you. – gyropyge Nov 17 '14 at 10:22

There are quite a few ways.

One is to scp the files to another server with SSH installed.

You could boot from the Ubuntu Live CD/USB, mount the hard drive and copy the file then.

You could install text based browser (e.g. Links or Lynx).

You could copy the file to /MY_TMP_FOLDER and reinstall ubuntu (note you will have to delete all folders in root, except for /MY_TMP_FOLDER). Reinstalling Ubuntu will overwrite all files, but not delete anything, so this is safe if you have unique filenames.

Install Mutt (text based email)... I have never used or configured Mutt, but it should work well.


I'll start by making this simple.

  • On my work terminal, I use a batch file which uses zip, and a list of files, which recurses a specific directory path. Try man zip.
  • Then I email the .zip file to my home email. You will need a full Mail Transfer Agent or sendemail. Sendemail is the only package that supports attached files where you don't need an MTA (I already asked the community.)
  • I also set up this backup batch file to be called by cron once a week. Make sure your EDITOR variable is set up to your favorite text editor first.
  • For bash: Do EDITOR=nano; export EDITOR in your .bashrc. Then do source $HOME/.bashrc to enable the changes. Do crontab -e to edit your personal cron file, you should not edit any system cron files.

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