slocate in the default desktop install

Matt Zimmerman mdz at
Tue Feb 12 14:27:19 GMT 2008

On Tue, Feb 12, 2008 at 02:06:55PM +0000, Scott James Remnant wrote:
> On Mon, 2008-02-11 at 11:15 +0000, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> > Since very early on, we've shipped slocate as a part of the default desktop
> > install in Ubuntu.  This provides an indexed list of filenames on the system
> > to assist in searching for a file by name.  I'm not sure whether any of the
> > standard desktop applications made use of it, or whether it was only useful
> > on the command line.
> > 
> > Today, at least, it doesn't seem to be used, and more featureful indexed
> > searching is provided by tracker, and the overhead of re-indexing daily can
> > be inconvenient for laptop users.
> > 
> Tracker only indexes the home directory of the user who does the search,
> slocate indexes the entire disk that everybody can read.

slocate, AIUI, indexes the entire disk (including things that not everybody
can read) and selectively filters the index appropriately.

But at any rate, I don't think the distinction between the home directory
and the whole filesystem matters very much to a typical modern desktop user.
Even if they did find /usr/bin/dbus-binding-tool when searching for the bus
schedule they saved, it wouldn't be useful to them.

I like the suggestion of switching to a locate implementation that is less
intrusive, but it doesn't seem feasible for 8.04, and I wondered if we might
be able to do something in the short term to improve this.

 - mdz

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