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Baloo is a file indexing and searching framework for KDE Plasma.


Install the baloo package.

Usage and configuration

In order to search using Baloo on the Plasma desktop, start KRunner (default keyboard shortcut ALT+F2) and type in your query. Within Dolphin press CTRL+F. Alternatively, for command-line usage, there is baloosearch [OPTIONS] query, which supports complex queries such as baloosearch //?query=tag:coolpicture AND width:100, and balooshow [OPTIONS] filename to show the data baloo has stored for the file.

By default the Desktop Search KCM exposes only two options: A panel to blacklist folders and a way to disable it with one click. Alternatively you can edit your ~/.config/baloofilerc file (info).

Additionally the balooctl process can also be used to control Baloo, e.g. in order to stop/start Baloo use balooctl stop or balooctl start to resume.

Once you added additional folders to the blacklist or disabled Baloo entirely, a process named baloo_file_cleaner removes all unneeded index files automatically. These are stored under ~/.local/share/baloo/.

Indexing a removable or remote device

By default every removable and remote device is blacklisted. It is possible to remove devices from the blacklist in the KCM panel.

Disabling the indexer

To disable the Baloo file indexer:

$ balooctl suspend
$ balooctl disable

The indexer will be disabled on next login.

Alternatively, disable Enable File Search in System settings under Search > File search.


Inotify folder watch limit error

If you get the following error:

KDE Baloo Filewatch service reached the inotify folder watch limit. File changes may be ignored.

Then you will need to increase the inotify folder watch limit:

# echo 524288 > /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_watches

To make changes permanent, create a 40-max-user-watches.conf file: