Difference between revisions of "Mlocate"

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{{ic|locate}} is a common Unix tool for quickly finding files by name. It offers speed improvements over the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Find find] tool by searching a pre-constructed database file, rather than the filesystem directly. The downside of this approach is that changes made since the construction of the database file cannot be detected by {{ic|locate}}. This problem is minimised by regular, typically scheduled use of the {{ic|updatedb}} command, which (as the name suggests) updates the database.
Although in other distros {{ic|locate}} and {{ic|updatedb}} are in the {{Pkg|findutils}} package, they are no longer present in Arch's package. To use it, install the {{Pkg|mlocate}} package. mlocate is a newer implementation of the tool, but is used in exactly the same way.
Before {{ic|locate}} can be used, the database will need to be created. To do this, simply run {{ic|updatedb}} as root.
===Keeping the database up-to-date===
When {{ic|mlocate}} is installed, a script is automatically scheduled to run daily via {{ic|systemd}}, to update the database. You can also manually run {{ic|updatedb}} at any time.
To save time, the {{ic|updatedb}} can be (and by default is) configured to ignore certain filesystems and paths by editing {{ic|/etc/updatedb.conf}}. {{ic|man updatedb.conf}} will tell you about the semantics of this file. It is worth noting that among the paths ignored in the default configuration (i.e. those in the "PRUNEPATHS" string) are {{ic|/media}} and {{ic|/mnt}}, so {{ic|locate}} may not discover files on external devices.

Revision as of 20:55, 14 November 2014

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