Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I wonder why aren't there any tool that enable one to find files on his harddisk very rapidly like "search everything" does .Just type a part of the file name and all files containing the keyword will show up instantly . Isn't it possible to design a program to record the names of all files in some directory in a database so that you can search the database quickly for file names ?

share|improve this question

Run sudo updatedb and locate [ filename or part ]
updatedb updates the index database.
If you want to locate a program, run whereis [ program name ]

share|improve this answer
Nice, but how to make locate search in some specific directory in linux mint ? – hvjkjdtmkgh Nov 7 '12 at 8:58
well for that purpose you can use find command, use it like this find [path to directory] | grep "file name or part" This will search recursively so you can just search inside the base directory and it will automatically look for the file inside any sub directory. – Gufran Nov 7 '12 at 9:02
For some specific directory: locate foo | grep /home/bar/baz – Scott Severance Nov 7 '12 at 9:13
Thanks , but can you give me an example ?I'm completely new to linux .In windows ,you write D:\\foldername\ etc What's the equivalent in linux? Also ,does this tool has a GUI so that I can open the file directly ? – hvjkjdtmkgh Nov 7 '12 at 9:29
utilities like locate or find do not have GUI built in, you can use a third party tool like catfish. To install the tool you can search for catfish in software center or run this command sudo apt-get install catfish. After installing this you can open the program from Unity Dash. regarding the File structure in linux, there is no C, D Drives, all the partitions are mounted as directory inside root, that is / (back-slash). so everything goes directly inside /, like your Home directory (same as your user directory in windows) is located inside /home/ – Gufran Nov 7 '12 at 9:46

If you are looking for file names only, it allready does this, it is called locate

For more advanced searching you can look at tracker: (see also this question: Alternatives to OS X's Spotlight? )

More options you can find here:

share|improve this answer
How can I make locate search in a specific directory ? – hvjkjdtmkgh Nov 7 '12 at 8:56
That's another question, but you can find the answer here… :) – Nanne Nov 7 '12 at 8:59
but that finding files link on help.ubuntu is quite a good description of your choices it seems? – Nanne Nov 7 '12 at 9:00
@hvjkjdtmkgh: See my comment on Gufran's answer for how to search a specific directory. – Scott Severance Nov 7 '12 at 9:15

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.