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Unity is currently only indexing and displaying a shallow set of file results.

Suppose I want to open the file "/home/Music/Creedence Clearwater Revival/Willy and the Poor Boys/The-Midnight-Special.mp3".

I open the "Files and Folders" lens and type "The Midnight Special". Unfortunately, the song doesn't display. I try "Willy and the Poor Boys" but that folder doesn't display either.

The only folder that does display in the lens is "Music". Therefore I must open the "Music" folder then navigate through the entire directory tree to open the file I want.

How do I get a deeper index of files to display in the "Files and Folders" lens?

Thanks for your help!

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

The Unity lens does not search all your files and folders, but rather only has access to files that you have opened at least once in the past (this is because it uses Zeitgeist for search).

There is a different lens you can install called "Unity Place Filesearch" which will search for every single file on your system. This provides much more thorough search results for files that you have never opened before. Once this new better search lens is installed, you can uninstall the old one if you do not want it anymore.

To install Unity Place Filesearch:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pydave/unity-lenses
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install unity-place-filesearch

Then enter the following to make the lens appear:

setsid unity

OPTIONAL You can also set which folders to ignore (if you have private files) by editing the following file:

gedit ~/.filesearch.cfg

If you do edit this file, you can apply your changes by saving it then entering the following commands to stop and restart the lens.

killall unity-filesearch-daemon
setsid unity

To remove the old lens:

Backup the lens files first (just in case):

mkdir ~/backups
cp /usr/share/unity/places/ ~/backups/

Remove the lens:

sudo sed -i '14i ShowEntry=false' /usr/share/unity/places/

And finally apply your changes by running:

unity --replace

All finished! Enjoy your new better search!

Sources all by Webupd8:

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Dash is not a simple search tool, it correlates your usage of files and applications to link to your search results. It simply shows those files you previously opened.

Searching you should do with 'files and folders'. Then those files get added to dash.

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I'm not sure I follow, Rinzwind. As mentioned in the description, I am searching using "Files and Folders". – Chris Bauer May 2 '11 at 21:23
@Chris Bauer. still the same answer and yes it is a shame the way it is set up now. You need to open it to get it registered and there is no tool (yet) to register some files from command line. The only answer I have is to bug them with this: – Rinzwind May 9 '11 at 19:31

It seems from the comments on this bug: that the intention of the "Files and Folders" Lens is to just for search for recently used files (at least those that Zeitgeist knows about).

A different lens would be needed (and created) to search all files in your home directory.

If you are just searching for music and are using Banshee maybe the is better suited.

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Zeitgeist is being fixed - they are currently in the process of adding a one time process to get all directories you want to index into Zeitgeist. See The problem currently is that ZG only indexes files you have interacted with, and the unity search uses ZG.

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