I wish to have the command locate in ubuntu 12.04 (which is used for finding files. I believe there is such a command but I cannot see it in ubuntu 12.04 Is it part of any package?

  • Try using this command: sudo apt-get install locate. Nov 10, 2012 at 20:24
  • 5
    For the future: if you're looking for a program and don't know the package, install apt-file: sudo apt-get install apt-file and search for the program using apt-file: apt-file search /usr/bin/locate.
    – hnasarat
    Nov 10, 2012 at 20:57
  • In a standard Ubuntu install this often isn't needed - if you type a command on the command-line that Ubuntu doesn't know, it'll often suggest which package to install to get that command. Come to mention it, I think locate is already installed in a standard Ubuntu install anyway, so maybe this doesn't help. May 28, 2013 at 3:15

1 Answer 1


sudo apt-get install mlocate should install the 'locate' command.

mlocate maintains a database of all your files and is re-indexed once a day by default. If you want it to re-index immediately then run sudo updatedb from the command line.

If you get a cannot stat error when you run locate, then you need to run sudo updatedb to populate the database, just as if you wanted to re-index immediately.

  • 7
    I believe that the mlocate package installs a mlocate job in /etc/cron.daily which runs updatedb daily.
    – mfisch
    Nov 11, 2012 at 2:20
  • 2
    Just after you do that, if you try to call locate, you will get the following error: "locate: can not stat () `/var/lib/mlocate/mlocate.db': No such file or directory". To solve that, please refer to @enxotib response in: unix.stackexchange.com/questions/26188/… May 12, 2014 at 4:02
  • You probably want to run sudo updatedb after installing mlocate, since the search database needs to be optimized for first time use. Apr 10, 2016 at 20:48
  • 1
    If you're on CentOS/RHEL/Amazon Linux, use sudo yum install mlocate to install it. Also the same, run sudo updatedb to initialize the database for the first time.
    – ADTC
    May 6, 2018 at 0:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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