Will Unity Search have support for content search? I know tracker can index your files and you can then search for them, but is it possible to get this with "in" unity?

use case:

  1. I click the super key and search for "lamda" and I get the pdf and py files where this string is located (Maybe with a preview of the files?). Also if the file with name lamda.odf will be shown
  • Please mark didrocks answer as marked if it answers your question Mar 30, 2012 at 5:55
  • Since tatewaki wants full-text content search, which zeitgeist doesn't provide, it looks like didrock's answer is not correct and @sup's answer about recoll is the better. Is there a Unity lens for the metatracker search engine?
    – nealmcb
    May 23, 2012 at 17:44

2 Answers 2


Install recoll-lens (as of 26 March 2012 this works only for 11.10):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:recoll-backports/recoll-1.15-on
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install recoll-lens recoll

Run recoll (open dash, type recoll and there you are), and create an index (it might take some time) - the app will ask for it itself when first run. (In preferences, you may want to set it up so that it reindexes your files regularly or on the fly.) Then logout and login and you have a new lens that provides full-text search. It is accessible from general Dash as well (after hitting super).

Information taken from http://www.webupd8.org/2012/03/recoll-lens-full-text-search-unity-lens.html

  • Thanks! Is working on 13.04. The bad thing is I can't get the searches to show up in the home dash.
    – tomyo
    May 23, 2013 at 17:21
  • No recoll-lens in Ubuntu 14.04
    – malisokan
    Nov 8, 2014 at 10:57
  • It is integrated into file scope, there is also a separate application - this is a change due to design changes in Unity.
    – sup
    Nov 8, 2014 at 19:12

We are using zeitgeist to get the search done in Unity. Zeitgeist is using a "fts" extension (full text search) which is enabled by default in ubuntu.

So, if you opened your file already, you will be able to find it typing some keywords from its content in the file lens.

  • 1
    Okay nice, but like John says it would be nice if it was possible to index all my files without opening them?
    – nnyegaard
    May 1, 2011 at 8:14
  • It wont search completely inside all the files. That would be too expensive. It does a fts on the Title property of Event.Subject of a Zeitgeist event. Mikkel can answer better Jun 15, 2011 at 13:22

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