I need a way of assigning tags and numbers (like rating, importance, etc) to my files and also be able do queries and file operations based on these metadata. Just like a photo management software (e.g. F-spot) but for documents (PDF, DJVU, EPUB, etc).

This can be a file manager with extra abilities or a file indexing system. The only thing I've found so far is recoll however it doesn't allow me to assign tags to files.

By the way, I've been using XFCE for quite a while so if Gnome has such a software built-in, I may not know about it.

  • With "external" you mean that the metadata should not be saved in the files, correct?
    – unor
    May 10, 2014 at 23:19
  • Well, some file formats may not support in-file metadata. Also for fast searches, the metadata must be stored in a database.
    – Reza
    May 11, 2014 at 9:12
  • 1
    Are you OK with an app taking over the management of your library and imposing its own sorting structure? If so then a full document management suite like Calibre might be your best choice. You can also go down the manual path and use exiftool to edit the embedded metadata in your files. If you want you can index this metadata with Recoll: bitbucket.org/medoc/recoll/wiki/HandleCustomField freelists.org/post/recoll-user/… May 11, 2014 at 13:42

1 Answer 1


I do love Calibre. Just like it's said on the site About page "Calibre is a free and open source e-book library management application developed by users of e-books for users of e-books".

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