I've found a command that enables web searches through the whisker menu, but is there a way to search for files with it?


You can use Catfish to search for files and it can be started from within the Whisker menu. In the Whisker menu properties "Search Actions" tab, create a new search entry with the following parameters:

  • Name = Catfish
  • Pattern = ~
  • Command = catfish --start %s

*Note: you can use whatever pattern is most useful to you.

Once this is done, simply enter in Whisker Menu's input field the pattern indicator followed by the search term.

For example, to search for a file called "New Document", enter "~New Document" in the input field and press enter. Catfish will open and display the search results for you (by default, it will only search in your home directory).

In order to search more than in $HOME, new search actions with new patterns can be added:

  • for a mounted drive - a command like catfish --start /path/to/mountpoint %s

  • for the entire system - catfish --start / %s

  • There is no --start option listed for catfish command. Catfish GUI will appear with specified string, but the search will not start automatically until user has pressed the Enter key. – clearkimura Jun 12 '16 at 5:10
  • 2
    The --start option was added in version 1.2.0 for this exact purpose - to auto-start the search. – NotARobot Jun 12 '16 at 11:58
  • Now I'm aware why I'm missing the option. So this answer is useful for users running releases newer than 14.04. – clearkimura Jun 13 '16 at 3:16

For a way of searching and opening files in Xfce with an application launcher like Whisker-menu, one that is showing as pop-up triggered by shortcut, Synapse is the way to go.

sudo apt install synapse

Open it, click the top right button for properties, check to have it run at startup (add it to startup list).

Under plugins tab, enable Directory Search, Hybrid Search, Locate, Related Files, Zeitgeist.

In case some files are not opened, see this answer.

In case files from NTFS partition are not found, see this answer.

In order to open Synapse with just the Super key, see this answer.

Press DOWN-ARROW button for multiple results:

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Clicking TAB and DOWN-ARROW shows multiple options for the selected file:

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Just opening Synapse and clicking DOWN-ARROW shows recently opened files (accessed from the file manager but not from Synapse).

If nothing is found, press ENTER to activate locate command.

If files are found but not the one you want, DOWN-ARROW to scroll the list down to the last entry (preceded by a question mark) and press ENTER to activate locate command:

enter image description here

See why some files need locate and some do not.

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