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I installed Linux on something like 3 or 4 different machines last year, and in two cases, I had a serious urge to vomit after noting that file indexers such as virtuoso (Debian testing with the latest KDE) and libtracker-miner were installed by default. I simply don't see the point of these programs. They hog CPU and slow everything down. My life was fine without them. And I'm not the only one complaining. So please, can someone tell me what the point of them is?

I really don't even know what they do! Can someone explain to me, why index files?

People are so surprised by these indexers, they sometimes think their computer is infected with a virus.

If it's about finding files: whenever I needed to find a file, I just do ls -R > filelist.tmp on my entire filesystem and opened the resulting file in nano. Not only do I find the file I need, but I remember where things are. I'm sure there are other solutions. But a program that needs to run all the time just to facilitate... whatever it facilitates... doesn't that contradict the Unix philosophy on a number of counts?

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Hint: Instead of ls -R, you can also use locate. As to the problem at hand, these "modern" indexers ("Desktop Search") do not just index file names, but also contents. I also find them annoying, but I guess this is a result of distributors trying to push Linux to the desktop, specifically to audiences more used to Windows or MacOS (both of which have full text search).

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locate also needs an index (/var/db/locate.database on OS X) –  yarek Jan 19 '12 at 18:59
    
Indeed. The indexer is called updatedb, but since it only indexes file names, it is not much of a burden on the system. Full text indexers need some pretty sophisticated techniques to be unobtrusive. From my experience, Spotlight is OK, but I have so far been unable to find something that works well on Linux. –  Ansgar Esztermann Jan 20 '12 at 7:18
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