On Windows there a nice file search engine called Everything, which is (unlike find) very fast and (unlike locate) always returns up to date results. AFAIK it works by filling a database from the NTFS journal (it doesn't work with other filesystems).

I wonder if there's something similar (I don't care about the GUI; my point is the speed and the up-to-date guarantee) for Linux (ext3 or ext4); I have googled but found nothing. Can something like this be done or is even somebody working on it?

  • 3
    The thing I like about Everything is that it not only is instantaneous, but also works for multiple partitions, like multiboot systems with six windows installations plus several data partitions. I'd like to have a Linux search that will work across multiple Linux partitions, not just the single partition. May 22 '14 at 1:34
  • Many variant of locate exists (mlocate, slocate, rlocate,....) with there own characteritics (incremental updatedb, realtime or secure indexing,...). All are highly configurable (manpages of updatedb.conf and locate)
    – Manu H
    Sep 12 '15 at 7:33
  • 2
    This may not exactly answer the question but today I finally understood why people rave about fzf. It's a lot quicker than find which I've been using blissfully ignorantly until now. Apr 3 '21 at 22:12

12 Answers 12


You may have a look at rlocate, a reimplementation of locate that is always up-to-date. Another interesting project is recoll which also supports real time indexing and allows you (like beagle) additionally do full-text searches. Finally I should mention doodle which also supports real time indexing. For doodle there are some nice frontends like catfish.

Note that you can also make (r)locate results clickable by using for example urxvt as terminal-emulator and by writing something like

URxvt.perl-ext: default,matcher URxvt.urlLauncher: /usr/bin/gnome-open     
URxvt.matcher.button: 1 URxvt.matcher.pattern.1: /.*

(and executing xrdb -load ~/.Xdefaults afterwards)

  • 1
    I think this answer should be accepted. rlocate itself makes a complete answer already.
    – phunehehe
    Feb 20 '12 at 15:17
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    What's up in 2017? rlocate mentions Linux 2.6 and no Ubuntu 16.04 package. recoll seems interesting and updated, though overkill for my need. doodle has Ubuntu package as of 16.04 so might be an option. Mar 19 '17 at 17:49
  • Why is recoll an overkill, you can also run recoll from the commandline. It also integrates well with kde and unity if you want.
    – student
    Mar 19 '17 at 18:59
  • My biggest issue with catfish is inability to interact with files - if I want to copy 20 files from the search results I need to Show in File Manager 20 times.
    – AnnanFay
    May 26 '17 at 14:20
  • rlocate's documentation has a list of "Kernel configuration" requirements that I don't know how to meet, and if I untar it and run ./configure I'm told I must "install the package with full kernel sources". This tool seems to be out of reach for non-gurus.
    – Qwertie
    Oct 30 '18 at 20:59

I was also searching for the "Search Everything" tool for linux and discovered "Search Monkey" in the Ubuntu repository. LOVE IT!

It's light weight, loads quick, wild card searches produces tons of results instantly, plus it has filters and advanced search methods.

I now have my "Everything" search tool back for linux!

  • 1
    Does it have a command line interface? Apr 3 '21 at 22:00

Interesting idea to implement this rooted within the filesystem, but nothing like that exists to my knowledge. Apart from a few add-ons trying to burrow themselves deep enough into the upper fs layers to get an early hold on data (Update: Everything falls into this cathegory itself), I'm afraid you're limited to the less satisfying processes of regular indexing.

What might come closest to what you're looking for might be the libferris virtual filesystem.

In the indexing world, you might want to take a look at glimpse, which at least is able to update and append its index.

Update: I just read the stuff about "Everything", and it doesn't seem to be inherent to the FS either, so libferris isn't that far off, plus it also allows to index content, not just filenames. It does satisfy your need of being up-to-date at all times.


You can use locate command and if you want update its database run the following command:

# updatedb

This command update the locate database in a few seconds


I am using Angry Search on a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ running Stretch and it works fine. It is really quite fast just like Search Everything on windows. It is very nice to be able to find files so quickly.


I know that this answer is really late, but this might help someone else, especially since there is no real solution till now to this problem.

Linux kernel 5.1 Introduced a kernel API called 'fanotify', which allows recursive directory watches for monitoring creations/deletions/moves, etc. ...

... and there are some tools that started to leverage (or at least testing). To create a search engine that is always up to date like: gosearch, Tracker and lolcate-rs.


btrfs has implemented the find-new command against subvolumes for years. If you keep a relatively up-to-date snapshot tree, it can be used to atomically watch a filesystem for all changes with little fuss.

You would use it like:

btrfs sub find-new /chk/path [gen-id]

You can get the gen-id you need for comparison with the same command, but using a bogus gen-id. There is more info here.


Have you checked Angry Search. It claims in its description that it is just like Everything. FSearch also claims the same.

  • 1
    Considering how many search results you get pointing to FSearch when you google for Evernote alternative for Linux, I'm surprised you are the only one who posted it here.
    – Ghos3t
    Oct 28 '18 at 16:56

It should be possible to build something like this in a few lines of code using inotify (there's also the inotify-tools package which would allow you to implement this using shell scripts).

(I'd be very surprised that any such tool would be driven from the journal - more likely it's implemented in the virtual filesystem tier)

  • 1
    I'm unsure if inotify could be useful here as it's not recursive. Creating watches for the whole tree is simple, but can the kernel handle many tens of thousands of them? Even if it can, this doesn't look as an effective way to me.
    – maaartinus
    Feb 8 '12 at 3:33

You might want to try beagle. Unfortunately http://www.beagle-project.org is now parked domain - wikipedia.


UI front-end for locate command that works almost the same as Everything :


  • 1
    This appears to be built on the false premise that locate is never updated automatically.
    – roaima
    Jun 23 '15 at 13:14
  • Please develop. What do you mean by locate being updated? Sep 11 '15 at 11:03
  • Your GitHub project states that the Unix command locate uses the same principle, except that the database is not updated automatically. The locate package includes a cron task that does automatically update the database.
    – roaima
    Sep 11 '15 at 13:11
  • If that's true, then it's only helping the goal of the tool. Having the database updated automatically off-loads the user from doing another task. The user still can update the database explicitly if needs immediate updates. Or what is the concern here regarding the false premise? Feb 17 '16 at 11:16

FSearch, which is inspired by by Everything Search Engine.

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