|This article/section is a stub — probably a pile of half-sorted notes, is not well-checked so may have incorrect bits. (Feel free to ignore, fix, or tell me)|
- find lets you find files by name, without going through your filesystem like with
- ...from an index typically rebuilt every night ( )
- of the (GNU, slocate, mlocate) set, you probably want mlocate
- you probably have mlocate
- will be symlinked to mlocate/slocate if you use them
(part of GNU findutils)
slocate and mlocate
(s for secure, m for merging)
slocate stores file permissions and ownership as seen at index time,and slocate's command will filter out entries that the invoking user couldn't read.
mlocate extends slocate, in that its updatedb only rereads a directory contents if that directory's mtime changed, which often avoids stat()ing most files on the filesystem, so it's done much faster and does less IO.
Hooks into the kernel (via a kernel module), in that it has a hook into (that hooks into open, mkdir, mknod, link, rename, symlink).
Its Template:Inlincode searches both the database and kernel list, so you'll see new files within seconds of their creation.
Behaviour and configuration
Can be told not look in certain places.
Details vary slightly between implementations, but most support at least:
- don't go under certain absolute paths
- will not add its content, but still enter the directory name itself
- avoid trailing slashes
- don't index certain filesystem types
mlocate/slocate add stuff, including:
- directory basename
- e.g. .git .bzr .hg .svn, because their existance may be interesting but their filenames not so much
security notesHistorical/GNU locate would let you see filenames that you couldn't yourself.
slocate/mlocate hide filenames the calling user couldn't read, by checking the permission they also store in the database. (note that this is only really more secure if only the tools (and not the user) can read that database, which is why mlocate/slocate usually has a user account / group and are SUID/GUID)
Keep in mind that indexed permissions can be a day behind, so if your permissions were previously too lax, locate will still mention these files, until after the next index.
If you want to avoid that, you can make updatedb store a flag into the database that means "locate should stat() the parent directories to see if the calling user could list this(verify)". This comes at the cost of more IO on every locate.
The database may be in one of various places, depending on which one you use.
Perhaps the simplest summary comes from
Which in my case says something like:
Database /var/lib/mlocate/mlocate.db: 552,900 directories 5,639,641 files 428,849,911 bytes in file names 181,205,838 bytes used to store database
...yes, that's 5+ million files and I really need to clean up:P though the database is only ~170MB.
Listing all entries could be done like
sudo locate /
...but keep in mind that if the security flag mentioned above applies, it means access() calls for everything.