Tips And Tricks To Improve File Searching In Fedora

There are a few tweaks I always do after installing Fedora to improve my file searching experience. Let me just say this probably applies to other distros as well if they are similar enough.

First thing I want, because I like the Windows behaviour on this topic, is to add a “Search…” menu entry on the folders context menu. Nautilus doesn’t provide this by default. So, I install nautilus-search-tool using yum:

yum install nautilus-search-tool

After a GNOME restart it should be working – you can simply logout.

Another thing that anoys me is the fact that there are some folders excluded by default for indexing by a Fedora install. This aplies to the default GNOME search that in fact uses the default Fedora search system commonly used by the locate terminal application. The locate command is by far the fastest and easiest way to find a file using the terminal and uses a deamon to update its index, this deamon runs the updatedb script. So, to configure the paths you want to exclude or include in updatedb indexing you just need to edit /etc/updatedb.conf and edit it accordingly:

sudo nano /etc/updatedb.conf

If you use Windows and TortoiseSVN you might want you add _svn to PRUNENAMES and in my case I want all the /media (where fedora mounts my other partitions) to be indexed, so I remove it from the PRUNEPATHS setting.

Removing /media from PRUNEPATHS might have a side effect. It might try to index the files of a USB disk/pen or other removable device. Luckily, this can be solved for most cases by adding fat16 and fat32 to the PRUNEFS setting. Fat is the common filesystem for USB drives and other removable media. Of course, you could have a Fat partition in use by Windows (in which case I suggest converting it to NTFS since Fedora has build-in NTFS read/write support) or to a complete fix of the problem you can configure Fedora to mount all the partions you want to index on /mnt (for example) and leave the /media in PRUNEPATHS since it would be used only for CD, DVD and other removable media.

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