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RocketLink!--> Man page versions: OpenBSD FreeBSD NetBSD RedHat Others

LOCATE(1)                  OpenBSD Reference Manual                  LOCATE(1)

     locate - find filenames quickly

     locate [-Scims] [-l limit] [-d database] pattern [...]

     locate searches a database for all pathnames which match the specified
     pattern. The database is recomputed periodically (usually weekly or dai-
     ly), and contains the pathnames of all files which are publicly accessi-

     Shell globbing and quoting characters (`*', `?', `\', `[', and `]') may
     be used in pattern, although they will have to be escaped from the shell.
     Preceding any character with a backslash (`\') eliminates any special
     meaning which it may have.  The matching differs in that no characters
     must be matched explicitly, including slashes (`/').

     As a special case, a pattern containing no globbing characters (``foo'')
     is matched as though it were ``*foo*''.

     Historically, locate stores only characters between 32 and 127.  The cur-
     rent implementation stores all characters except newline (`\n') and NUL
     (`\0'). The 8-bit character support does not waste extra space for plain
     ASCII file names.  Characters less than 32 or greater than 127 are stored
     as 2 bytes.

     The following options are available:

     -S          Print some statistics about the database and exit.

     -c          Suppress normal output; instead print a count of matching
                 file names.

     -d database
                 Search in database instead the default file name database.
                 Multiple -d options are allowed.  Each additional -d option
                 adds the specified database to the list of databases to be

                 database may be a colon-separated list of databases. A single
                 colon is a reference to the default database.

                 $ locate -d $HOME/lib/mydb: foo

                 will first search for the string ``foo'' in $HOME/lib/mydb
                 and then in /var/db/locate.database.

                 $ locate -d $HOME/lib/mydb::/cdrom/locate.database foo

                 will first search for the string ``foo'' in $HOME/lib/mydb
                 and then in /var/db/locate.database and then in

                 $ locate -d db1 -d db2 -d db3 pattern

                 is the same as

                 $ locate -d db1:db2:db3 pattern


                 $ locate -d db1:db2 -d db3 pattern
                 If `-' is given as the database name, standard input will be
                 read instead.  For example, you can compress your database
                 and use:

                 $ zcat database.gz | locate -d - pattern

                 This might be useful on machines with a fast CPU, little RAM
                 and slow I/O.  Note: You can only use one pattern for stdin.

     -i          Ignore case distinctions in both the pattern and the

     -l number   Limit output to number of file names and exit.

     -m          Use mmap(2) instead of the stdio(3) library. This is the de-
                 fault behavior. Usually faster in most cases.

     -s          Use the stdio(3) library instead of mmap(2).

     /var/db/locate.database       locate database
     /usr/libexec/locate.updatedb  script to update the locate database
     /etc/weekly                   script that starts the database rebuild

     LOCATE_PATH  Path to the locate database if set and not empty; ignored if
                  the -d option was specified.

     find(1),  fnmatch(3),  locate.updatedb(8)

     Woods, James A., "Finding Files Fast", ;login, 8:1, pp. 8-10, 1983.

     locate may fail to list some files that are present, or may list files
     that have been removed from the system.  This is because locate only
     reports files that are present in a periodically reconstructed database
     (typically rebuilt once a week by the /etc/weekly script).  Use find(1)
     to locate files that are of a more transitory nature.

     The locate database is built by user ``nobody'' using find(1).  This will
     skip directories which are not readable by user ``nobody'', group
     ``nobody'', or the world.  e.g., if your home directory is not world-
     readable, your files will not appear in the database.

     The locate database is not byte order independent. It is not possible to
     share the databases between machines with different byte order.  The cur-
     rent locate implementation understands databases in host byte order or
     network byte order.  So a little-endian machine can't understand a locate
     database which was built on an big-endian machine.

     The locate command appeared in 4.4BSD. Many new features were added in
     FreeBSD 2.2.

OpenBSD 2.6                      June 6, 1993                                2

Source: OpenBSD 2.6 man pages. Copyright: Portions are copyrighted by BERKELEY
SOFTWARE DESIGN, INC., The Regents of the University of California, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Free Software Foundation, FreeBSD Inc., and others.

(Corrections, notes, and links courtesy of RocketAware.com)

[Detailed Topics]
FreeBSD Sources for locate(1)
OpenBSD sources for locate(1)

[Overview Topics]

Up to: File Information - Obtaining file information (status, configuration, et al)
Up to: Directory Access - Accessing directories of files, browsing, management, et al.

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