(find.info)Fast Full Name Search
Fast Full Name Search --------------------- To search for files by name without having to actually scan the directories on the disk (which can be slow), you can use the `locate' program. For each shell pattern you give it, `locate' searches one or more databases of file names and displays the file names that contain the pattern. Note: Shell Pattern Matching, for details about shell patterns. If a pattern is a plain string--it contains no metacharacters--`locate' displays all file names in the database that contain that string. If a pattern contains metacharacters, `locate' only displays file names that match the pattern exactly. As a result, patterns that contain metacharacters should usually begin with a `*', and will most often end with one as well. The exceptions are patterns that are intended to explicitly match the beginning or end of a file name. The command locate PATTERN is almost equivalent to find DIRECTORIES -name PATTERN where DIRECTORIES are the directories for which the file name databases contain information. The differences are that the `locate' information might be out of date, and that `locate' handles wildcards in the pattern slightly differently than `find' (Note: Shell Pattern Matching). The file name databases contain lists of files that were on the system when the databases were last updated. The system administrator can choose the file name of the default database, the frequency with which the databases are updated, and the directories for which they contain entries. Here is how to select which file name databases `locate' searches. The default is system-dependent. `--database=PATH' `-d PATH' Instead of searching the default file name database, search the file name databases in PATH, which is a colon-separated list of database file names. You can also use the environment variable `LOCATE_PATH' to set the list of database files to search. The option overrides the environment variable if both are used.
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