Command Line

On *nix systems, the following command line interface (CLI) tools are usually available.


this uses a database to look for something. This can be fast, and can include sources that are not currently online.

Should be easy to shard off searches (where do you want to look?). Base it on collections.


Is there a way to limit the scope of the search? The whole system can often return too many values to parse through manually.


there is also find

if you just want to look for file names (not look within a file) this is a good place to start much faster than a grep

find * -iname "*{{look_for}}*"

lots of parameters that can help. What about narrow by extension?


grep -ir "look for" * 

grep -ir "look for" * | grep -i "one more thing"

Locating Files

use updatedb to create indexes of different drives then use a locate command to quickly query different drive catalogs

Locate databases can be used to create an index of what exists on a filesystem. This is useful for documenting what is on a drive before taking it offline or re-formatting it.

updatedb & locate

sudo updatedb -U /media/account/ -o

(for more options, see:

man updatedb

Then, to use a previously generated database file to look for files, use locate:

    man locate

      -d, --database DBPATH
              Replace  the  default database with DBPATH.  DBPATH is a :-sepa‐
              rated list of database file names.  If more than one  --database
              option  is  specified,  the resulting path is a concatenation of
              the separate paths.

how to unpack a locate database and print all files from it (printing to screen is sufficient)

update db
updatedb specify output file at DuckDuckGo
updatedb - Linux Command
find - What kind of database do updatedb and locate use? - Unix & Linux Stack Exchange
updatedb - Unix, Linux Command - Tutorialspoint
linux create list of all files on a drive at DuckDuckGo
linux - Recursively list all files in a directory including files in symlink directories - Stack Overflow
linux locate database at DuckDuckGo
How to use the locate command, by The Linux Information Project

Windows utilities
index of drive at DuckDuckGo
How do I print a list of what's on my USB drive?
karens directory printer linux at DuckDuckGo
Karen's Directory Printer Alternatives and Similar Software -