1. A UNIX or Linux tool that searches your mounted filesystem for files, and creates a fast find database for locate to find your files. 2. The awful program that runs on a laptop each time that you resume and cron panics that it missed an event. This typically draws 5% of my battery life each time.

slocate is a secure implementation of the traditional Unix locate program. It was created by Kevin Lindsay and is freely available under the GNU General Public License.

The traditional locate is a tool for quickly finding files based upon parts of their filenames. It uses a database which is created by updatedb; thus, the results it returns may be out of date. The database updates are usually handled by an overnight cron job — the disk activity created by going over every filesystem is significant.

Unfortunately, having a single database has security implications. If user fred has a directory named ~/private/ which is not group or world readable or executable, any user can find the filenames in this directory by using locate fred/private. Because the database is usually made by a privileged user, it will contain entries for every file, even those not normally visible to ordinary users.

This is slocate's major feature — it includes additional checks to ensure that it only displays files which the user would ordinarily be able to see. The command runs as setgid, which means the database can be set to not be readable by ordinary users except via the slocate program. The mechanism is not perfect, especially when ACLs or other non-traditional-Unix permissions systems are used, but it is an improvement over traditional locate.

slocate also has a few other special features. It supports regular expression filename matching and can easily be configured to not include special, removable or network filesystems in the database.

Neither locate nor slocate can find files based upon their contents; however, they can easily be combined with xargs and grep to handle queries like "find me .txt files which contain the string 'monkey' or the string 'soy'":

slocate -r '.txt$' | xargs grep -l 'monkey\|soy'

For more flexible queries, the find tool is often more appropriate but significantly slower.

      slocate README, http://www.geekreview.org/slocate/

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