doodle - a tool to search the meta-data in your files
doodle is a tool to index files. doodle uses libextractor to find meta-data in
files. Once a database has been built, doodle can be used to quickly find
files of which the meta-data matches a given search-string. This way, doodle
can be used to quickly search your file system.
- Generally, the first time you run doodle you pass the
option -b to build the database. Together with -b you specify the list of
files or directories to index, for example
$ doodle -b $HOME
- Indexing with doodle is incremental. If doodle -b is run
(with the same database) twice it will update the index for files that were
changed. doodle will also remove files that are no longer accessible. doodle
will NOT remove files that are still present but no longer specified in the
argument list. Thus invoking either
$ doodle -b /foo /bar # or
$ doodle -b /foo ; doodle -b /bar
- will result in the same database containing both the index
for /foo and /bar. Note that the only way to only un-index /foo at this
point is to make /foo inaccessible (using for example chmod 000 /foo or even
rm -rf /foo) and then run doodle -b again.
- In networked environments, it often makes sense to build a
database at the root of each file system, containing the entries for that
file system. For this, doodle is run for each file system on the file server
where that file system is on a local disk, to prevent thrashing the network.
Users can select which databases doodle searches. Databases cannot be
- Once the files have been indexed, you can quickly query the
doodle database. Just run
$ doodle keyword
- to search all of your files for keyword. Note that only the
meta-data extracted by libextractor is searched. Thus if libextractor does
not find any meta-data in the files, you may not get any results. You can
use the option -l to specify non-standard libextractor plugins. For example,
doodle could be used to replace the locate tool from the GNU findutils like
$ alias updatedb="doodle -bn -d /var/lib/doodle/doodle-locate-db -l
$ alias locate="doodle -d /var/lib/doodle/doodle-locate-db"
- -a NUMBER,
- do approximate matching with mismatches of up to NUMBER
- -b, --build
- build the doodle database (passed arguments are directories
and filenames that are to be indexed). In comparison with GNU locate the
doodle binary encapsulates both the locate and the updatedb tool. Using
the -b option doodle builds or updates the database (equivalent to
updatedb), without -b it behaves similar to locate.
- -d FILENAME,
- use FILENAME for the location of the database (use when
building or searching). This option is particularly useful when doodle is
used to search different types of files (or is operated with different
extractor options). Using this option doodle can be used to build
specialized indices (i.e. one per file system), which can in turn improve
search performance. When searching, you can pass a colon-separated list of
database file names, in that case all databases are searched. Note that
the disk-space consumption of a single database is typically slightly
smaller than if the database is split into multiple files. Nevertheless,
the space-savings are likely to be small (a few percent). You can also use
the environment variable DOODLE_PATH to set the list of database files to
search. The option overrides the environment variable if both are used. If
the option is not given and DOODLE_PATH is not set,
"/var/lib/doodle" is used.
- -e, --extract
- print the extracted keywords for each matching file found.
Note that this will slow down the program a lot, especially if there are
many matches in the database. Note that if the options given for
libextractor are different than the options used for building the index
the results may not contain the search string.
- -f, --filenames
- include filenames (full path) in the set of keywords
- -h, --help
- print help page
- -i, --ignore-case
- be case-insensitive
- -l LIBRARIES,
- specify which libextractor plugins to use (for building the
index with -b or for printing information about files with -e)
- -L FILENAME,
- log all encountered keywords into a log file named
FILENAME. This option is mostly useful for debugging.
- -m LIMIT, --memory=LIMIT
- use at most LIMIT MB of memory for the nodes of the
suffix-tree (after that, serialize to disk). Note that a smaller value
will reduce memory consumption but increase the size of the temporary file
(and slow down indexing). The default is 8 MB.
- -n, --nodefault
- do not load the default set of plugins (only load plugins
specified with -l)
- -p, --print
- make a human-readable screen dump of the doodle database
(only really useful for debugging)
- -P PATH, --prunepaths=PATH
- Directories to not put in the database, which would
otherwise be. The environment variable PRUNEPATHS also sets this value.
Default is "/tmp /usr/tmp /var/tmp /dev /proc /sys". This option
can also be used when searching, in which case search results in the
specified directories will be ignored.
- -v, --version
- print the version number
- -V, --verbose
- be verbose
- Colon-separated list of databases to search. Note that when
building the database this path must either only contain one filename or
the option -b must be used to specify the database file. Default is
- Space-separated list of paths to exclude. Can be overridden
with the -P option.
Doodle depends on libextractor. You can download libextractor from
libdoodle and doodle are released under the GPL.
Report bugs to mantis <https://gnunet.org/bugs/> or by sending electronic
mail to <firstname.lastname@example.org>
doodle was originally written by Christian Grothoff
You can obtain the original author's latest version from