Thursday, 23 May 2019

Re: mlocate - what is it good for?

On Thu, 23 May 2019 at 09:07, Brian Murray <> wrote:
The Ubuntu Foundations team was recently looking at an issue with
mlocate[1] and the effect it has on all users of Ubuntu. While that
specific issue is fixable there are also issues[2,3] with keeping
PRUNEFS and PRUNEPATHS current in updatedb.conf. So we ended up
questioning the usefulness of installing mlocate by default on systems
at all. We believe that find is an adequate replacement for mlocate but
want to hear from you about use cases where it may not be.

I think this is a cattle vs pet sort of thing as well: on a system that being used for development or adminned by multiple humans, locate is quite useful. And the overhead of having to install it for systems like this seems acceptable (users like these are exactly the sort of users for whom installing a package is easy!).

On systems that are part of a fleet of automatically maintained machines, all locate does is waste IO bandwidth -- which might well be a shared resource if the systems are VMs.

My vote would be for removing it from the default install.