Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Re: mlocate - what is it good for?

On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 01:19:48PM -0600, Neal McBurnett wrote:
> I use mlocate multiple times a day.
> Find is way too slow and inconvenient for finding files in a big
> set of filesystems, compared to properly configuring mlocate.

Specifically, the filesystem must be huge or on a slow medium. It might make
sense to move it out of standard and elsewhere, as I don't think it's
necessarily needed everywhere, such as laptops.

Consider my laptop, fairly standard, 512 GB NVME SSD, about 250G allocated,
containing about 1435134 files. mlocate foo takes 1s, find / -mount
-name '*foo*' takes about 7-9 secs, or 19 seconds with all mount points
(but there is a davfs mount of an internet server, so things might be
screwed up a bit).

19s to find something is perfectly workable, also you don't usually
find from /, but you have an idea where things are, so it will be much

I think mlocate only really makes sense on data storage servers with
huge disks, or on machines with HDDs. I therefore do not think the
overhead of building the index is warranted for most users. It might
make sense to keep mlocate in always-on tasks, like servers, but get
rid of it from desktop scenarios.
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