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Location: Somewhere inside 9.9 million sq. km. Canada
Distribution: Slackware 14.1, 14.2
You can set up a cron job for updatedb. If you run locate, it will complain once the db is eight days old or older. All I do is open a konsole, and run it when I need to, or if I have done some updates or installed software, I'll run it.
Cron jobs are a bit of a learning experience. I installed Webmin and I do my configuration through Webmin. One of the many things you can do with it is cron jobs.
So my distro actually uses slocate when I issue a locate command.
The best thing to do is to work out how to get your version of locate working from the command line, and then put it into a cron job.
Commonly those jobs run in the small hours of the morning. If
your machine isn't turned on that time of day it will never
Correct, but my distro seems to be using anacron which checks to see if cron has "missed" any jobs because the computer was turned off. If so it tries to run them to "catch up".
More here: http://anacron.sourceforge.net/
So, about five minutes after the first boot of the day, there's some furious disk activity as my slocate database is rebuilt, log files are rotated etc.