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Old 04-11-2007, 09:19 AM   #1
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How Do You Search With Nautilus ?

I've just installed openSUSE 10.2 ( I'm trying to understand how Nautilus 2.16.1 searches for files. Let's say I start from location /, press search and enter fstab, expecting it find it in /etc so I can view it. The actual output is reproduced below.

What am I doing wrong? I've not set any filters. Is it GNOME (I've heard it's not very user friendly), or is it some magical incantation I don't know about because I'm a total newbie.


Old 04-12-2007, 04:45 AM   #2
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It looks like it is searching to contents of the files rather than just the name.

In my experience, Nautilus search doesn't work to well. Maybe try the "Search for Files" option in the Gnome "Places" menu. On my system (Debian Sid), I don't get accurate results with Nautilus search but I do with Gnome search. This is odd though...

I suggest you look into Beagle, which I think is installed by default on Suse.

Old 04-12-2007, 05:06 AM   #3
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Alternatively, you could open a console and type in:
find / -name fstab
And it should display any folder or file named "fstab".

As for Nautilus, it does seem it's searching the contents of the file rather than the actual file name.

If you want to view it directly, most text editors allow you to open it directly from a console, eg:
vi /etc/fstab
kate /etc/fstab
It's much easier and takes up less time this way.
Remember, the console is your friend
Old 04-12-2007, 01:19 PM   #4
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for system files "locate" is the fastest way of finding stuff from the command line.
How the nautilus search behaves depends on the distribution. Suse also comes with the very nice beagle-search if you want something graphical.
Old 04-14-2007, 12:11 PM   #5
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Thanks for all your replies. Like I said, I'm new to Linux, but not in IT. I'm surprised to say the least that a file manager works like this as standard.

It probably is searching for contents, but I find it hard to believe this is how it is supposed to work - not to find directories or file names, just contents in almost exclusively html files - and just be called "search".

Now, I did find two functions in the menu path: one calls gnome-search-tool and is just a front end for find and locate, and one calls the Nautilus "search function" (for want of better description). Of course, in the menu both functions are called "Search for Files..." and have the same icon.

So what I have to do for convenient file searching is amend the XML in /etc/xdg/menus so that the "Search for Files..." I'm presented with permanently in the old menu path under "Places" is the one that actually searches for files. I think I'm getting to understand what Linux is all about now.

Thanks to everyone again,



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