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LOCATE(1)               FreeBSD General Commands Manual              LOCATE(1)

     locate -- find filenames quickly

     locate [-0Scims] [-l limit] [-d database] pattern ...

     The locate program searches a database for all pathnames which match the
     specified pattern.  The database is recomputed periodically (usually
     weekly or daily), and contains the pathnames of all files which are pub-
     licly accessible.

     Shell globbing and quoting characters (``*'', ``?'', ``\'', ``['' and
     ``]'') may be used in pattern, although they will have to be escaped from
     the shell.  Preceding any character with a backslash (``\'') eliminates
     any special meaning which it may have.  The matching differs in that no
     characters must be matched explicitly, including slashes (``/'').

     As a special case, a pattern containing no globbing characters (``foo'')
     is matched as though it were ``*foo*''.

     Historically, locate only stored characters between 32 and 127.  The cur-
     rent implementation store any character except newline (`\n') and NUL
     (`\0').  The 8-bit character support does not waste extra space for plain
     ASCII file names.  Characters less than 32 or greater than 127 are stored
     in 2 bytes.

     The following options are available:

     -0          Print pathnames separated by an ASCII NUL character (charac-
                 ter code 0) instead of default NL (newline, character code

     -S          Print some statistic about the database and exit.

     -c          Suppress normal output; instead print a count of matching
                 file names.

     -d database
                 Search in database instead the default file name database.
                 Multiple -d options are allowed.  Each additional -d option
                 adds the specified database to the list of databases to be

                 The option database may be a colon-separated list of data-
                 bases.  A single colon is a reference to the default data-

                 $ locate -d $HOME/lib/mydb: foo

                 will first search string ``foo'' in $HOME/lib/mydb and then
                 in /var/db/locate.database.

                 $ locate -d $HOME/lib/mydb::/cdrom/locate.database foo

                 will first search string ``foo'' in $HOME/lib/mydb and then
                 in /var/db/locate.database and then in

                       $ locate -d db1 -d db2 -d db3 pattern

                 is the same as

                       $ locate -d db1:db2:db3 pattern


                       $ locate -d db1:db2 -d db3 pattern

                 If - is given as the database name, standard input will be
                 read instead.  For example, you can compress your database
                 and use:

                 $ zcat database.gz | locate -d - pattern

                 This might be useful on machines with a fast CPU and little
                 RAM and slow I/O.  Note: you can only use one pattern for

     -i          Ignore case distinctions in both the pattern and the data-

     -l number   Limit output to number of file names and exit.

     -m          Use mmap(2) instead of the stdio(3) library.  This is the
                 default behavior and is faster in most cases.

     -s          Use the stdio(3) library instead of mmap(2).

     LOCATE_PATH  path to the locate database if set and not empty, ignored if
                  the -d option was specified.

     /var/db/locate.database          locate database
     /usr/libexec/locate.updatedb     Script to update the locate database
     /etc/periodic/weekly/310.locate  Script that starts the database rebuild

     find(1), whereis(1), which(1), fnmatch(3), locate.updatedb(8)

     Woods, James A., "Finding Files Fast", ;login, 8:1, pp. 8-10, 1983.

     The locate command first appeared in 4.4BSD.  Many new features were
     added in FreeBSD 2.2.

     The locate program may fail to list some files that are present, or may
     list files that have been removed from the system.  This is because
     locate only reports files that are present in the database, which is typ-
     ically only regenerated once a week by the
     /etc/periodic/weekly/310.locate script.  Use find(1) to locate files that
     are of a more transitory nature.

     The locate database was built by user ``nobody''.  The find(1) utility
     skips directories, which are not readable for user ``nobody'', group
     ``nobody'', or world.  E.g. if your HOME directory is not world-readable,
     all your files are not in the database.

     The locate database is not byte order independent.  It is not possible to
     share the databases between machines with different byte order.  The cur-
     rent locate implementation understand databases in host byte order or
     network byte order if both architectures use the same integer size.  So
     you can read on a FreeBSD/i386 machine (little endian) a locate database
     which was built on SunOS/sparc machine (big endian, net).

     The locate utility does not recognize multibyte characters.

FreeBSD 6.2                      July 23, 2004                     FreeBSD 6.2


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