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The question is pretty straight forward. I don't understand the difference between these two plugins, should I install both, or is one better than the other?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The locate files plug-in uses the locate command to search for files on your entire computer. You use it by typing "locate" into gnome-do and pressing tab, then entering your search term, pressing enter and scrolling through the results. I've used it in the past but I have a terminal open all the time anyhow so turned it off.

Files and Folders, by default, indexes all the files and folders in your /home/username, /home/username/Documents, and /home/username/Desktop but can be configured to index whichever folders you like. It can be a handy way to pull up a folder or a file you reference often.

I use Files and Folders and configured it to index a few other folders I commonly use.

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sorry but how does searching for files on my entire computer differ from indexing files and folders on my ~/ ? It sounds to me like Files and Folders is more limiting to the folders that you specify, while locate files does the exact same thing on a global scale? Is this correct? – GiH Nov 10 '09 at 18:45
Yes. It's a matter of scale. – djhowell Nov 10 '09 at 18:50
Example: I have a script in my home path to enable/disable bluetooth. With Files an Folders I press win-space, type bluetooth and press enter and it toggles it. With locate files, I press win-space, type locate, hit tab, type bluetooth, press enter, and scroll through 140 results. – djhowell Nov 10 '09 at 18:54

The "files and folders" plugin makes the configured files and folders directly available from the initial gnome-do pane. If you have a file named "mydocument.pdf" in your ~/Documents folder, you just hit super space mydocument.pdf and it will let you open the document. Auto-completion is available for mydocument.pdf so you don't need to type the whole thing and if you use it a lot, gnome-do will learn to show it to you after just typing "m".

In contrast, when using locate, you first need to select the "locate" command (for which auto-completion is available), then type a search string for the file (without auto-completion), then select the file from the results.

Locate has access to your whole file system, but is less convenient for commonly-used files. "files and folders" is more convenient, but would be slow and confusing if you indexed your whole hard drive.

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