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I'm trying to use locate to find files, but I'm not getting anything back from the program. It can't even find files that are in the current directory. How do I make locate work?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Nov 23 '09 at 12:36

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use sudo updatedb ? –  ukanth Nov 23 '09 at 12:50

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

In essence, you have to run updatedb first, as this builds the database that locate uses.
Simply do updatedb --localpaths=c:/ as a first shot solution.

See this blog post for a bunch of good tips , including how to setup up updatedb via cygwin cron: http://www.weiqigao.com/blog/2006/08/14/ten_steps_to_higher_cygwin_productivity.html

Google 'cygwin updatedb' for a relevant post if you are having trouble with paths that include spaces. I am not getting any trouble (other than permission denied) on WinXP Pro, but other platforms may require this.

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The blogpost has a new address, webpages.charter.net/weiqigao/2006/08/14/… –  Stefan Sep 16 '13 at 13:07

To use locate you need to run updatedb first.

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I think the command you want is find

Do man find to see the syntax and options

The locate command runs against a pre-built database of filenames

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Yes, locate runs against a pre-built database. Why does that mean the OP wants find instead? –  CarlF Nov 23 '09 at 15:01
    
Find will at least do the job that is being requested if locate is not present or for what-ever reason not functioning. More slowly, as it won't have the pre-prepared data to search, but it will work and the results are more likely to be properly uptodate and complete (updatedb may have been configured to exclude some parts of the filesystem). –  David Spillett Apr 22 '10 at 13:06

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