Drilling: New desktop file search utility that uses clever crawling instead of indexing

drill Is a new file search utility for Linux, Windows and macOS that uses “smart crawling” instead of indexing.
The application can find files and folders, but does not search the file contents. It is designed for desktops and uses the Gtk GUI by default, but there are also command line frontends available, although currently small (a Ncurses backend is also on the to-do list).

The user interface is very small with an input field where you can enter what you are looking for and a list of search results. Double-clicking on any search result will open the file (currently only for X11). As with many other features, opening the folder containing the file is also on the to-do list.
Drill developer Federico Santamorena said that when he switched to Linux, he had almost everything he needed without a fast desktop search tool, so he created “allDrill running on Linux (as well as Windows and macOS). The Windows-only application Everything dumps the list of NTFS partition files and scans files almost instantly.
“In Linux, file search is broken instead: updatedb is an old technology and, unfortunately, many GUI applications use it as a backend, such as Catfish, AngrySearch and FSearch still use indexes and run fast Very slow, “Federico wrote. On Reddit.

The drill bit “don’t care about weak systems” mentions its project page, which cleverly utilizes the full power of multithreading to find files in the fastest way.
Drill uses clever crawling instead of indexing, and excludes obvious folders (for example, node_modules) that users don’t care about. Another difference between Drill and other file search utilities is that Drill uses clever multithreading-using at least 1 thread per mount point, which should speed up searches, because in most cases, file search The limit is usually disk speed and not CPU or RAM. Finally, Drill caches (to RAM) everything to speed up processing.
Main drilling functions:

  • Designed for desktop users
  • At least 1 thread per mount point
  • No root permissions required
  • Try to use a regular expression-based block list to avoid “black hole folders”, in which the crawler will never come out and will not scan useless files (node_modules, Windows, etc.)
  • Scan priority folders first with priority list
  • Bet on the future: slow optimization for SSD / M.2 or fast RAID arrays
  • It is free and open source software

There are many items on the drill list, such as being able to open the found files on Wayland, adding Ncurses front ends, sorting by columns, showing the actual folder size or metadata search. Another attempt to create an “all” file search tool clone for Linux is gosearchIt leverages the latest changes in Linux 5.1 to update file indexes in real time using very few system resources. Just like Drill, gosearch is very new and is currently only used on the command line.

Download Drill Desktop Search Tool

There are Microsoft Windows, macOS and Linux binaries (AppImage, DEB and AUR packages) available for download. RPM, Flatpak, and Snap packages are on the “to-do” list.
AppImage should work on any Linux distribution. Make it executable (from the command line or from right click -> Properties Menu) and double-click the file to launch it.


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