Catfish File Search for GNU/Linux - gHacks Tech News

Catfish File Search for GNU/Linux

In previous articles, I've discussed how to search for files through other means, like using the command line, but I thought I'd give a quick review of the GUI search tool, Catfish.

Catfish is an extremely powerful, and yet extremely simplistic Gtk+ based graphical tool that utilizes multiple technologies already likely in your system, to complete its searches; locate and find, and utilizes zeitgeist for search suggestions.

Sometimes, I really and truthfully just don't feel like popping open a terminal, and locating a file. Sometimes, I really just want to click around with my mouse, even if its typically slower.

Note: Jack Wallen reviewed Catfish in 2009. Check out his article for additional information and find out what changed in the nine or so years since.

Installation

Installation of Catfish is pretty straightforward in most distributions simply using your package manager of choice, although as far as I am aware, Gentoo users will not have Catfish in portage and will need to find a separate overlay for it.

 

Using Catfish

Catfish Filesearch

Using Catfish on my Manjaro Xfce install is incredibly simple. By selecting the menu button in the upper right corner, users have access to enabling or disabling various options such as:

  • Changing views, from a compact list, to thumbails / vice versa
  • Searching / Showing hidden files
  • Searching of File Contents enabled / disabled
  • Exact Match searching
  • Sidebar
  • Search Index Update

In the top left corner of the screen, is a dropdown box for quick and easy directory changing for your searches. The search bar in the top is for your search terms.

Catfish Search

One of the things that I love most about Catfish, is simply how fast it is. In my experiences, because it uses find and locate in the background, its extremely efficient at finding files in the blink of an eye, without using much in the way of resources, slowing down your system in the process.

Even doing a search simply for 'conf' on my laptop, which produced over 4000 results in less than 30 seconds, didn't slow it down whatsoever while Spotify, Firefox, LibreOfice, and a bunch of other things on the go all at once were all continuing without a hiccup.

Last thoughts

If you're looking for a simple, straightforward, no frills, nice and fast and easy to use search application for your system as an alternative to more clunky programs, or the mess of a terminal, Catfish might be up your alley. I don't really have any negatives to state about it, from my usage.

Now You: What do you use to search for files, or the contents of files, in terms of graphical tools? Let us know in the comments!

Related Articles

Summary
Catfish File Search for GNU/Linux
Article Name
Catfish File Search for GNU/Linux
Description
Catfish is an extremely powerful, and yet extremely simplistic Gtk+ based graphical tool that utilizes multiple technologies already likely in your system, to complete its searches; locate and find, and utilizes zeitgeist for search suggestions.
Author
Publisher
Ghacks Technology News
Logo

We need your help

Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.

We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.

If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:

Comments

  1. Gerard said on April 12, 2018 at 2:16 pm
    Reply

    Perhaps interesting for Mint, Ubuntu, etc. users: there is a PPA with “stable, development, and daily builds of Catfish”, maintained by the “‘Catfish Maintainers’ team”.

    Details here:
    https://launchpad.net/~catfish-search/+archive/ubuntu/ppa

    The daily builds are very recent, but have the same version number as the stable build (1.4.2), which was release released two years ago. Perhaps there is a detailed changelog of the various 1.4.2 builds somewhere. The most recent Catfish version is 1.4.5 (source code only).

    Some users may also wish to investigate the versatile search feature of Double Commander, a double panel file manager.

  2. Daniel said on April 12, 2018 at 2:29 pm
    Reply

    Catfish and Recoll are the best! :)

  3. Mo said on April 12, 2018 at 3:25 pm
    Reply

    Very simple yet powerful tool for users.

  4. yaddayadda said on April 12, 2018 at 4:20 pm
    Reply

    The black background will keep me far far away. Why won’t the developer jerks provide other options?

    1. n00b said on April 12, 2018 at 5:16 pm
      Reply

      are you serious? it doesn’t come with a black background. it depends on the GTK theme you have installed.

  5. n00b said on April 12, 2018 at 5:17 pm
    Reply

    also checkout angrysearch, https://github.com/DoTheEvo/ANGRYsearch

    and the “locate” command

  6. trends said on April 12, 2018 at 7:46 pm
    Reply

    Works simple & great .

    Updated to Catfish 1.2.2
    (latest version available
    for my Ubuntu 14.04 – 32bits).

    Question:
    Does the search a file
    using asterisk * wildcards / regexp?.
    ie SEARCH:
    myile12*.c
    to find:
    myile123.c
    myile124.c
    etc…

  7. John C. said on April 13, 2018 at 10:58 am
    Reply

    Might be a name conflict. Also see: https://equi4.com/catfish/

    And it’s been around for a looooooong time. I’ve been using it since it came out in fact.

  8. n00b123 said on April 15, 2018 at 11:54 pm
    Reply

    “Even doing a search simply for ‘conf’ on my laptop, which produced over 4000 results in less than 30 seconds…”

    Too slow.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.