Google Desktop on Linux

28Jun07

Google Desktop Linux

If you have ever used the default search that you find in the file browser of Ubuntu or even the “find/whereis” function from the terminal you know that it can be very frustrating trying to locate a specific file on your system. Although, there are several utilities already available for Linux users to simplify and speed up file searches, I had not yet seen one that integrated searching files, documents, webpages, images and online videos all at the same time until Google released Google Desktop for Linux. This new app gives you all of the functionality mentioned above and is very customizable with minimum intrusion. There are two easy methods for installing Google Desktop.

  1. Download the .deb here.
  2. Add the Google repository to your list of repositories (instructions).

I recommend the second option since this will provide you with access to the latest Google software when it becomes available as well as notifying you as soon as important updates become available.

Google Desktop Preferences

Once you install Google Desktop and reboot, the application will autostart and begin indexing various folders on your HD. What’s nice about Google Desktop is that you can specify which locations you want to allow the application to index and which folders should be ignored. To do this, just launch the preferences window using the icon in the Gnome Panel. Another aspect to take into consideration is the amount of resources an application like this uses when indexing. Some other search apps for Linux can use 50+MB for search while I have not yet seen the Google Desktop search peak above ~15MB. The only drawback I see to this program is the load time associated with launching Firefox to view “all results” (top results appear in a quickview window). Follow the links above to check out test drive the software for yourself.

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5 Responses to “Google Desktop on Linux”

  1. 1 Bert

    Nice article.
    I tried Google Desktop and I liked it, but it opens my mp3 files in Firefox instead of my preferred media player (Listen).

  2. That’s strange. I wouldn’t think that this is a problem with Google Desktop but rather with what you have set as your default application for the mp3 file extension. Right click on an mp3 file you are trying to open and go to properties. Under the “open with” tab make sure you don’t have Firefox selected as the application. Choose something like Move Player or Rythmbox and it should work.

  3. 3 Bert

    Thanks for the tip, it worked!

  4. Interesting read. There is currently quite a lot of information around this subject around and about on the net and some are most defintely better than others. You have caught the detail here just right which makes for a refreshing change – thanks.


  1. 1 Google Desktop Search vs Tracker « sheehantu

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