find files by name
locate [OPTION]... PATTERN...
locate reads one or more databases prepared by updatedb(8) and writes file names matching at least one of the PATTERNs to standard output, one per line. If --regex is not specified, PATTERNs can contain globbing characters. If any PATTERN contains no globbing characters, locate behaves as if the pattern were *PATTERN*. By default, locate does not check whether files found in database still exist (but it does require all parent directories to exist if the data‐ base was built with --require-visibility no). locate can never report files created after the most recent update of the relevant database.
locate exits with status 0 if any match was found or if locate was in‐ voked with one of the --limit 0, --help, --statistics or --version op‐ tions. If no match was found or a fatal error was encountered, locate exits with status 1. Errors encountered while reading a database are not fatal, search con‐ tinues in other specified databases, if any.
-A, --all Print only entries that match all PATTERNs instead of requiring only one of them to match. -b, --basename Match only the base name against the specified patterns. This is the opposite of --wholename. -c, --count Instead of writing file names on standard output, write the num‐ ber of matching entries only. -d, --database DBPATH Replace the default database with DBPATH. DBPATH is a :-sepa‐ rated list of database file names. If more than one --database option is specified, the resulting path is a concatenation of the separate paths. An empty database file name is replaced by the default database. A database file name - refers to the standard input. Note that a database can be read from the standard input only once. -e, --existing Print only entries that refer to files existing at the time lo‐ cate is run. -L, --follow When checking whether files exist (if the --existing option is specified), follow trailing symbolic links. This causes broken symbolic links to be omitted from the output. This is the default behavior. The opposite can be specified us‐ ing --nofollow. -h, --help Write a summary of the available options to standard output and exit successfully. -i, --ignore-case Ignore case distinctions when matching patterns. -l, --limit, -n LIMIT Exit successfully after finding LIMIT entries. If the --count option is specified, the resulting count is also limited to LIMIT. -m, --mmap Ignored, for compatibility with BSD and GNU locate. -P, --nofollow, -H When checking whether files exist (if the --existing option is specified), do not follow trailing symbolic links. This causes broken symbolic links to be reported like other files. This is the opposite of --follow. -0, --null Separate the entries on output using the ASCII NUL character in‐ stead of writing each entry on a separate line. This option is designed for interoperability with the --null option of GNU xargs(1). -S, --statistics Write statistics about each read database to standard output in‐ stead of searching for files and exit successfully. -q, --quiet Write no messages about errors encountered while reading and processing databases. -r, --regexp REGEXP Search for a basic regexp REGEXP. No PATTERNs are allowed if this option is used, but this option can be specified multiple times. --regex Interpret all PATTERNs as extended regexps. -s, --stdio Ignored, for compatibility with BSD and GNU locate. -V, --version Write information about the version and license of locate on standard output and exit successfully. -w, --wholename Match only the whole path name against the specified patterns. This is the default behavior. The opposite can be specified us‐ ing --basename.
To search for a file named exactly NAME (not *NAME*), use locate -b '\NAME' Because \ is a globbing character, this disables the implicit replace‐ ment of NAME by *NAME*.
/var/lib/mlocate/mlocate.db The database searched by default.
LOCATE_PATH Path to additional databases, added after the default database or the databases specified using the --database option.
The order in which the requested databases are processed is unspeci‐ fied, which allows locate to reorder the database path for security reasons. locate attempts to be compatible to slocate (without the options used for creating databases) and GNU locate, in that order. This is the reason for the impractical default --follow option and for the confus‐ ing set of --regex and --regexp options. The short spelling of the -r option is incompatible to GNU locate, where it corresponds to the --regex option. Use the long option names to avoid confusion. The LOCATE_PATH environment variable replaces the default database in BSD and GNU locate, but it is added to other databases in this imple‐ mentation and slocate.