UPDATEDB(1) General Commands Manual UPDATEDB(1)
updatedb - update a file name database
This manual page documents the GNU version of updatedb, which updates file name databases used by GNU locate. The file name databases con-
tain lists of files that were in particular directory trees when the databases were last updated. The file name of the default database is
determined when locate and updatedb are configured and installed. The frequency with which the databases are updated and the directories
for which they contain entries depend on how often updatedb is run, and with which arguments.
In networked environments, it often makes sense to build a database at the root of each filesystem, containing the entries for that
filesystem. updatedb is then run for each filesystem on the fileserver where that filesystem is on a local disk, to prevent thrashing the
network. Users can select which databases locate searches using an environment variable or command line option; see locate(1). Databases
can not be concatenated together.
The file name database format changed starting with GNU find and locate version 4.0 to allow machines with different byte orderings to
share the databases. The new GNU locate can read both the old and new database formats. However, old versions of locate and find produce
incorrect results if given a new-format database.
Global options to pass on to find. The environment variable FINDOPTIONS also sets this value. Default is none.
Non-network directories to put in the database. Default is /.
Network (NFS, AFS, RFS, etc.) directories to put in the database. The environment variable NETPATHS also sets this value. Default
Directories to not put in the database, which would otherwise be. Remove any trailing slashes from the path names, otherwise updat-
edb won't recognise the paths you want to omit (because it uses them as regular expression patterns). The environment variable
PRUNEPATHS also sets this value. Default is /tmp /usr/tmp /var/tmp /afs.
File systems to not put in the database, which would otherwise be. Note that files are pruned when a file system is reached; any
file system mounted under an undesired file system will be ignored. The environment variable PRUNEFS also sets this value. Default
is nfs NFS proc.
The database file to build. Default is /var/lib/locatedb.
The user to search non-network directories as, using su(1). Default is to search the non-network directories as the current user.
You can also use the environment variable LOCALUSER to set this user.
The user to search network directories as, using su(1). Default is nobody. You can also use the environment variable NETUSER to
set this user.
Create the database in the old format. This is a synonym for --dbformat=old.
Create the database in format F. The default format is called LOCATE02. F can be old to select the old database format (this is
the same as specifying --old-format). Alternatively the slocate format is also supported. When the slocate format is in use, the
database produced is marked as having security level 1. If you want to build a system-wide slocate database, you may want to run
updatedb as root.
Print the version number of updatedb and exit.
--help Print a summary of the options to updatedb and exit.
find(1), locate(1), locatedb(5), xargs(1) Finding Files (on-line in Info, or printed)
The updatedb program correctly handles filenames containing newlines, but only if the system's sort command has a working -z option. If
you suspect that locate may need to return filenames containing newlines, consider using its --null option.
The best way to report a bug is to use the form at http://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?group=findutils. The reason for this is that you will
then be able to track progress in fixing the problem. Other comments about updatedb(1) and about the findutils package in general can be
sent to the bug-findutils mailing list. To join the list, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.