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 contain lists of files that were in particu-
lar 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 fre-
quency 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 thrash-
ing 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
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 is none.
Directories to not put in the database, which would otherwise be. Remove any
trailing slashes from the path names, otherwise updatedb won't recognise the paths
you want to omit (because it uses them as regular expression patterns). The envi-
ronment variable PRUNEPATHS also sets this value. Default is /tmp /usr/tmp
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 unde-
sired 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-for-
mat). 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 sys-
tem'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://savan-
nah.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 email@example.com.