Google Desktop for Linux

I got a nice surprise today. I scrolled through the Slashdot feed, and saw a story about Google finally releasing their desktop search tool on Linux. So I immediately went and downloaded a copy.

I like Google Desktop Search because it simply works, and because it integrates with Gmail. I previously tried Beagle but it just didn’t work for me. I had it installed for over a month now, but even the simplest queries returned odd results. For example, queries for the word thesis would yield no results even after a month of indexing, despite the fact that I had about 20 tex files, and a huge pile of pdf files with the word thesis right in their title. Same goes for Web Timesheet and Replicon – I have about a hundred of back and forward emails with that company regarding the timesheet software, and bunch of proposals in PDF form, and some excel spreadsheets with time-sheet in the name.

I restarted the daemon and reset the index many times – but it would never work. Google Desktop Search on the other hand – just worked. I tried above queries with the index only at 15% and I already got very relevant hits. So I’m sold. Goodbye Beagle, welcome Google Desktop.

Btw, it’s nice of Google to provide both an RPM and a Deb as installation choices. I had no issues installing the deb package on Dapper and Google claims it will work on just about any Ubuntu and Debian system. Nice. Although, I have to say this is probably the first linux application that forced me to “reboot” to complete the installation. Ok, it didn’t really tell me to reboot – it just said the search will start next time I log in. So I logged out, and logged back in and then it kicked into place. Very odd. What would they ever need to do that?

And yes, I know, I know. Google will steal my data, eat my soul, and sell my pr0n to the feds. We went over all of that. I’m not scared. I have yet to see some proof showing that Desktop search transmits private information back to Google.

I’m just glad to see that people at Google do care about Linux users, and when they promise a port, they can deliver it.

[tags]google desktop search, google desktop search on linux, google linux, search, beagle[/tags]

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5 Responses to Google Desktop for Linux

  1. Pingback: University Update - Linux - Google Desktop for Linux UNITED STATES

  2. Sean Carlos ITALY Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    I suspect the problem you had with Beagle was with missing programs required for complete runtime processing, i.e. xpdf in the case of PDF files. See the Optional prerequisites page for more.

    I would agree that getting up and running with Beagle is far from simple. That said, Beagle currently supports many more file types than Google Desktop Search for Linux. Not an easy choice.

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  3. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    I’m pretty sure I had xpdf. I was also annoyed at Beagle’s inability to properly index my Kmail email. It would index some emails (incidentally most of them from 2005) and then declare it’s done. None of the new messages were included in the index, and I couldn’t find any correspondence regarding recent issues.

    So yeah, it does support more file types. But I just couldn’t get it to work, and I didn’t feel like spending inordinate amount of time to troubleshoot it. I really wanted to like Beagle. And it may still be a valid solution for some. For some reason though it just didn’t work properly on my box.

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  4. Topper Harley ITALY Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    Here is a working ebuild for gentoo:


    # Copyright 1999-2007 Gentoo Foundation
    # Distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License v2
    # $Header: $
    inherit rpm
    DESCRIPTION="Google desktop search"
    src_install() {
        cd ${WORKDIR}
        dodir /opt/google/desktop
        cp -R opt/google/desktop/* "${D}"/opt/google/desktop
        dodir /var/cache/google/desktop
        keepdir /var/cache/google/desktop
        insinto /etc/cron.hourly
        doins etc/cron.hourly/gdl-update
        dosym /opt/google/desktop/bin/gdlinux /usr/bin/gdlinux
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  5. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Topper, thanks for sharing this! I don’t use gentoo, but I’m sure someone will find this useful. :)

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