8 Most Awesome Quick File Searching Tools for Linux Desktop

Over the years we have covered some of the best file searching tools for the Linux desktop and till date, the titles that we covered remain the most sought out for by users.

Today, we bring you a compiled list of the 8 most awesome so that you don’t have to do all that work yourself any longer.

1. Cerebro

Cerebro is a cross-platform, system-wide search tool for any Linux distro that enables users to quickly search for and navigate to any file anywhere in their system.

Cerebro features a modern minimalist UI with plugin support and the ability to display accurate previews of the files in the search results.

Cerebro - Desktop FilesysteCerebro - Desktop Filesystem Search Appm Search-App
Cerebro – Desktop Filesystem Search App

2. Synapse

Synapse is a smart launcher with extensive searching capabilities. It is powered by the Zeitgeist engine which enables users to search for anything logged by the Zeitgeist.

Apart from just searching for desktop files, you can use it to search for documentation, find word definitions, play music files in Banshee, and comes out of the box with 4 themes to choose from.

Its abilities can also be extended using plugins and it can be summoned universally by pressing Ctrl+Space.

Synapse Application Launcher for Ubuntu
Synapse Application Launcher for Ubuntu

3. FSearch

Fsearch is an advanced searching tool for Unix and all Unix-like platforms with a plethora of features including the ability to filter file and folder search results, use wildcards, Regular Expressions, and work with keyboard shortcuts.

FSearch is popular for its speed, which coupled with a nice UI, is bound to provide you with an enjoyable use.

FSearch - Search Tool for Desktop
FSearch – Search Tool for Desktop

4. ULauncher

Ulauncher is a smart app launcher that you can also use to efficiently search for any files and settings on your system.

You can use it to instantly search for apps, settings, and files, and you can perform searches by using location paths as a filter. It also features integration with Google and Wikipedia so you can perform online searches directly from your desktop. You should definitely check ULauncher out.

Ulauncher for Ubuntu
Ulauncher for Ubuntu

5. ANGRYsearch

ANGRYsearch is a performance-focused file searching tool that instantly populates its search result fields as you type. Just like FSearch, it offers quick file indexing, RegEx support, a clean UI, and support for all Linux distros.

It also features 3 search modes with different search results properties – slow, fast, and regex; and 2 use modes – Lite and Full. You should definitely check ANGRYsearch out.

AngrySearch File Search Tools
AngrySearch File Search Tools

6. Catfish

Catfish is a speedy search tool especially because it takes advantage of the presence of files already in your machine to handle your search queries.

You can use it to search for hidden files and work with it via the terminal. Catfish, among other tools, is a Linux productivity tool worth your time.

Catfish File Searching Tool
Catfish File Searching Tool

7. Krunner

Krunner is the open-source launcher (Alt + F2 or Alt + SPACE) built into the popular Plasma desktop environment with the ability to have its functions extended using plugins referred to as “runners”.

KRunner Launcher
KRunner Launcher

It is available to install as a stand-alone app launcher provided you install the dependencies listed on its website where you will also find an inexhaustive list of what you can use it for and that includes opening apps, making calculations, accessing bookmarks, opening web pages, etc.

8. Recoll

Recoll is an open-source full-text search system created for Unix/Linux users to make a full-text search using a GUI. It is capable of finding documents based on their file names, content, attachment, etc. For example, Recoll can index the content of word documents in a zip file in Thunderbird – awesome stuff.

Recoll - Desktop Search Tool
Recoll – Desktop Search Tool

You can extend Recoll’s functionality using external applications for text attraction and it also has versions for Windows and macOS platforms.

All the listed tools here are excellent at searching and launching files among other capabilities like looking up word definitions and launching applications. And despite their similar features, they all have their unique qualities so it is left to you to make your choice.

Have you got any experience with these tools? Or maybe I have left out some cool titles. Drop your comments in the section below.

Divine Okoi is a cybersecurity postgrad with a passion for the open-source community. With 700+ articles covering different topics in IT, you can always trust him to inform you about the coolest tech.

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9 thoughts on “8 Most Awesome Quick File Searching Tools for Linux Desktop”

  1. Please tell me which one(s) are best, or make a table of their strong and weak points. I can’t try 8 different apps, or even read about them all.

  2. Does any of these tools search words inside text files? Like, say, if I have the word “home” inside some text document, does it search it and list the text document as a result if the word is included in it? At least Catfish, Recoll and FSearch are not doing it.

      • Good. I think cerebro is inspired on Firefox’s Ubiquity extension. But I haven’t found any information about that. Did you know Ubiquity?

  3. I tried ‘Catfish’, after having heard of it for a long time. It happens to be in (at least one of) Mint’s Program Managers, so it was a no-brainer to install; it gets a a lot of positive reviews in the Program Manager. It’s a very good search program.
    Many thanks to you, and Ms. Pilipenko, here (hyperlink, above): ” Linux productivity tool worth your time”.


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