Database Layer VFS with integration into Nautilus

Hi there,

two years ago I finally switched to Linux and I’m loving it. However I’m missing some features and I want to become a Gnome developer and implement them. The purpose of this post is to describe what I imagine, to get feedback if there is already something similar that I’m just missing, to see if others would want this as well and to get a feeling if an implementation would be accepted by Gnome.

First, I want to improve the experience with Nautilus accessing SMB shares:

  • Currently the generation of thumbnails is slow, because every image needs to be fully transmitted over the network. If I search the internet I can see thumbnails of pictures from all over the world faster than Nautilus shows me thumbnails of pictures from my local server. And I mean faster by a lot!
  • Searching for files is not that fast either and searching for files by content is … impossible? I mean there is an option for that, but whenever I tried, it didn’t work. I’d like to have a Google-like experience here as well.

I’d like to implement something like a virtual file system that stores metadata about its files in a Postgres database on the server side and I want to equip Nautilus with the functionality to access the information in that database. Metadata like thumbnails, file hashes, information from EXIF and ID3 tags and an index of the file contents. I hope this is possible via an extension to the Samba protocol.

What do you think about this?

1 Like

Hi, zunsha, and welcome to the GNOME community!

About thumbnails, are you planning to generate a thumbnail on the server side, such that the client can download the thumbnail instead of the whole file? I know Google Drive does this, and it is supported by GVFS backend for Google Drive, which sets the thumbnail in the preview::icon attribute.

For file searching (including search by content), nautilus uses the tracker database populated by the tracker-miners-fs program. By default, it indexes the content subdirectories in the user home directory (Documents, Music, etc). You should look into tracker if you want a database of files.

Yes, I’m planning to generate (and cache) the thumbnails on the server side.

Ah okay, tracker-miners-fs does run on my system and Nautilus does find files with the .txt extension in my home directory by searching for their content (it just doesn’t index text files without extension which is what I tried last time). I’ll investigate if this works over Samba.

Thanks for the clues!

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