GNOME global search doesn't find any files in my native language

Dear forum, I am not sure if I am in the correct place, but I am sure to be corrected if not.

So I have noticed that when ever I search for file names in my native language, the global search does not show them. I have also noticed that the global search does not accept special characters. The shell has my language installed and displays correctly. The inputs are selected to my language.
This is giving me some headache because this is a function I really like and would like to get working.
I am not sure if I have missed some settings somewhere or if this is a bug.

To explain a bit better, if I search for my “Tímaskráning.ods” it will display as “Timaskraning.ods” even if I put in the special characters for that file.
Funny enough, my file “Dagbók.ods” shows up right up around when I try to put in “ó” in the search area. Having a regular “o” does not show the the file as a suggestion.

I am running Endeavour OS, if more info is needed, I will be happy to add it.
I have not had much luck searching for this exact behavior on the internet.

Hello, this should work, but it’s possible there’s missing test coverage and/or a bug.

Filesystem search results in GNOME Shell are provided by the Nautilus (Files) search provider. Do you see the same issue searching in Nautilus?

The Nautilus search provider, in turn, uses tracker-miner-fs-3 to do provide full text search and (i think) filename matches. Does your issue reproduce when running searches with tracker3directly in the commandline?

e.g… does tracker3 search Tímaskráning.odsreturn expected results?

PS. I don’t know Endeavour OS, so I’ve described how things work in a “stock” GNOME 43 setup.

Thank you for the reply. The Nautilus seems to be working correctly and it finds my file without any problem. However, the folders are presented in weird way, shouldn’t it show the icelandic characters?

tracker3 search Tímaskráning.ods

Endeavour OS is an Arch derivative, and is very close to Arch setup.

The output of tracker3 search gives you two things for each file:

  • the location, which is a URI
  • the filename, as a string

If I copy and paste file:///home/olividir/Skj%C3%B6l/H%C3%A1sk%C3%B3li/Meistaran%C3%A1m/Hlutavinn into then I see this:


Note that the last part of the URI is hidden because it didn’t fit in the terminal, if you press the right arrow key you can see the rest.

OK, it sounds like the search engine itself is working as expected, perhaps the problem is the UI in GNOME Shell not displaying the special characters correctly?

The next step would be to open an issue at Issues · GNOME / gnome-shell · GitLab. In this case a short video might be useful, on a modern GNOME desktop you can use the screenshot tool to make a quick screencast to better illustrate the issue.

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Ok, will do.

I love this feature of finding what ever I want by just typing.
Thank you for the help, and IF I get some answers from issues - GNOME / gnome-shell-GitLab I’ll put them in here.

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I thought of another thing you can do to try to locate the issue. I have a tool which is useful for debugging search providers. If you have time, please try this and paste the result:

git clone
cd desktop-search
python3 ./ --provider org.gnome.Nautilus --debug Tímaskráning.ods

That will show us if the special characters are being lost in the Nautilus search provider, rather than the Shell.

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I got this results

python3 ./ --provider org.gnome.Nautilus --debug Tímaskráning.ods
DEBUG:root:Reading /usr/share/gnome-shell/search-providers/org.gnome.Calculator-search-provider.ini
DEBUG:root:Reading /usr/share/gnome-shell/search-providers/
DEBUG:root:Reading /usr/share/gnome-shell/search-providers/
DEBUG:root:Reading /usr/share/gnome-shell/search-providers/gnome-terminal-search-provider.ini
INFO:root:Searching Search provider org.gnome.Nautilus.desktop
DEBUG:root:org.gnome.Nautilus.desktop: Calling GetInitialResultSet()
DEBUG:root:org.gnome.Nautilus.desktop: Calling GetResultMetas()
    "provider": "org.gnome.Nautilus",
    "results": [
            "id": "file:///home/olividir/Skj%C3%B6l/H%C3%A1sk%C3%B3li/Meistaran%C3%A1m/Hlutavinna/T%C3%ADmaskr%C3%A1ning.ods",
            "name": "T\u00edmaskr\u00e1ning.ods",
            "description": "/home/olividir/Skj\u00f6l/H\u00e1sk\u00f3li/Meistaran\u00e1m/Hlutavinna",
            "icon": [

but because I don’t know what I am looking for, this doesn’t tell me anything.

Thanks for that. What it tells me, is that the “name” field does have special characters, i.e. the í has not been converted to a regular i here. This is more evidence that the problem is in GNOME Shell itself.

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I am making the video, working on the sound so people can understand what I mean.

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This seems to be specific Arch problem, because I get no problems with this on Fedora.

I’m scratching my head what comes into play for this: in Activities Overview on Arch Linux I can’t type composable characters (but I can in apps), on Fedora I can. Is it a missing package, a compile time option Arch Linux didn’t use or some setting difference with Fedora? The gtk-im-* settings are the same between my Arch Linux and Fedora.

Exactly, this is way beyond my knowledge and is something that maintainers should check out.

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ibus is already installed, just installed ibus-libpinyin

After installing ibus-libpinyin and restart, my global menu takes Icelandic characters that depend on dead keys.

I only needed to install the ibus package and log out and back in. I can now type composed characters in Activities Overview on Arch Linux. I didn’t need to install any ibus-somename packages.

Well, ibus was already installed over here. So I have no idea why that didn’t work for me.

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