Nautilius bookmark/save searches

I liked the feature to bookmark or save a search, that nautilus used to provide. While there are other file managers that support it, those alternatives are not as well integrated with gnome and/or have an inferior search function (not indexed/ don’t follow symlinks/…).

Are there any plans to implement that functionality again? I think it would be nice to have a ‘Add to Bookmarks’ in the drop down next to the address bar when searching.

I was trying to get it to work myself, but failed. For me a solution where I could start nautilus with a special URI as a parameter would work just fine. Something like this:

nautilus search:///search_term

Is there a way to get this to work?



Hi! Welcome to our community forums.

There are no plans, and I’m not aware of anybody currently working on that.

That was present in earlier design mockups. It was a few years ago, so it would be necessary to check with our design team again.

Search needs also a scope, and may optionally have type and date filters. It would need to be something like:

nautilus $HOME --search-text="search term" --search-type="image/png"

But I’m not sure what’s the use case, maybe there is a better alternative than the command line.


Hi, thank you for your answer!

I am just very used to the functionality, and use it to keep track of files. For example I save the search for “.Rproj” files in my documents, to get a quick list of all my R Projects. The search itself is already super fast with nautilus, but it would just be a tiny bit more convenient to have it as a bookmark.

The command line idea was one of the things I tried while looking for a workaround. PCManFM for example uses a URI for searches that looks like this:


Is there something like that for nautilus? It would allow me to manually create a bookmark to URIs like that to save my searches.

Thanks for the use case. Is this something you do frequently?

I wonder if an automatic list of recent/frequent searches (hypothetically shown when clicking the search button, and/or offered as autocompletion when you start typing) would be more convenient than expecting the user to remember to save the search.

No, at the moment there isn’t.

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If you are happy with console output rather than a GUI, the tracker search command should work for this.

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I use this all the time, when working on a Mac or Windows machine, as both have a variation of that functionality in Finder/File Explorer. My projects are scattered in a quite complex folder structure that is hard to navigate, with the saved search I can just pick a project by its name without having to remember in what sub-folder the files are stored.

That would actually be quite close to having a bookmark for it. Recent searches being suggested when entering a new one is also something I am used to from other file managers. Having both, suggestion of recent searches and the bookmark option for searches, would be best in my opinion. Both functionalities seem to be common in other file managers. But having the suggestions would already be awesome!

That looks interesting, thank you very much for the suggestion. Does nautilus use tracker for the search functionality? A pure console solution is not really what I am looking for, the results should be clickable, but this looks like it might help me to to put together a workaround.

Nautilus uses Tracker for search where possible. Tracker indexes contents of the XDG data dirs and top level of the home directory. So full text search is available in those locations using Tracker. For other locations, Nautilus does its own recursive filename based search. (@antoniof can correct me if I’m wrong here : )

I’m interested in improving Tracker’s commandline interface, so if you have any suggestions for that, let me know :slight_smile:

I played around with track a little bit. tracker search unfortunately leads to the behavior that is described here and here. I am also on Ubuntu 20.04.

I was able to get some results with tracker sparql. It does look like it is not indexing the files I want to search for as I can find ‘png’ files, but ‘Rproj’ files are never listed in the results.

Interesting – I still have no idea about that linking issue that shows up on Ubuntu.
There are a few things that cause files to be ignored by Tracker. Are the Rproj files inside a Git repo, by any chance?

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Some are, some are not.

Is there a way to look at the whole database that tracker stores the index in?

There will be once this is merged :slight_smile:

You can list all the files with tracker search --files --limit=1000000; since that’s broken on Ubuntu, you could also do… tracker sparql -q 'SELECT ?url { ?urn nie:url ?url }'. Then you can use tracker info to see details of individual files.

The actual database is an sqlite3 database in ~/.cache/tracker/meta.db, however since Tracker works hard to pretend that it is a SPARQL store, looking at the underlying SQL database won’t be super helpful.

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Thanks @sthursfield ! I learned a lot about tracker here, I hope I’ll have some time to dive into it more!

I have managed to set up a solution for myself just using find and for the moment that’ll have to do. Would be nice to have the bookmarked search/ recent search suggestion feature!

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