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I need to find files using a gui. Can I use linux?

 
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e_james



Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 4:50 am
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Location: Northern Ireland, UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:28 am    Post subject: I need to find files using a gui. Can I use linux? Reply with quote

I have about 20TB of storage on my home network scattered over about 19 hard drives and even more partitions. I routinely search for files by name using Windows XP Pro SP2 (maybe 50 times per day). The search results appear in a file manager window where the files can be copied, moved, deleted, renamed, opened and edited. Some of the file locations are local partitions; some are network locations with a Windows assigned drive letter and some are network references such as "\\Usbstation2\usbshare1\VF\HCV". Over the last few years I have worked out the necessary rules and tweaks for successful searches using Windows XP. My most popular search covers 11 distinct locations and another covers 17 locations. I know a workable procedure for Windows Vista and I have no idea how to do it using Windows 7 or 8 or Linux. This is one of the main reasons why I still use XP.

Can anyone tell me how to achieve the same or similar result using linux?

NB. I may post the same or a similar question in other Linux forums. This one is the first.
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Dutch_Master
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Provided any shared partitions are available (mounted!) Linux can search across a network. Use Samba (or CIFS as it's now named) to tie in the remote partitions (and their data) to your main Linux machine.
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e_james



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your reply.

Currently I have the following line in my Lubuntu netbook fstab

192.168.1.46:/VF /media/n3vf cifs defaults,password=xxxx 0 0

(not the true password)

I'm not really sure why the values are what they are but it seems to work.

Why does Ubuntu prefer to use /media rather than /mnt?

I'm not sure how to use host names. I'm not sure exactly what a host name is.

Next question. How do I try a search? PCManFM doesn't seem to understand the concept. I installed Nautilus but I don't know how to start it appropriately. Ubuntu has "Search for Files" under "Accessories". Where does that come from?

How does Linux handle wildcards? Typically in Windows XP I would search for "*JOHN*MARY*WEDDING*20??*.AVI"; Can I do that with Linux?
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wyliecoyoteuk
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

/media is for removable media
/mnt is for temporary mounting filesytems manually.

A host name is the name of the pc, which is linked to the IP address.
A hostname needs a method of name resolution such as DNS, netbios or WINS to be running on the network.
E.g. \\hostname\sharename
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purplepenguin
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Next question. How do I try a search? PCManFM doesn't seem to understand the concept. I installed Nautilus but I don't know how to start it appropriately. Ubuntu has "Search for Files" under "Accessories". Where does that come from?


I have never used PCManFM. Do you mean you can't find a search facility?

You maybe better trying Thunar on a lightweight system such as Lubuntu. Nautilus maybe a bit heavy on resources.

If Nautilus does not appear in the apps menu. You can launch it via CLI or even create a launcher on the desktop.

I'm using Mint with Nemo. Which I think is a fork or re-brand of Nautilus (it looks the same anyway). It does indeed search across samba shares as I've just found out.

All the wildcards you have used in your suggested search string will work in Linux.

Hope that helps
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johnhudson
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PCManFM is a very lightweight desktop which relies on the programs you have installed; it does not have any way of searching for files in the way you want.

KDE has Nepomuk which is alleged to be much faster in version 4.10 but I've not used it.
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purplepenguin
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought PCmanFM was a file manager.

Anyway, Had a quick google and it seems that you need to install a search tool http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1888733

You could use, Gnome-search-tool or catfish.
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e_james



Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 4:50 am
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have found that, in order to use software successfully, it is essential to understand the working environment in which it is intended to be used. It also helps to understand how the designer thinks.

I believe I may have made a breakthrough in understanding Linux. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that all of the following mount points will work just fine for my network drive mentioned above

/media/n3vf /mnt/n3vf /boot/n3vf
/home/n3vf /etc/cups/n3vf /somethingelse/n3vf

There is a standard practice for removable media and temporary mounts but, since my network drive is neither of these, I am free to do as I please. Unless somebody can tell me different.

I had thought that maybe using a hostname would be helpful in a dhcp environment in case the ip address changes but, if name resolution is required, there seems to be nothing to gain.

Apparently "Search for files" is the gnome-search-tool which doesn't seem to understand wildcards but does allow a few operations on the files found. Catfish understands wildcards but I can't see any way to do anything (e.g. copy or delete) with the files in the results box.

I noticed that catfish is a gui frontend for the find command so I had another look at the man page for find. It would be really helpful if it was written in English, perhaps with some useful examples.

Nautilus does allow file operations on the results but I can't see how to use wildcards.

I also need a way to provide a list of search locations (i.e. a search path). I don't usually want to start at the top of the tree (/media). In Windows XP I have several saved path strings I use as required.

purplepenguin

Can you clarify what you mean by "across samba shares" please?
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purplepenguin
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm disappointed to see that wildcards cannot be used with Nautilus/Gnome-search. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/nautilus/+bug/41704


Quote:
purplepenguin

Can you clarify what you mean by "across samba shares" please?


If I search the word Movies then the FM on Mint Cinnamon returns results from my home dir on the local machine and results from my fileserver's shared location - which is shared using samba.
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purplepenguin
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK just been playing with searching and this is what I found out.
Using Nautilus / Nemo.

I have several hundred photos of my kids and other family members stored on my fileserver. If I enter a search string of

Code:
char gra ma
Then I get results of images who's tilte contain the words Charlie and granny Mackie.

Likewise if I search for
Code:
lie ddy
I get results for images who's name contains Charlie and Daddy.

Although Nautilus dosen't understand wildcards it can search for part text.

Going back to your original search string
Quote:
"*JOHN*MARY*WEDDING*20??*


If you omit the wildcards "JOHN MARY WEDDING 20" then you should get the result that you require.

Quote:
I also need a way to provide a list of search locations (i.e. a search path). I don't usually want to start at the top of the tree (/media). In Windows XP I have several saved path strings I use as required.


Once a search has been started, you can narrow it by location or file type. I have no idea how to start a search from a particular location other than first going to said location and then starting a search. (if I know the file I need is on drive XYZ. I'd first navigate to the root of XYZ and then start a search)
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