LOCATEDB(5)                                           LOCATEDB(5)

          locatedb - front-compressed file name database

          This manual page documents the format of file name databases
          for the GNU version of locate.  The file name databases con-
          tain lists of files that were in particular directory trees
          when the databases were last updated.

          There can be multiple databases.  Users can select which
          databases locate searches using an environment variable or
          command line option; see locate(1).  The system administra-
          tor can choose the file name of the default database, the
          frequency with which the databases are updated, and the
          directories for which they contain entries.  Normally, file
          name databases are updated by running the updatedb program
          periodically, typically nightly; see updatedb(1).

     GNU LOCATE02 database format
          This is the default format of databases produced by
          updatedb.  The updatedb program runs frcode to compress the
          list of file names using front-compression, which reduces
          the database size by a factor of 4 to 5.  Front-compression
          (also known as incremental encoding) works as follows.

          The database entries are a sorted list (case-insensitively,
          for users' convenience).  Since the list is sorted, each
          entry is likely to share a prefix (initial string) with the
          previous entry.  Each database entry begins with an signed
          offset-differential count byte, which is the additional num-
          ber of characters of prefix of the preceding entry to use
          beyond the number that the preceding entry is using of its
          predecessor.  (The counts can be negative.)  Following the
          count is a null-terminated ASCII remainder - the part of the
          name that follows the shared prefix.

          If the offset-differential count is larger than can be
          stored in a signed byte (+_127), the byte has the value 0x80
          (binary 10000000) and the actual count follows in a 2-byte
          word, with the high byte first (network byte order).  This
          count can also be negative (the sign bit being in the first
          of the two bytes).

          Every database begins with a dummy entry for a file called
          `LOCATE02', which locate checks for to ensure that the data-
          base file has the correct format; it ignores the entry in
          doing the search.

          Databases cannot be concatenated together, even if the first
          (dummy) entry is trimmed from all but the first database.

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     LOCATEDB(5)                                           LOCATEDB(5)

          This is because the offset-differential count in the first
          entry of the second and following databases will be wrong.

          In the future, the data within the locate database may not
          be sorted in any particular order.  To obtain sorted
          results, pipe the output of locate through sort -f.

     slocate database format
          The slocate program uses a database format similar to, but
          not quite the same as, GNU locate.  The first byte of the
          database specifies its security level. If the security level
          is 0, slocate will read, match and print filenames on the
          basis of the information in the database only.  However, if
          the security level byte is 1, slocate omits entries from its
          output if the invoking user is unable to access them.  The
          second byte of the database is zero.  The second byte is
          followed by the first database entry.  The first entry in
          the database is not preceded by any differential count or
          dummy entry.  Instead the differential count for the first
          item is assumed to be zero.

          Starting with the second entry (if any) in the database,
          data is interpreted as for the GNU LOCATE02 format.

     Old Locate Database format
          There is also an old database format, used by Unix locate
          and find programs and earlier releases of the GNU ones.
          updatedb runs programs called bigram and code to produce
          old-format databases.  The old format differs from the above
          description in the following ways.  Instead of each entry
          starting with an offset-differential count byte and ending
          with a null, byte values from 0 through 28 indicate offset-
          differential counts from -14 through 14.  The byte value
          indicating that a long offset-differential count follows is
          0x1e (30), not 0x80.  The long counts are stored in host
          byte order, which is not necessarily network byte order, and
          host integer word size, which is usually 4 bytes.  They also
          represent a count 14 less than their value.  The database
          lines have no termination byte; the start of the next line
          is indicated by its first byte having a value _< 30.

          In addition, instead of starting with a dummy entry, the old
          database format starts with a 256 byte table containing the
          128 most common bigrams in the file list.  A bigram is a
          pair of adjacent bytes.  Bytes in the database that have the
          high bit set are indexes (with the high bit cleared) into
          the bigram table.  The bigram and offset-differential count
          coding makes these databases 20en25% smaller than the new
          format, but makes them not 8-bit clean.  Any byte in a file
          name that is in the ranges used for the special codes is
          replaced in the database by a question mark, which not coin-
          cidentally is the shell wildcard to match a single

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     LOCATEDB(5)                                           LOCATEDB(5)


          Input to frcode:

          Length of the longest prefix of the preceding entry to share:
          0 /usr/src
          8 /cmd/aardvark.c
          14 rmadillo.c
          5 tmp/zoo

          Output from frcode, with trailing nulls changed to newlines
          and count bytes made printable:
          0 LOCATE02
          0 /usr/src
          8 /cmd/aardvark.c
          6 rmadillo.c
          -9 tmp/zoo

          (6 = 14 - 8, and -9 = 5 - 14)

          GNU findutils online help:
          Report any translation bugs to

          Report any other issue via the form at the GNU Savannah bug
          General topics about the GNU findutils package are discussed
          at the bug-findutils mailing list:

          Copyright c 1994-2021 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
          License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later
          This is free software: you are free to change and redis-
          tribute it.  There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted
          by law.

          find(1), locate(1), xargs(1), locatedb(5)

          Full documentation
          or available locally via: info locatedb

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