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Locate-like tool but which indexes files metadata as well (and allows you to search)


I'm dealing with millions and millions of small files in a directory
structure and finding something with 'find' takes ages.

So I was wandering if there is a locate-like tool which periodically
indexes the files, but instead of storing only the path names, it also
stores the files' metadata (like permissions, ownership, modified time,
size, etc.; basically everything that 'stat' reports). The tool would
then allow me to search much in the same way as 'find' does, allowing
for complex queries. I'm not interested in "desktop-search tools" (like
tracker, Recoll, Beagle and friends) that index the contents of the
files, I'm interested only and only in the files' path and metadata.
After I have identified the files from metadata searches, I can then
perform content searches using some other grep-like tools. I don't care
that the indexing can take days, the files don't change very often and I
can let the indexer run in the background with some lower ionice
priority to not disturb the machine's disk IO subsistem too much.

So, is there such a beast anywhere? I have searched high and low on the
Internets but I haven't had any luck so far. Maybe somebody here knows
something that I missed... Or maybe I have a wrong approach, don't know
(I know that I can restrict find's maxdepth and I can tell it to start
searching from a deeper path in the directory structure, but it's a
hassle to find how deep I should go). BTW: why doesn't locate store
files' metadata? I mean, it already passes through all the files, why
does it store only the files' paths and names in the index?

Adrian Fita

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