slocate – Command to Find a File or Directory

The slocate command is used to find a file or directory on a Linux system. It searches a database of files and directories that have been indexed for faster searching. This command is useful for finding files or directories that you may have lost or misplaced on your system.


The slocate command is easy to use and provides fast results. To use the command, simply type slocate followed by the name of the file or directory you are searching for. For example, to find the file example.txt, you would type:

slocate example.txt

This command will search the indexed database and return any matches found. If you are looking for a directory, simply add a forward slash at the end of the name:

slocate my_directory/

The slocate command is case-insensitive, meaning that it will find files or directories regardless of whether they are capitalized or not. However, it does not search for files or directories that are hidden, so if you are looking for a hidden file or directory, you will need to use the find command instead.

Specific Use Cases

  • Finding lost or misplaced files or directories
  • Searching for files or directories that you know exist but cannot remember where they are located
  • Quickly locating files or directories without having to manually search through your entire system


  • To find the file example.txt:
slocate example.txt
  • To find the directory my_directory:
slocate my_directory/
  • To find all files with the extension .pdf:
slocate *.pdf


The slocate command has several options that can be used to customize the search. These options are listed in the table below:

Option Description
-c Display the number of matches found
-e Search for files or directories that have been excluded from the database
-i Ignore case when searching
-q Quiet mode – do not display any output
-r Use regular expressions when searching
-u Update the database before searching
-V Display the version number of the slocate command

Troubleshooting Tips

If you are having trouble finding a file or directory using the slocate command, there are a few troubleshooting tips you can try:

  • Update the database using the -u option before searching to ensure that the most up-to-date information is being used.
  • Check that the file or directory you are searching for is not hidden. slocate does not search for hidden files or directories.
  • Try using the find command instead if you are still unable to locate the file or directory.


  • The slocate command may not be installed on all Linux distributions by default. If you cannot find the command on your system, you may need to install it using your package manager.
  • The slocate command is not recommended for use in security-sensitive environments as it can be used to locate files that may contain sensitive information. In these cases, it is recommended to use a more secure search tool such as find or grep.