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10.4: Create an all-encompassing Spotlight index
Authored by: sjonke on Feb 23, '06 08:12:22AM

FYI, I used the "mdimport -f /usr" command in the Terminal, and that does seem to work, *mostly*. The first binary executable I tried it did *not* find. However, it does find other ones. See below for more on this!

I am now using this command (in terminal) to index my entire drive:

mdimport -f /

It's running as I type. The "-f" makes it index directories normally not indexed. It takes a very long time to run and you get a lot of warnings about zip files when it runs into them, but that doesn't seem to matter. I can't figure out any way to suppress those messages - even redirecting standard output and standard error to /dev/null doesn't seem to stop it.

Regarding that binary executable that didn't get found, I found out why it didn't get found. I have an executable called "catmovie" which is in /usr/local/bin. In the Finder, and at the Terminal the file is called that, "catmovie". But when I do an mdls on the file, for some reason it is indexed as having a "Display Name" of "muxmovie"! What? I take it this must be a bug in the indexer, but I don't know. I also do have a "muxmovie" executable in the same directory, and it's "Display Name" is, correctly, "muxmovie". The spotlight menu and window search on the "Display name" and that's why they weren't finding "catmovie". Or were they?

It gets weirder - I tried doing a search on "muxmovie" and it found something it listed as "muxmovie", but the icon was not showing correctly and hovering over it (in the spotlight menu) didn't do the usual thing of showing the path to the file. When I command-clicked on it to reveal it in the Finder, it revealed "catmovie"! It didn't list both "catmovie" and "muxmovie", instead it just seemed to be thoroughly confused by the weird indexing of the "catmovie" file and list only one "muxmovie", but it was really "catmovie". When I get done with the full hard drive index, I'll try re-indexing the /usr/local/bin directory, but I'm not sure if that will really replace the existing info or not.

--- What?

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