How to install, setup and use Google Desktop Search in Ubuntu

by Ross McKillop on June 28, 2007

Linux

This brief tutorial/overview will walk you step-by-step through installing, setting up and using Google Desktop Search for Linux – specifically in Ubuntu.

  1. Visit http://desktop.google.com/linux/ and download Google Desktop for Linux (the .deb file). Once the download has finished, double-click the file.
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  3. The Package Installer will open. Click the Install Package button.
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  5. Enter your administrative password to continue.
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  7. Once the installation has completed, click the Close button.
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  9. Make sure the Status: is Same version is already installed and then close the Package Installer.
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  11. On your keyboard, hold down the alt key and hit F2. Enter gdlinux and click Run.
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  13. Here you’ll need to decide if you want to enable the Advanced Features or not. It doesn’t really matter what you choose – you can always change your mind later. I enabled them.
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  15. After you’ve made your choice, the Google Desktop Search icon will appear in the main panel (the upper right corner of your screen).
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  17. Right-click the Google Desktop Search icon, select Index and then Index Status …
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  19. From here you’ll see the status of Google Desktop Search’s first indexing. Click the Desktop Preferences link from the upper-right corner.
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  21. On the Local Indexing tab you can choose the types of files that you want Google Desktop Search to make available in your searches. You can also add specific folders to search if they aren’t included by default. Or, remove the default search folders if you don’t want their contents indexed. Click the Gmail tab if you wish to include your Gmail messages in Google Desktop Search.
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  23. Place a check in the box labeled Index and search email in my Gmail account, then enter your Gmail Username and Password in the spaces provided. Click Save Preferences once you’re done. Select the Display tab.
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  25. From here you can customize the various display options (Number of Quick Find results, Number of results per page, etc). Click Other when you’re done.
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  27. The Other tab is really just a place to enable or disable the Advanced features. When you’re done (if you’ve made any changes) click Save Preferences and close out Firefox/your browser.
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  29. Tap the control (ctrl) key on your keyboard twice to bring up the Google Desktop Search window. Enter in something.. (keep in mind, your index is probably still building, which means not all of your files will be searchable yet). You’ll get a list of files and more options to search. If you select See all results in a browser
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  31. … your browser will launch, and the files will be displayed.
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