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updatedb.conf(5) File Formats Manual updatedb.conf(5)


/etc/updatedb.conf - a configuration file for updatedb(8)


/etc/updatedb.conf is a text file. Blank lines are ignored. A # character outside of a quoted string starts a comment extending until end of line.
Other lines must be of the following form:
White space between tokens is ignored. VARIABLE is an alphanumeric string which does not start with a digit. VALUE can contain any character except for ". No escape mechanism is supported within VALUE and there is no way to write VALUE spanning more than one line.
Unknown VARIABLE values are considered an error. The defined variables are:
A whitespace-separated list of file system types (as used in /etc/mtab) which should not be scanned by updatedb(8). The file system type matching is case-insensitive. By default, no file system types are skipped.
When scanning a file system is skipped, all file systems mounted in the subtree are skipped too, even if their type does not match any entry in PRUNEFS.
A whitespace-separated list of directory names (without paths) which should not be scanned by updatedb(8). By default, no directory names are skipped.
Note that only directories can be specified, and no pattern mechanism (e.g. globbing) is used.
A whitespace-separated list of path names of directories which should not be scanned by updatedb(8). Each path name must be exactly in the form in which the directory would be reported by locate(1).
By default, no paths are skipped.
One of the strings 0, no, 1 or yes. If PRUNE_BIND_MOUNTS is 1 or yes, bind mounts are not scanned by updatedb(8). All file systems mounted in the subtree of a bind mount are skipped as well, even if they are not bind mounts. As an exception, bind mounts of a directory on itself are not skipped.
By default, bind mounts are not skipped.


When a directory is matched by PRUNEFS, PRUNENAMES or PRUNEPATHS, updatedb(8) does not scan the contents of the directory. The path of the directory itself is, however, entered in the created database. For example, if /tmp is in PRUNEPATHS, locate(1) will not show any files stored in /tmp, but it can show the /tmp directory. This behavior differs from traditional locate implementations.
In some updatedb(8) implementations PRUNEPATHS can be used to exclude non-directory files. This is not the case in this implementation.
/etc/updatedb.conf is a shell script in some implementations, which allows much more flexibility in defining the variables. Equivalent functionality can be achieved by using the command-line options to updatedb(8).


Miloslav Trmac <>


locate(1), updatedb(8)
Jun 2008 mlocate