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June 28, 2007

Google Desktop for Linux

Google Desktop is now available for Linux. The tool includes only the desktop search engine, like the first version of Google Desktop for Windows or the recently released Google Desktop for Mac.

Google Desktop indexes OpenOffice documents, PDF and PostScript files, text and HTML files, manual pages, multimedia files, your web history and emails from Gmail and Thunderbird. The only browser fully supported is Firefox, but if you don't need to search your web history, any browser should work just fine.

The installer is much bigger than the Windows version (8 MB) and it should run on most popular distributions, including Debian 4.0+, Fedora Core 6+, Ubuntu 6.10+, SUSE 10.1+. One reason for the big size of the installer is the fact that it includes translations for the following languages: French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese.

"With this release, Google Desktop joins the Picasa, Google Earth and Google Toolbar for Firefox applications among Google's offerings for Linux. In addition to creating products that run on Linux, Google supports the Linux community in a variety of ways, such as releasing open source code, running the Summer of Code and hosting tens of thousands of open source projects on Google Code," says Google in an announcement.

Linux users already have desktop search tools like Beagle, Tracker or Recoll, but the integration with Google services and the better performance might give Google Desktop an advantage. For now, Google's software supports very few file types (no archives, no chats, no Microsoft Office files), but this is only the first version. At least Google respected its promise of launching more Linux apps.


  1. What about the Gentoo Users and the other Linux-Users out there? Can you at least release a "bin" package that anybody could install on Linux. Thank you for setting this product out for Linux!

  2. I installed it last night and was a little disappointed to find that is was more like GD1.x for windows. I decided to let it start indexing and went about my business and firefox crashed about 7 times....I uninstalled it and restarted all my beagle processes and everything is happy again. This might be one of the only Google "Beta" softwares, that actually acted like a beta software for me. I may try again in a few versions. BRING ON GOOGLE TALK (with talk capability) for linux :)

  3. >>What about the Gentoo Users

    And then Linux users wonder why nobody really does much commercial software for Linux.

    How many different binaries would Google have to release to cover every single Linux distro?

  4. I think anonymous is wrong?

    I mean give the companies a chance, they will all change to Linux and then everything will start working better and apps and software will be available to all (no every platform and distro).

    Why take in Google, they are at least trying. If anyone can start the movement it would be them, we should stand together and help them, rather than criticizing.

    So the tool is crap i also think that, but do you really think Google will bring out crap apps? NO so just wait everything will unfold the way we want it to.

  5. >> Anonymous said...

    >> >>What about the Gentoo Users

    >> And then Linux users wonder why
    >> nobody really does much commercial
    >> software for Linux.

    >> How many different binaries would
    >> Google have to release to cover every
    >> single Linux distro?

    Actually one generic binary would be enough.

  6. Just give whatever dependency and the most Linux user will just fill it in.

    Yes, one more vote for generic binary version

  7. Installation for gentoo:


  8. I have little use for Google Desktop **Search** -- when it does support Gadgets, that may be another story...

    ...But it's very good to see Google launching applications for Linux. Congratulations! :)

    Linux is coming to the masses, and having popular applications like this one (and Google Talk, hopefully soon) makes switching much easier for new users.

    And, well, on a second thought, I may use Google Desktop for searching my PDFs, HTMLs and CHMs... -- BTW, can it do CHMs?

    ...But much more useful to me and my coworkers, friends and students (I teach computer classes) will be:

    Google Talk for Linux

    Please! :)

    You see, starting this year I'll switch all my classes' PCs over to Ubuntu Linux (in October when 7.10 Gutsy arrives)...

    ...But these students still have Windows at home, so it's important to use these cross-platform applications.

    Ah, exciting times ahead!

  9. I found an interesting tool that claims to be "the fastest and and smallest desktop search program" - it's Strigi and the archive has around 600KB.

    "Strigi is a daemon which uses a very fast and efficient crawler that can index data on your harddrive. Indexing operations are performed without hammering your system (..).
    Strigi can index different file formats, including the contents of the archive files."

  10. Is it possible for Linux Google Desktop to track the web history of firefox ?

  11. Yes, that's one of the most useful features of Google Desktop.

  12. >>>>What about the Gentoo Users

    >>And then Linux users wonder why nobody >>really does much commercial software for >>Linux.

    >>How many different binaries would >>Google have to release to cover every >>single Linux distro?

    If they would have made GNU standards compliant, then they would only have release it once which would allow it to compile on every UNIX system. Thus solving this problem.

  13. I have an ebuild for gentoo if anyone needs..

  14. >>What about the Gentoo Users and the other Linux-Users out there? Can you at least release a "bin" package that anybody could install on Linux. Thank you for setting this product out for Linux!<<

    Last time I checked (it's been a few years since I used gentoo) you didn't use gentoo so you could install a bunch of binary packages, the package handler doesn't even install binaries, and it sounds like google released the source. That's all a developer is really supposed to have to do for linux, the distro developers and people that run the repos are supposed to take care of getting the binaries compiled and making them easily accessable through the repositories. A generic binary would be nice, but they really covered most of the distos people use, if you use a different one, you probably already compile a lot of source anyways ;)

  15. Alexander, please, add your ebuild to main portage tree with

  16. Hi everybody,

    Anonymous don't mix up all things.

    .deb and .rpm packages are meant to be installed on some particular distributions (most of these are what you call "user friendly distibutions). But the binary inside these is exactly the same !

    Distributions are build around Linux, but they all use the same Linux (sometimes with different version). So a program running on RedHat Linux is very likely to run on Ubuntu.

    Linux and OS programs in general are meant to offer users the more choices as possible, so this huge amount of Linux distributions, which is positive ! But they all use the same programs ! (among them -> Linux ;) )

    The only real difference between distributions is the package manager (Which installs binaries in right location with right dependency, right configuration ...) because different distributions offer different things.

    Now, don't thing that there is only one version of package for Microsoft.

    You have to configure your installer for every version of windows you want your software to run on : 98,Me,XP,2000,Vista ... so, different packages as well. Worse ! Some programs running on XP won't run on Vista and you'll have to rebuild from your sources/changes your code before getting in to work.

    Linux is much more a matter of standards than Windows is.

    But don't loose from sight these 2 Systems are not the same, neither in philosophy neither in its mechanisms of functioning.

    Don't forget either Linux is a direct concurrent to Unix and not to Windows. It is an indirect one because of it's cheapness and versatility, because it offers choices and does not impose rules.