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.