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4.2 Database Formats

The file name databases contain lists of files that were in particular directory trees when the databases were last updated. The file name database format changed starting with GNU locate version 4.0 to allow machines with different byte orderings to share the databases.

GNU locate can read both the old pre-findutils-4.0 database format and the ‘LOCATE02’ database format. Support for the old database format will shortly be removed from locate. It has already been removed from updatedb.

If you run ‘locate --statistics’, the resulting summary indicates the type of each locate database. You select which database format updatedb will use with the ‘--dbformat’ option.

The ‘slocate’ database format is very similar to ‘LOCATE02’ and is also supported (in both updatedb and locate).