Google has now branched their Desktop Search application across all of the major operating systems: Windows, Mac, and Linux. The new Beta for Linux just hit the Web today and runs on KDE or GNOME under Debian 4.0, Fedora Core 6, Ubuntu 6.10, SUSE 10.1, or Red Flag 5. I’m sure those are just the minimum requirements and that it would run fine on Ubuntu 7.06 as well.
Features are pretty much what you expect from a desktop search application, which includes indexing of files (and even Linux Man pages) and Quick Search:
- Comprehensive Indexing – Users can search the full text of virtually all their computer’s content, including text, PDF, PS, source code, HTML files, email from Thunderbird, OpenOffice.org documents, Man and Info pages, folders, images, and music. Google Desktop for Linux can even find previous versions of files or recover those that have been accidentally deleted.
- Quick Search Box – The Quick Search Box is the fastest way to do web and desktop searches. Hitting the command key twice calls it up, instantly displaying results as users type.
- Gmail and Web History Search – Not everything users are looking for resides on their computer. Google Desktop for Linux makes it easy for users to simultaneously search their Gmail webmail, web search history and the web at large. And because their index is stored locally on their own computer, users can even access their Gmail and web history while they’re offline.
I give Google a lot of credit for being the first large company that steps deeply into the world of Linux. They’ve got a search engine just for Linux, Picasa on Linux, Google Gears on Linux, and even Google Earth for Linux. The only thing that they still have left is Google Talk, but I don’t think they will get around to that since they have the online version available.
The Linux counterpart for Desktop Search is still missing a few things though. For starters, the sidebar and gadgets are not available, which I believe would make the application even more useful when running Linux. And 64-bit support? Nope, not yet…in the Google Group for this program people are complaining that Google generically says that it supports Linux without specifying whether it is just 32-bit or if it also includes 64-bit. So a clarification near the download link would probably be useful, or they could just make it work with 64-bit.