Home > SuSE, openSUSE > SUSE Enterprise Desktop 10 has World’s Best Desktop Search SUSE Enterprise Desktop 10 has World’s Best Desktop Search Submitted by Dan Warne 2006-07-11 SuSE, openSUSE 47 Comments According to APC Magazine: Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 includes the most fully integrated desktop search we’ve seen on any operating system, which is a crowning achievement for Novell. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 47 Comments 2006-07-11 7:43 am Shane How does the beagle integration in SLED compare to spotlight (OS X)? That would have been worth exploring in the article perhaps? As it stands this article tells me nothing I didn’t know about beagle, and nothing I didn’t know about SLED. Except that he claims that SLED’s implementation is the best bar none, but without giving any indication as to why. 2006-07-11 7:51 am kaiwai How does the beagle integration in SLED compare to spotlight (OS X)? That would have been worth exploring in the article perhaps? As it stands this article tells me nothing I didn’t know about beagle, and nothing I didn’t know about SLED. Except that he claims that SLED’s implementation is the best bar none, but without giving any indication as to why. One has to look at the bigger picture, in respects to SLED; the big problem that comes to MacOS X and the enterprise is the lack of long term support, a roadmap that has some vague direction as to where MacOS X is going; lets assume those two are corrected in Leopard, then next issue is, that companies will face; is it hardware upgrade time? For SLED, the basic question which companies need to ask themselves is whether the cost of migrating to SLED can be matched by an improvement in productivity OR whether a move to Vista could yield similar results and a lower costs. SLED does have a future in the enterprise, but what it needs are better RAD tools, and more ISV support. 2006-07-11 8:10 am evangs It’s the morning here in the UK, and it’s the time of day where I’m not at my best. I might be missing it completely, but how does your reply address the OP’s question, “How does it compare to Spotlight?” 2006-07-11 8:27 am kaiwai Spotlight is with MacOS X: SLED is seen as a competitor to Windows; the original poster wants to know about Spotlight vs. Beagle; its pretty simply; if you want spotlight, you’ve gotta replace your whole machine, with SLED, its a matter of an install, and voila, you’re away. In a nutshell, Beagle (SLED) is available to all, Spotlight is available to only those willing and able to replace their machine with a Mac. Edited 2006-07-11 08:29 2006-07-11 8:41 am Shane I actually wanted a comparison between the two implementations. I am not debating which OS is better. 2006-07-11 11:34 am kaiwai Nothing really that special, one uses SQLite and a wrapper is written around it (CoreData), and Beagle uses C# and IIRC, the Berkley DB. Edit: And if you actually spent some time, you would know that I am a Mac user – god forbid actually going to mt blog and reading that, in all its glory. Edited 2006-07-11 11:43 2006-07-11 7:03 pm rm6990 Ummm, he never said you weren’t a Mac user. He originally asked about the differences between the two, you started rambling about hardware costs, switching OS’, blah blah blah (all completely irrelevant to his question), and then he again asked the same question, that’s all. 2006-07-12 5:07 am kaiwai Ummm, he never said you weren’t a Mac user. He originally asked about the differences between the two, you started rambling about hardware costs, switching OS’, blah blah blah (all completely irrelevant to his question), and then he again asked the same question, that’s all. Whilst you’re giving out ‘lesons’, how about you read my other replies; or would that require a little effort? I’ve clearly stated my position on the matter, if you choose to ignore those facts, then thats your problem. 2006-07-11 9:40 am rm6990 Ummmm, I think you failed to answer his question as well. He wants to know SPECIFICALLY the relative merits of spotlight and beagle. He wasn’t asking about costs, compatability, underlying OS, etc. He was asking SPECIFICALLY about which works better, which is faster, which indexes more filetypes, etc etc. Christ people, learn to read. 2006-07-11 9:47 am Cymro “the original poster wants to know about Spotlight vs. Beagle; its pretty simply; if you want spotlight, you’ve gotta replace your whole machine, with SLED, its a matter of an install, and voila, you’re away.” So a feature can’t be the world’s best unless it’s on the “world’s best” operating system? (ie. your favourite) Anyway, what do you mean “you have to replace your whole machine”? Doesn’t that depend on what machine you already own? I didn’t have to replace mine to use Spotlight! 2006-07-11 11:38 am kaiwai So a feature can’t be the world’s best unless it’s on the “world’s best” operating system? (ie. your favourite) Hey sunshine, how about getting an education: its clearly written on my blog, which is linked in my profile, that I use MacOS X, or is clicking on that link too much effort? Anyway, what do you mean “you have to replace your whole machine”? Doesn’t that depend on what machine you already own? I didn’t have to replace mine to use Spotlight! 90% of people are running x86, one assumes that they’re running an x86 until otherwise stated; no different to people assume that I’m straight until otherwise stated – am I offended? of course not! its natural to assume that anyone they meet fits into the 95% of people. 2006-07-11 10:15 am Duffman No the original poster wants to know how Beagle is better implemented than spotlight. He doesn’t care about political issues … 2006-07-11 11:42 am kaiwai No the original poster wants to know how Beagle is better implemented than spotlight. He doesn’t care about political issues … And its obvious you didn’t read his post, because he posted a statement regarding the article, not a question; he never said, “Could someone please explain the technical merits of how Beagle operates versus how searching is done in MacOS X” – the simple fact is he wasn’t looking for an answer. Also, the article was a superficial review of a product, not an indepth analysis of it; and yes, it was a gross generalisation claiming the search to be ‘best bar none’, but at the same time, thats no different to a reviewer making claim that iPod is the best product, Windows Media Player being the best player, or MacOS X being the best operating system. These are personal opinions on a product and as such, you take them with a grain of salt depending on how bitter and cynical you are (I persoanlly prefer a truck given the gushiness of the article). 2006-07-11 10:27 am unoengborg For SLED, the basic question which companies need to ask themselves is whether the cost of migrating to SLED can be matched by an improvement in productivity OR whether a move to Vista could yield similar results and a lower costs. This is a fair question. To most companies running win2k or XP, the answer would probably be not to upgrade at all. XP and 2k allready contain the functionality they need, perhaps with the exeption of desktop search. A better option to them would be to use some kind of add on product, such as google search to remidy the lack in search capabilities. Regardless what OS you upgrade to, an upgrade will be costly, not only in the form of licensing of the OS, but also in man hours for installation, testing and perhpaps upgrading of third party and in house developed software, training, new hardware,… The problem to Novell and even Microsoft is that the things allready installed out there, more than cover the business needs for computing. The naive belief that upgrading to the next version, without any cost/benefit analysis should solve every problem you can think of, that was so common in the age of the IT-bubble is long gone in most companies. 2006-07-11 8:13 am Anonymous Penguin A major advantage of spotlight is, if I happen to be logged in as root (hardly ever necessary) I can still use it. That is not the case with beagle. 2006-07-11 8:29 am dumbkiwi Why would anyone be logged into a graphical shell as root? 2006-07-11 3:56 pm somebody A major advantage of spotlight is, if I happen to be logged in as root (hardly ever necessary) I can still use it. That is not the case with beagle. Wow, more than one question poped up. 1. you’re logged in as root? what purpose for? 2. don’t you know that limitation you talk about is daemons not indexing. daemon has to be run as unprivileged, GUI can be run as any user. and yes, search does work. 3. why would be using search as root be MAJOR advantage if you say it is hardly ever necessary? 4. are you lacking good excuses why would spotlight be better than beagle? Face it it is not. If one disables beagle, system provided searching trough files still works. This is not case with spotlight. Disable it, Command-F, type “pdf” and see what it finds, zero. 2006-07-12 2:50 pm Anonymous Penguin “3. why would be using search as root be MAJOR advantage if you say it is hardly ever necessary? ” It is hardly ever necessary in Mac OS X, but not in Linux, which can make your life more difficult if you want to perform administrative tasks and you log in as user. 2006-07-11 3:15 pm stuhood IMO the first thing I noticed that blows Spotlight away is that in SLED10, search is integrated into every file chooser. Every time you click ‘Browse…’ or ‘Open…’ for instance, you can immediately find what you are looking for. Handy. ” Does Spotlight take forever to build an initial index too? ” I don’t know about ‘forever’, but it isn’t possible to build a search index instantly. Depending on how many files you are indexing when you first install, it will take more or less time. 2006-07-11 4:18 pm somebody ” Does Spotlight take forever to build an initial index too? ” I don’t know about ‘forever’, but it isn’t possible to build a search index instantly. Depending on how many files you are indexing when you first install, it will take more or less time. Actualy, you’re wrong. Default method is non-intrusive and it takes as parent said forever. But you can run by setting EXERCISE_THE_DOG variable and in that time indexing runs at full speed. [more explanation in this e-mail] http://beatniksoftware.com/pipermail/tomboy-list_beatniksoftware.co… 2006-07-11 7:11 pm rm6990 “IMO the first thing I noticed that blows Spotlight away is that in SLED10, search is integrated into every file chooser. Every time you click ‘Browse…’ or ‘Open…’ for instance, you can immediately find what you are looking for. Handy. ” That’s funny, in every file chooser on my Mac, I see a spotlight box….perhaps I’ve been drugged and am hallucinating (for the past half a year)????!!!!! 2006-07-12 3:08 pm evangs If it’s any reassurance, I can confirm that you aren’t drugged nor are you halucinating. 🙂 2006-07-11 10:09 pm MikeGA From the ridiculously brief and lacking in content article, there was one difference that I found rather interesting: Apparently, the process of Beagle actually indexing a file is exposed in the UI, so you can stop it if you want. This worries me slightly, I mean, when will the file be indexed again properly? And it also rather suggests the developers have little faith in the indexing being “unobtrusive.” Personally, I think the indexing should be taken of completely behind the scenes. There’s no reason why the user should ever have to no what is going on index-wise, in the same way they shouldn’t have to know how the hard drive is handling its cache at a particular moment. 2006-07-12 8:26 am searly I think he was referring to the firefox plugin. Basically you can stop beagle indexing the weebpages you visit. There is the beagle icon at the bottom right corner of the browser window. You click on it, the icon displays crossed out, beagle now stops indexing the webpages you visit. You click on it again, the icon displays normally again, beagle will start indexing the websites you visited again. Simple and transparent. 2006-07-11 7:53 am jcinacio <rant> HAH! I always find funny to read about world’s <insert favourite adjective>. </rant> SUSE (/novell) just HAD to include beagle. it’s a great tool specially when it’s done the right way. integrating it closely with the desktop just makes it a lot more usefull and i’m sure many will appreciate it. i think anyone who dislikes mono will have a hard time with this, but for me it’s thumbs up for mono. 2006-07-11 8:05 am JMcCarthy I can’t see Beagle being that much better than Spotlight. Not to say that it’s that much worse. Does Spotlight take forever to build an initial index too? I prefer Spotlights UI also. Again, not to say Beagle’s is ugly. Like all GTK+ UI’s I’ve encountered, it’s just average. I’ve been using Beagle a lot more since hacking SLED’s computer menu into Ubuntu, using it that way is fairly nice.. 2006-07-11 8:29 am ValiSystem i personnally hate spotlight. While indexing (that take more than 2 hours to rebuild whole index on around 40GB of data – on day to day usage it’s just few minutes at low priority when you move a lot of files) it can leak 200MB of RAM, and sometimes, it does not give it back. Also, if you lauch a disk access and memory hungry task, sometimes spotlight decide not to stop and slows down your task. Next the UI of spotlight is pretty, yes, but … what is that window that is not a Finder one or any other app ? not in the dock, not an app, it comes from nowhere. Integration with the finder is broken too. totally. When you type text it instantly begins the search, slowing your computer, so, if you wanted to do a specific search (on file types, owner, and so on), you type your text, wait that the Finder take back focus and use the little + button to add your search filters. But the core design of spotlight is good, Leopard should give it everything it needs. 2006-07-11 9:16 am segedunum While indexing (that take more than 2 hours to rebuild whole index on around 40GB of data – on day to day usage it’s just few minutes at low priority when you move a lot of files) it can leak 200MB of RAM, and sometimes, it does not give it back. You’re going to love Beagle then, aren’t you? 2006-07-11 8:15 am ValiSystem I didn’t even read them, but news about suse make me upset. One month ago, i decided to install and the OpenSuse, since it was so great. My overall impress is summarized in one word : “shocking !” (pronounce with british emphasis). Yes, the installer is great, nothing to say here. But Yast2 is plenty of bugs, it takes huge time to open/close tools, freezes, and so on. There is no official package repository on internet, so you have to deal with removable supports. (The jokes is when you want to copy it on your hard disk and use it – try it, it’s really funny, Yast2 shows you its roots). Zen installer never installed me any update nor than any other software, and, well this pretty Zen software just freezes or tell me there are updates available but can’t install them – without giving any reason of course. ho, by the way : Novel did a huge buzz on XGL, but you have to install nvidia drivers manually and configure it … manually. Ok, that was just to leave my testimony, somewhere on the web. 2006-07-11 8:37 am Dr-ROX This is not about OpenSuSE, that had bugs in Yast and etc, but about SLED – commercial product. 2006-07-11 12:41 pm ValiSystem So, SLED, which is commercial, is better ? Strange, distros generally put the “open” or “community” as the same level as their commercial version, minus some functionalities … so that you have the same quality, but not the same functionalities, the diff is the price. Here you can be sure that i will never buy any SuSE thing. I can’t believe that SuSE put a buggy version of Yast in OpenSuSE and removed all the bugs in SLED. This would have been a _huge_ task, yast seems to be broken in its roots (it’s my feeling of software developer). And that would be terribly offending to the OSS community. Anyway, i just wanted to say “Novel is teasing us since several months, so i tested one of their product, and i’am far from convinced” Why teasing us if their products does not reflects what they say ? I would like these news to be more than “buzz”. 2006-07-11 1:15 pm macisaac “Strange, distros generally put the “open” or “community” as the same level as their commercial version, minus some functionalities … so that you have the same quality, but not the same functionalities, the diff is the price.” Not really, at least not in the enterprise realm that we’re talking about here. Compare the latest RHEL and the latest Fedora, very different. What you’re getting with the freebie version isn’t just an identical product minus some plugins or whatever, it’s a testing ground for largely bleeding edge beta software which is expected to eventually, in some iteration or other, find it’s way into the enterprise line. The plus of the free version is, well, it’s free. The plus of the enterprise line is that it’s expected that the bugs and annoyances of the free version have been resolved, and that you can deploy it with the confidence of a “supported” product with a longer life cycle. At least in the case of SLED/SLES and RHEL (which in the enterprise linux line are the only two real players at this point) this would appear to be the case. Minor distros without a strong enterprise presence of course can differ with regards to the pay for and free version, I think that’s probably more what you’re thinking of. 2006-07-11 9:11 am segedunum A handful of paragraphs on why this person thinks Beagle is good, without any comparison to Spotlight, Google Desktop or other desktops searches that exist or are on the horizon? And without comparing any of these he then claims Beagle as the best search system around. And why does he discount Google Search? “When Google released Desktop Search for Windows, I played with it. Full text searching, done blazingly fast, through anything text-based on your drive, from your web cache to your emails and personal documents. Impressive, but not without problems, the biggest being the Windows-centric design which made portability difficult.” Yer. Really solid reasoning there. People just love portability. Not that he explains just how portable Beagle is or what it actually means. 2006-07-11 10:02 am frik85 “World’s Best Desktop Search” *lol*; it was not in the original article nor is it true Beagle is alpha software, currently version 0.2.7 (released on June 19, 2006). Memory leaks, bugs, glitches, etc. are not uncommon. The original article has no comparision of any other desktop search, just mentioned google desktop as negative example of software which is not portable. *lol* Windows has a “desktop search” (file indexing + interface) since Windows 2000 (but deactivated by default; but you can activate it with one simple mouse click) and now it is promoted for Vista as the cool search feature. A optinal second interface is available WinXP as MSN/Windows desktop search which simply just another interface for the internal technology (marketing gag?). MacOS X has a one of the best “desktop search” implementation since 10.4. Sure, it is not perfect and the interface is non-standard and inconsistent, etc., the underlying technology is far better. It has an extended advanced search query syntax which is a lot more powerful than most other competitors, but no good graphical user interface is implemented. Beagle is not as portable as it should be (interface, integration). Try it under KDE and you will see (Gnome libs requiered). To sum up, every platform has it’s own desktop search feature and there is a shift to more integrated versions, like vaporware WinFS, Gnome storage, etc. There is no need for portability nor is Beagle the best desktop search, just one of many good ones. 2006-07-11 11:58 am SlackerJack That don’t matter since if you use gnome kdelibs and QT are required, in OpenSUSE it’s kdebase ontop. Beagle is great, it’s very fast indeed and also integrates with nautilus and deskbar. I think it’s about time Linux apps got some real media and credit since beagle is very well implemented in SLED10. The only down side to beagle I see is it takes up all your memory over time, the beagle devs are aware of this and it don’t happen with everyone. Edited 2006-07-11 11:59 2006-07-11 11:16 am deb2006 I have never really neither used nor was I ever in need of this kind of engine. When I was a Mac user I tried out Spotlight once and then never used it: not because it was bad – I simply never had any reason to use it. And now beagle. Even better. Again: who really needs this? (But then: I hardly use DVDs and ask myself who needs Blu-Ray;)) ) 2006-07-11 1:16 pm amavida “I simply never had any reason to use it.” Most folks don’t agree. It’s so much faster to find a document/file by entering a few letters in a search query than clicking & clacking your way & drilling your way down through a file system, that it quickly becomes second nature. Maybe you have very few documents in the first place… 2006-07-11 1:20 pm macisaac I tend to concur, about the only place I find I need quick searching on my desktop (this doesn’t include doing the usual sys admin work of greping logs on a server, etc.) is for my mailbox. In that case, yes, something like thunderbird can operate quite well in that function, though spotlight would seem to have an edge on speed even there (don’t quote me on that mind you). 2006-07-11 12:24 pm sbenitezb There are still stupid IT managers that want the last of Microsoft world. They even have a budget for it. 2006-07-11 1:04 pm superstoned beagle isn’t fast, it’s dog slow and eats memory. someone with more than 2 gig’s of data (non-movie) can’t use it. I hope the engine used for KDE 4 will be faster (and I bet it will, as Strigi is currently already some 6 times faster at indexing than Beagle, while doing more like calculating hash to find duplicate files). 2006-07-11 3:32 pm dsmogor Good to see competition here. I hope they agree on api used for format specific extractors before both systems get popular and duplication of efforts is inevitable. 2006-07-11 4:12 pm somebody beagle isn’t fast, it’s dog slow and eats memory. someone with more than 2 gig’s of data (non-movie) can’t use it. I hope the engine used for KDE 4 will be faster (and I bet it will, as Strigi is currently already some 6 times faster at indexing than Beagle, while doing more like calculating hash to find duplicate files). This was true until 0.25or26 (or people with newer beagle but older mono than 1.13.6, beagle requires/depends on this version because in that version of mono, devels fixed a big leak and beagle was the biggest consumer of exactly that leak) Just a little of my experience with beagle, beagle never gets over 46MB(19MB RSS) on my computer. And computer is running non-stop. Desktop search never took more than one second (quite less in fact). Funny thing is that I don’t either limit it down or pose low memory to it. My machine has 4GB of RAM. Spotlight on the other hand on my mac mini, index is 2GB large and if I have damn thing enabled it consumes all RAM Edited 2006-07-11 16:19 2006-07-11 2:09 pm rakamaka I am afraid of desktop search systems, like Google xerox your HD to their servers.. I hope linux distros as secured system have taken care of this issue… 2006-07-11 7:09 pm rm6990 Well if you would use your head for a moment, you would realize that SUSE is open source, so chances are it would be caught very quickly. What’s to stop Microsoft from “xeroxing” your data to their servers? Furthermore, do you not think people would notice gigs upon gigs of data being “xeroxed” to Google’s servers? Google does offer a feature that does this, but you have to turn it on manually and it explicitly tells you that data is copied to Google’s servers (with big letters as well). 2006-07-11 5:18 pm Terracotta errr, since Beagle is written in Mono it should work with a .NET framework as well, so in windows it should work. And on Mac OS it should work. Should since I don’t know for sure, but if it doesn’t they’ve completely missed the goals of mono. 2006-07-11 6:15 pm somebody errr, since Beagle is written in Mono it should work with a .NET framework as well, so in windows it should work. And on Mac OS it should work. Should since I don’t know for sure, but if it doesn’t they’ve completely missed the goals of mono. I think window port is in works, yes. But other part of the comment just shows your lack of knowledge. Mono is intended to be portable, true. There are still part which can’t be ported. 1. Like file structure, you can’t just equalize “c:somedirsomething” to “/somedir/something” or how about secondary disks, in windows they are mapped with letters, in &nix they can be mounted anywhere. 2. Beagle uses inotify to track file changes, this is linux specific. You have to adapt file monitor from OS to OS. 3. Posix, or better lack of Posix on Windows. Some parts just can’t be said as equal. GetUnixUser is one example. Your comment would be only valid if beagle would access to files trough some universal VFS (which simply doesn’t exist, unless you’ve just written it), and would use System… part of mono only. All other parts can be debatable (as in, they are easy to make portable, but you have to adapt from platform to platform). 2006-07-11 5:31 pm poultond So what. Big deal.I don’t see this as a reason that everyone’s going to ditch Vista or OSX in favor of SELD 10. I never use it.