A tool to search entire file systems


Glimpse is a very powerful indexing and query system that allows you to search through all your files very quickly. It can be used by individuals for their personal file systems as well as by organizations for large data collections. Glimpse is the default search engine in Harvest. Glimpse is now at version 3.0, which improves the original version in many ways.

The Glimpse package contains several programs, the most important of which are glimpse, glimpseindex, agrep, and glimpseserver. To index all files in the a directory tree rooted at DIR, you simply say

	glimpseindex DIR 
(E.g., glimpseindex ~ indexes all your files.) Afterwards, glimpse can search through all these files much the same way as agrep (or any other grep), except that you don't have to specify file names and the search is fast. For example,
	 glimpse -1 unbelievable 
will find all occurrences (in all your files!) of "unbelievable" allowing one spelling error;
	 glimpse -F mail arizona 
will find all occurrences of "arizona" in all files with "mail" somewhere in their name;
	 glimpse  'Arizona desert;windsurfing' 
will find all lines that contain both "Arizona desert" and "windsurfing".

Glimpse supports three types of indexes: a tiny one (2-3% of the size of all files), a small one (7-9%), and a medium one (20-30%). The larger the index the faster the search. For most applications, the small index (glimpseindex -o) is the best choice. Glimpse supports most of agrep's options (agrep is our powerful version of grep, and it is part of glimpse) including approximate matching (e.g., finding misspelled words), Boolean queries, and even some limited forms of regular expressions.





GlimpseHTTP is a collection of tools that allows you to use Glimpse to search your files using HTTP interface. You find it as a good alternative for WAIS search scripts.

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What's New

This is the ``official'' version 3.0

2.1 ---> 3.0

Glimpse was developed by Udi Manber, Sun Wu, and Burra Gopal.