Recoll is a desktop search tool that provides full text search (from single-word to arbitrarily complex boolean searches) in a GUI with few mandatory external dependencies. It runs under many Unix-like operating systems, and is mostly independent of the desktop environment. It has been ported to OS/2,[2] and is planned for integration into the OS/2-based ArcaOS.[3]

Recoll logo
Recoll logo
Recoll screenshot
Developer(s)Jean-François Dockes
Stable release
1.31.0 / April 12, 2021; 4 months ago (2021-04-12)[1]
Written inC++ and Python
Operating systemUnix-like, Windows, OS/2
TypeSearch tool

Recoll was designed not to require a permanent daemon but on Linux systems it can make use of inotify. Recoll updates its index at designed intervals (for example through cronjobs) but if desired, the indexing task can run as a file-system monitoring daemon for real-time index updates.[4]


  • Qt GUI.
  • Xapian backend.
  • Indexes the contents of many document types: text, HTML, email stores of all kinds, OpenDocument, Microsoft Office and Office Open XML, AbiWord, KWord, Gaim, Lyx, Scribus, PDF, WordPerfect, PostScript, RTF, TeX, DVI, DjVu, MP3 and other audio file formats, JPEG and other image file formats.[5]
  • Recursively processes embedded documents (E-Mail attachments, Zip archives) to arbitrary depths.
  • Query facilities, with boolean searches, wildcards, phrases, proximity, filter on file types and directory tree. GUI Boolean search build tool.
  • Xesam query language support.
  • Word stemming is performed at query time (can switch stemming language after indexing).
  • Multiple indexes selectable at query time (i.e. personal + system indexes).
  • Natively based on Unicode. Supports many languages and character sets, including good support for East Asian texts (CJK).
  • MD5 document hashes for the elimination of duplicates in results.
  • Batch and real-time indexing modes.
  • Python API.
  • GNOME Shell search provider, WEB interface, and Firefox history extensions.

File type supportedEdit

File types indexed nativelyEdit

  • Text.
  • Html.
  • Maildir, mh, and mailbox (Mozilla, Thunderbird and Evolution mail ok). Evolution note: be sure to remove .cache from the skippedNames list in the GUI Indexing preferences/Local Parameters/ pane if you want to index local copies of Imap mail.
  • Gaim and purple log files.
  • Scribus files.
  • Man pages (needs groff).
  • Mimehtml web archive format (support based on the mail filter, which introduces some mild weirdness, but still usable).
  • All the following need Python3:
  • Dia diagrams.
  • Excel and Powerpoint (pre-open-xml).
  • Tar archives. Tar file indexing is disabled by default (because tar archives don't typically contain the kind of documents that people search for), you will need to enable it explicitly, like with the following in your $HOME/.recoll/mimeconf file:
   application/x-tar = execm rcltar
  • Zip archives.
  • Konqueror webarchive format (uses the tarfile Python standard library module).

File types indexed with external helpersEdit

  • PDF files.
  • MS-Word files.
  • Wordperfect files.
  • RTF files.
  • Image and audio file tags.
  • Abiword files.
  • Fb2, Epub, and CHM ebooks.
  • Kword files.
  • Microsoft Office traditional and Open XML files.
  • OpenOffice files.
  • SVG files.
  • Gnumeric files.
  • Okular annotations files.
  • HWP files (without page numbering).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Recoll news
  2. ^ "Recoll for OS/2". Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  3. ^ "Warpstock Europe Conference 2020". 2020-05-17. Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  4. ^ Recoll indexing
  5. ^ Recoll features

External linksEdit