On other Linuxes, I use Search Monkey. Now the company tells me to use Arch Linux, which has no Search Monkey package. I'd build from source, but there was no makefile and no instructions in the source tarball.

So, I am looking for an alternative.

I just want a GUI where I can give a start directory, a file name (with optional wildcarding) and an optional text string to search for. RegEx, search archives, etc. are merely a bonus.

Shouldn't be too difficult. Who uses Arch Linux and runs such a tool? What do you recommend? So long as it has the basic search functionality described AND is available as either a standalone executable or a source package with clean build instructions, I will accept it.

IMPORTANT: the solution must not rely on any indexed database.

I suppose that I could consider a source distro if there are instructions on how to build & install it.

[Update] My Arch Linux is in a virtual machine on a Windows host. It has no internet access, but I can download in Windows and transfer into the VM using a shared drive.

So, what I need is either a standalone executable, or source with clear build instructions and no dependencies.

I cannot use pacman.

  • 1
    Not exactly matching, but I use Midnight Commander which a.o. covers that (incl. RegEx). Text based (I prefer that), but a good (curses) UI. AFAIK also available for Arch. Apart from that, if Search Monkey is available on other distris, check its source packages (.sdeb/ .srpm), which usually includes patches and Makefile.
    – Izzy
    Apr 21, 2016 at 14:26
  • I used MC for years, before I got tired of its klunky (curses) interface ;-) Now I use Tux Commander, which offers the same functionality. Search Monkey has some nice features, like a prevew pane, showing a configurarable number of lines before/after the match. Nice point about other distros.
    – Mawg
    Apr 21, 2016 at 14:42
  • 1
    (As you seem to have created the [arch-linux] tag, you might be interested and possibly want to participate in the Meta discussion Tags for specific GNU/Linux distributions: [ubuntu], [debian], [centos-7], ….)
    – unor
    Apr 22, 2016 at 0:44
  • 1
    So the AUR searchmonkey package is out?
    – StrongBad
    Apr 22, 2016 at 18:12
  • 1
    Just to note install instruction for searchmonkey, Ubuntu 14.04: get from sourceforge.net/p/searchmonkey/code/851 ; sudo apt-get install qt4-qmake libqt4-dev-bin libqt4-dev libqt4-gui; cd searchmonkey_2_x_x/; mkdir build ; cd build, qmake ../searchmonkey_2_0.pro, in Makefile, add to INCPATH: -I/usr/include/qt4/Qt; in ../mainwindow.cpp, replace #include <QtGUI> to #include <QtGui>; make; run ./searchmonkey
    – sdaau
    Oct 18, 2017 at 9:56

3 Answers 3


Why not continue with Search Monkey itself? Compiling from source is very easy in Arch Linux thanks to Arch User Repository(AUR). According to the Arch Wiki:

The Arch User Repository (AUR) is a community-driven repository for Arch users. It contains package descriptions (PKGBUILDs) that allow you to compile a package from source with makepkg and then install it via pacman. The AUR was created to organize and share new packages from the community and to help expedite popular packages' inclusion into the community repository. This document explains how users can access and utilize the AUR.

So search and find your package on the AUR and download it's PKGBUILD. In your case Search Monkey is found here. Click on "Download Snapshot" link at the right ride of the page.

Assuming you downloaded the PKGBUILD to the ~/Downloads folder, run:

cd ~/Downloads
tar -xvf searchmonkey.tar.gz
cd searchmonkey
makepkg -si

makepkg will read the PKGBUILD, download Search Monkey, compile it and install it for you. Simple as that!

  • A great suggestion (+1). Alas, my Linux is in a VM and that doen't have internet access. I will update the question to reflect this
    – Mawg
    Apr 25, 2016 at 11:44
  • 1
    @Mawg I understand, but if you examine the PKGBUILD you will get to know how to compile and install it on your VM, and then you can do it manually. :-) Apr 25, 2016 at 17:18

I use regexxer for this. It supports all the features you need:

  • Searches inside a given folder

  • Can match filenames with regex

  • Searches the matching files for strings with regex

Plus it can do find and replace natively!

enter image description here

It is in the Arch repositories. The only possible downside is that it is a GNOME app, so it may not look super pretty if you are running it from another desktop environment. But give it a try!

  • Sounds great (+1). I will give it a try when I get back to the office on Monday
    – Mawg
    Apr 22, 2016 at 15:21

This is an old thread, but hopefully an important lesson for anyone reading this on Google (like I did)!

Compiling source code can be daunting if you have never done it before, but it is actually made easy on most Linux distros...

To take an example - the latest Searchmonkey source code can be found here:-


You can download the v0.8.3 source-code from the command-line using this command:- $ wget https://sourceforge.net/projects/searchmonkey/files/gSearchmonkey%20GTK%20%28Gnome%29/0.8.3%20%5Bstable%5D/searchmonkey-0.8.3.tar.gz/download

Next, unzip the contents into your working directory:- $ tar xzf searchmonkey-0.8.3.tar.gz

This will create a new directory containing all of the source code. $ cd searchmonkey-0.8.3

The next step is to check your Linux configuration is up to date, and that you have all of the necessary dependencies installed on your system. To check, run the command:- $ ./configure

If this is your first time, then you will need the following basics:- 1) The Linux GCC compile tools e.g. gcc/make 2) The GTK2+ development toolchain 3) The libzip and poppler-glib development packages Consult google for the best way of getting these packages on your distro. For most modern OS, it normally a one-liner to get these packages.

Repeat the configure command once you think you are ready:- $ ./configure

Finally, we must compile the source code and install it:- $ make $ sudo make install

The last step needs to have super-powers in order to copy the binaries into your desktop environment.

All being well you can now do this from the command-line:- $ searchmonkey

Or look for the smiling monkey icon in your System folder on your desktop!

I appreciate that this is an old thread, but let me know how you get on?

Kind regards, Adam - Searchmonkey founder

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