I am looking to build a database of many files including PDF, XLSS, text, image, and other file formats. I need a way to search these files for content and metadata, while providing easy access to the file itself.

The way this would be used is I would, for example, want to find any PDFs that contained a certain phrase or keywords, and I want to be able to search for that phrase and see a list of all the files that match, along with a snippet of the matching text, and where you can click directly on the result to open the file (or download it if the system is hosted remotely). Essentially like a web search engine but for local files.

I am fine doing some development to ensure this has all of the features I need, but I don't want to reinvent any wheels. I have been exploring Elasticsearch but I am not sure if that is the route I should be going down or not.

This question's answer is an incredibly minimalist version of what I want, but I am hoping to find something closer to a database that can support the easy addition of metadata and offers clear delineation between metadata, content, and filename.

1 Answer 1


I suggest you also have a look at Recoll if you have not already done so.

It caters for many file types, etc. it also runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OSX. You can also extend it if necessary.

edit: Also take a look at https://github.com/simon987/sist2

  • Recoll seems to be what I need. sist2 looks promising as well but it's a bit early in its development stages right now. Good to know about though! Thanks!
    – Davis
    Commented Jul 14, 2022 at 15:21

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