recoll.conf man page

recoll.conf — main personal configuration file for Recoll


This file defines the index configuration for the Recoll full-text search system.

The system-wide configuration file is normally located inside /usr/[local]/share/recoll/examples. Any parameter set in the common file may be overridden by setting it in the personal configuration file, by default: $HOME/.recoll/recoll.conf

Please note while we try to keep this manual page reasonably up to date, it will frequently lag the current state of the software. The best source of information about the configuration are the comments in the system-wide configuration file.

A short extract of the file might look as follows:

# Space-separated list of directories to index.
topdirs =  ~/docs /usr/share/doc

defaultcharset = utf-8

There are three kinds of lines:

  • Comment or empty
  • Parameter affectation
  • Section definition

Empty lines or lines beginning with # are ignored.

Affectation lines are in the form 'name = value'.

Section lines allow redefining a parameter for a directory subtree. Some of the parameters used for indexing are looked up hierarchically from the more to the less specific. Not all parameters can be meaningfully redefined, this is specified for each in the next section.

The tilde character (~) is expanded in file names to the name of the user's home directory.

Where values are lists, white space is used for separation, and elements with embedded spaces can be quoted with double-quotes.


topdirs = string

Space-separated list of files or directories to recursively index. Default to ~ (indexes $HOME). You can use symbolic links in the list, they will be followed, independantly of the value of the followLinks variable.

skippedNames = string

Files and directories which should be ignored.  White space separated list of wildcard patterns (simple ones, not paths, must contain no / ), which will be tested against file and directory names.  The list in the default configuration does not exclude hidden directories (names beginning with a dot), which means that it may index quite a few things that you do not want. On the other hand, email user agents like Thunderbird usually store messages in hidden directories, and you probably want this indexed. One possible solution is to have '.*' in 'skippedNames', and add things like '~/.thunderbird' '~/.evolution' to 'topdirs'.  Not even the file names are indexed for patterns in this list, see the 'noContentSuffixes' variable for an alternative approach which indexes the file names. Can be redefined for any subtree.

noContentSuffixes = string

List of name endings (not necessarily dot-separated suffixes) for which we don't try MIME type identification, and don't uncompress or index content. Only the names will be indexed. This complements the now obsoleted recoll_noindex list from the mimemap file, which will go away in a future release (the move from mimemap to recoll.conf allows editing the list through the GUI). This is different from skippedNames because these are name ending matches only (not wildcard patterns), and the file name itself gets indexed normally. This can be redefined for subdirectories.

skippedPaths = string

Paths we should not go into. Space-separated list of wildcard expressions for filesystem paths. Can contain files and directories. The database and configuration directories will automatically be added. The expressions are matched using 'fnmatch(3)' with the FNM_PATHNAME flag set by default. This means that '/' characters must be matched explicitely. You can set 'skippedPathsFnmPathname' to 0 to disable the use of FNM_PATHNAME (meaning that '/*/dir3' will match '/dir1/dir2/dir3').  The default value contains the usual mount point for removable media to remind you that it is a bad idea to have Recoll work on these (esp. with the monitor: media gets indexed on mount, all data gets erased on unmount).  Explicitely adding '/media/xxx' to the topdirs will override this.

skippedPathsFnmPathname = bool

Set to 0 to override use of FNM_PATHNAME for matching skipped paths.

daemSkippedPaths = string

skippedPaths equivalent specific to real time indexing. This enables having parts of the tree which are initially indexed but not monitored. If daemSkippedPaths is not set, the daemon uses skippedPaths.

zipSkippedNames = string

Space-separated list of wildcard expressions for names that should be ignored inside zip archives. This is used directly by the zip handler, and has a function similar to skippedNames, but works independantly. Can be redefined for subdirectories. Supported by recoll 1.20 and newer. See

followLinks = bool

Follow symbolic links during indexing. The default is to ignore symbolic links to avoid multiple indexing of linked files. No effort is made to avoid duplication when this option is set to true. This option can be set individually for each of the 'topdirs' members by using sections. It can not be changed below the 'topdirs' level. Links in the 'topdirs' list itself are always followed.

indexedmimetypes = string

Restrictive list of indexed mime types. Normally not set (in which case all supported types are indexed). If it is set, only the types from the list will have their contents indexed. The names will be indexed anyway if indexallfilenames is set (default). MIME type names should be taken from the mimemap file. Can be redefined for subtrees.

excludedmimetypes = string

List of excluded MIME types. Lets you exclude some types from indexing. Can be redefined for subtrees.

compressedfilemaxkbs = int

Size limit for compressed files. We need to decompress these in a temporary directory for identification, which can be wasteful in some cases. Limit the waste. Negative means no limit. 0 results in no processing of any compressed file. Default 50 MB.

textfilemaxmbs = int

Size limit for text files. Mostly for skipping monster logs. Default 20 MB.

indexallfilenames = bool

Index the file names of unprocessed files Index the names of files the contents of which we don't index because of an excluded or unsupported MIME type.

usesystemfilecommand = bool

Use a system command for file MIME type guessing as a final step in file type identification This is generally useful, but will usually cause the indexing of many bogus 'text' files. See 'systemfilecommand' for the command used.

systemfilecommand = string

Command used to guess MIME types if the internal methods fails This should be a "file -i" workalike.  The file path will be added as a last parameter to the command line. 'xdg-mime' works better than the traditional 'file' command, and is now the configured default (with a hard-coded fallback to 'file')

processwebqueue = bool

Decide if we process the Web queue. The queue is a directory where the Recoll Web browser plugins create the copies of visited pages.

textfilepagekbs = int

Page size for text files. If this is set, text/plain files will be divided into documents of approximately this size. Will reduce memory usage at index time and help with loading data in the preview window at query time. Particularly useful with very big files, such as application or system logs. Also see textfilemaxmbs and compressedfilemaxkbs.

membermaxkbs = int

Size limit for archive members. This is passed to the filters in the environment as RECOLL_FILTER_MAXMEMBERKB.

indexStripChars = bool

Decide if we store character case and diacritics in the index. If we do, searches sensitive to case and diacritics can be performed, but the index will be bigger, and some marginal weirdness may sometimes occur. The default is a stripped index. When using multiple indexes for a search, this parameter must be defined identically for all. Changing the value implies an index reset.

nonumbers = bool

Decides if terms will be generated for numbers. For example "123", "1.5e6",, would not be indexed if nonumbers is set ("value123" would still be). Numbers are often quite interesting to search for, and this should probably not be set except for special situations, ie, scientific documents with huge amounts of numbers in them, where setting nonumbers will reduce the index size. This can only be set for a whole index, not for a subtree.

dehyphenate = bool

Determines if we index 'coworker' also when the input is 'co-worker'. This is new in version 1.22, and on by default. Setting the variable to off allows restoring the previous behaviour.

nocjk = bool

Decides if specific East Asian (Chinese Korean Japanese) characters/word splitting is turned off. This will save a small amount of CPU if you have no CJK documents. If your document base does include such text but you are not interested in searching it, setting nocjk may be a significant time and space saver.

cjkngramlen = int

This lets you adjust the size of n-grams used for indexing CJK text. The default value of 2 is probably appropriate in most cases. A value of 3 would allow more precision and efficiency on longer words, but the index will be approximately twice as large.

indexstemminglanguages = string

Languages for which to create stemming expansion data. Stemmer names can be found by executing 'recollindex -l', or this can also be set from a list in the GUI.

defaultcharset = string

Default character set. This is used for files which do not contain a character set definition (e.g.: text/plain). Values found inside files, e.g. a 'charset' tag in HTML documents, will override it. If this is not set, the default character set is the one defined by the NLS environment ($LC_ALL, $LC_CTYPE, $LANG), or ultimately iso-8859-1 (cp-1252 in fact). If for some reason you want a general default which does not match your LANG and is not 8859-1, use this variable. This can be redefined for any sub-directory.

unac_except_trans = string

A list of characters, encoded in UTF-8, which should be handled specially when converting text to unaccented lowercase. For example, in Swedish, the letter a with diaeresis has full alphabet citizenship and should not be turned into an a. Each element in the space-separated list has the special character as first element and the translation following. The handling of both the lowercase and upper-case versions of a character should be specified, as appartenance to the list will turn-off both standard accent and case processing. The value is global and affects both indexing and querying. Examples: Swedish: unac_except_trans = ää Ää öö Öö üü Üü ßss œoe Œoe æae Æae ffff fifi flfl åå Åå unac_except_trans = ää Ää öö Öö üü Üü ßss œoe Œoe æae Æae ffff fifi flfl In French, you probably want to decompose oe and ae and nobody would type a German ß unac_except_trans = ßss œoe Œoe æae Æae ffff fifi flfl are not performed by unac, but it is unlikely that someone would type the composed forms in a search. unac_except_trans = ßss œoe Œoe æae Æae ffff fifi flfl

maildefcharset = string

Overrides the default character set for email messages which don't specify one. This is mainly useful for readpst (libpst) dumps, which are utf-8 but do not say so.

localfields = string

Set fields on all files (usually of a specific fs area). Syntax is the usual: name = value ; attr1 = val1 ; [...] value is empty so this needs an initial semi-colon. This is useful, e.g., for setting the rclaptg field for application selection inside mimeview.

testmodifusemtime = bool

Use mtime instead of ctime to test if a file has been modified. The time is used in addition to the size, which is always used. Setting this can reduce re-indexing on systems where extended attributes are used (by some other application), but not indexed, because changing extended attributes only affects ctime. Notes: - This may prevent detection of change in some marginal file rename cases (the target would need to have the same size and mtime). - You should probably also set noxattrfields to 1 in this case, except if you still prefer to perform xattr indexing, for example if the local file update pattern makes it of value (as in general, there is a risk for pure extended attributes updates without file modification to go undetected). Perform a full index reset after changing this.

noxattrfields = bool

Disable extended attributes conversion to metadata fields. This probably needs to be set if testmodifusemtime is set.

metadatacmds = string

Define commands to gather external metadata, e.g. tmsu tags.  There can be several entries, separated by semi-colons, each defining which field name the data goes into and the command to use. Don't forget the initial semi-colon. All the field names must be different. You can use aliases in the "field" file if necessary. As a not too pretty hack conceded to convenience, any field name beginning with "rclmulti" will be taken as an indication that the command returns multiple field values inside a text blob formatted as a recoll configuration file ("fieldname = fieldvalue" lines). The rclmultixx name will be ignored, and field names and values will be parsed from the data. Example: metadatacmds = ; tags = tmsu tags %f; rclmulti1 = cmdOutputsConf %f

cachedir = dfn

Top directory for Recoll data. Recoll data directories are normally located relative to the configuration directory (e.g. ~/.recoll/xapiandb, ~/.recoll/mboxcache). If 'cachedir' is set, the directories are stored under the specified value instead (e.g. if cachedir is ~/.cache/recoll, the default dbdir would be ~/.cache/recoll/xapiandb).  This affects dbdir, webcachedir, mboxcachedir, aspellDicDir, which can still be individually specified to override cachedir.  Note that if you have multiple configurations, each must have a different cachedir, there is no automatic computation of a subpath under cachedir.

maxfsoccuppc = int

Maximum file system occupation over which we stop indexing. The value is a percentage, corresponding to what the "Capacity" df output column shows. The default value is 0, meaning no checking.

xapiandb = dfn

Xapian database directory location. This will be created on first indexing. If the value is not an absolute path, it will be interpreted as relative to cachedir if set, or the configuration directory (-c argument or $RECOLL_CONFDIR).  If nothing is specified, the default is then ~/.recoll/xapiandb/

idxstatusfile = fn

Name of the scratch file where the indexer process updates its status. Default: idxstatus.txt inside the configuration directory.

mboxcachedir = dfn

Directory location for storing mbox message offsets cache files. This is normally 'mboxcache' under cachedir if set, or else under the configuration directory, but it may be useful to share a directory between different configurations.

mboxcacheminmbs = int

Minimum mbox file size over which we cache the offsets. There is really no sense in caching offsets for small files. The default is 5 MB.

webcachedir = dfn

Directory where we store the archived web pages. This is only used by the web history indexing code Default: cachedir/webcache if cachedir is set, else $RECOLL_CONFDIR/webcache

webcachemaxmbs = int

Maximum size in MB of the Web archive. This is only used by the web history indexing code. Default: 40 MB. Reducing the size will not physically truncate the file.

webqueuedir = fn

The path to the Web indexing queue. This is hard-coded in the plugin as ~/.recollweb/ToIndex so there should be no need or possibility to change it.

aspellDicDir = dfn

Aspell dictionary storage directory location. The aspell dictionary (aspdict.(lang).rws) is normally stored in the directory specified by cachedir if set, or under the configuration directory.

filtersdir = dfn

Directory location for executable input handlers. If RECOLL_FILTERSDIR is set in the environment, we use it instead. Defaults to $prefix/share/recoll/filters. Can be redefined for subdirectories.

iconsdir = dfn

Directory location for icons. The only reason to change this would be if you want to change the icons displayed in the result list. Defaults to $prefix/share/recoll/images

idxflushmb = int

Threshold (megabytes of new data) where we flush from memory to disk index. Setting this allows some control over memory usage by the indexer process. A value of 0 means no explicit flushing, which lets Xapian perform its own thing, meaning flushing every $XAPIAN_FLUSH_THRESHOLD documents created, modified or deleted: as memory usage depends on average document size, not only document count, the Xapian approach is is not very useful, and you should let Recoll manage the flushes.  The default value of idxflushmb is 10 MB, and may be a bit low. If you are looking for maximum speed, you may want to experiment with values between 20 and 80. In my experience, values beyond 100 are always counterproductive. If you find otherwise, please drop me a note.

filtermaxseconds = int

Maximum external filter execution time in seconds. Default 1200 (20mn). Set to 0 for no limit. This is mainly to avoid infinite loops in postscript files (

filtermaxmbytes = int

Maximum virtual memory space for filter processes (setrlimit(RLIMIT_AS)), in megabytes. Note that this includes any mapped libs (there is no reliable Linux way to limit the data space only), so we need to be a bit generous here. Anything over 2000 will be ignored on 32 bits machines.

thrQSizes = string

Stage input queues configuration. There are three internal queues in the indexing pipeline stages (file data extraction, terms generation, index update). This parameter defines the queue depths for each stage (three integer values). If a value of -1 is given for a given stage, no queue is used, and the thread will go on performing the next stage. In practise, deep queues have not been shown to increase performance. Default: a value of 0 for the first queue tells Recoll to perform autoconfiguration based on the detected number of CPUs (no need for the two other values in this case).  Use thrQSizes = -1 -1 -1 to disable multithreading entirely.

thrTCounts = string

Number of threads used for each indexing stage. The three stages are: file data extraction, terms generation, index update). The use of the counts is also controlled by some special values in thrQSizes: if the first queue depth is 0, all counts are ignored (autoconfigured); if a value of -1 is used for a queue depth, the corresponding thread count is ignored. It makes no sense to use a value other than 1 for the last stage because updating the Xapian index is necessarily single-threaded (and protected by a mutex).

loglevel = int

Log file verbosity 1-6. A value of 2 will print only errors and warnings. 3 will print information like document updates, 4 is quite verbose and 6 very verbose.

logfilename = fn

Log file destination. Use 'stderr' (default) to write to the console.

idxloglevel = int

Override loglevel for the indexer.

idxlogfilename = fn

Override logfilename for the indexer.

daemloglevel = int

Override loglevel for the indexer in real time mode. The default is to use the idx... values if set, else the log... values.

daemlogfilename = fn

Override logfilename for the indexer in real time mode. The default is to use the idx... values if set, else the log... values.

idxrundir = dfn

Indexing process current directory. The input handlers sometimes leave temporary files in the current directory, so it makes sense to have recollindex chdir to some temporary directory. If the value is empty, the current directory is not changed. If the value is (literal) tmp, we use the temporary directory as set by the environment (RECOLL_TMPDIR else TMPDIR else /tmp). If the value is an absolute path to a directory, we go there.

checkneedretryindexscript = fn

Script used to heuristically check if we need to retry indexing files which previously failed.  The default script checks the modified dates on /usr/bin and /usr/local/bin. A relative path will be looked up in the filters dirs, then in the path. Use an absolute path to do otherwise.

recollhelperpath = string

Additional places to search for helper executables. This is only used on Windows for now.

idxabsmlen = int

Length of abstracts we store while indexing. Recoll stores an abstract for each indexed file. The text can come from an actual 'abstract' section in the document or will just be the beginning of the document. It is stored in the index so that it can be displayed inside the result lists without decoding the original file. The idxabsmlen parameter defines the size of the stored abstract. The default value is 250 bytes. The search interface gives you the choice to display this stored text or a synthetic abstract built by extracting text around the search terms. If you always prefer the synthetic abstract, you can reduce this value and save a little space.

idxmetastoredlen = int

Truncation length of stored metadata fields. This does not affect indexing (the whole field is processed anyway), just the amount of data stored in the index for the purpose of displaying fields inside result lists or previews. The default value is 150 bytes which may be too low if you have custom fields.

aspellLanguage = string

Language definitions to use when creating the aspell dictionary. The value must match a set of aspell language definition files. You can type "aspell dicts"  to see a list The default if this is not set is to use the NLS environment to guess the value.

aspellAddCreateParam = string

Additional option and parameter to aspell dictionary creation command. Some aspell packages may need an additional option (e.g. on Debian Jessie: --local-data-dir=/usr/lib/aspell). See Debian bug 772415.

aspellKeepStderr = bool

Set this to have a look at aspell dictionary creation errors. There are always many, so this is mostly for debugging.

noaspell = bool

Disable aspell use. The aspell dictionary generation takes time, and some combinations of aspell version, language, and local terms, result in aspell crashing, so it sometimes makes sense to just disable the thing.

monauxinterval = int

Auxiliary database update interval. The real time indexer only updates the auxiliary databases (stemdb, aspell) periodically, because it would be too costly to do it for every document change. The default period is one hour.

monixinterval = int

Minimum interval (seconds) between processings of the indexing queue. The real time indexer does not process each event when it comes in, but lets the queue accumulate, to diminish overhead and to aggregate multiple events affecting the same file. Default 30 S.

mondelaypatterns = string

Timing parameters for the real time indexing. Definitions for files which get a longer delay before reindexing is allowed. This is for fast-changing files, that should only be reindexed once in a while. A list of wildcardPattern:seconds pairs. The patterns are matched with fnmatch(pattern, path, 0) You can quote entries containing white space with double quotes (quote the whole entry, not the pattern). The default is empty. Example: mondelaypatterns = *.log:20 "*with spaces.*:30"

monioniceclass = int

ionice class for the real time indexing process On platforms where this is supported. The default value is 3.

monioniceclassdata = string

ionice class parameter for the real time indexing process. On platforms where this is supported. The default is empty.

autodiacsens = bool

auto-trigger diacritics sensitivity (raw index only). IF the index is not stripped, decide if we automatically trigger diacritics sensitivity if the search term has accented characters (not in unac_except_trans). Else you need to use the query language and the "D" modifier to specify diacritics sensitivity. Default is no.

autocasesens = bool

auto-trigger case sensitivity (raw index only). IF the index is not stripped (see indexStripChars), decide if we automatically trigger character case sensitivity if the search term has upper-case characters in any but the first position. Else you need to use the query language and the "C" modifier to specify character-case sensitivity. Default is yes.

maxTermExpand = int

Maximum query expansion count for a single term (e.g.: when using wildcards). This only affects queries, not indexing. We used to not limit this at all (except for filenames where the limit was too low at 1000), but it is unreasonable with a big index. Default 10000.

maxXapianClauses = int

Maximum number of clauses we add to a single Xapian query. This only affects queries, not indexing. In some cases, the result of term expansion can be multiplicative, and we want to avoid eating all the memory. Default 50000.

snippetMaxPosWalk = int

Maximum number of positions we walk while populating a snippet for the result list. The default of 1,000,000 may be insufficient for very big documents, the consequence would be snippets with possibly meaning-altering missing words.

pdfocr = bool

Attempt OCR of PDF files with no text content if both tesseract and pdftoppm are installed. The default is off because OCR is so very slow.

pdfattach = bool

Enable PDF attachment extraction by executing pdftk (if available). This is normally disabled, because it does slow down PDF indexing a bit even if not one attachment is ever found.

mhmboxquirks = string

Enable thunderbird/mozilla-seamonkey mbox format quirks Set this for the directory where the email mbox files are stored.

See Also

recollindex(1) recoll(1)

Referenced By

recoll(1), recollindex(1), recollq(1).

14 November 2012