Xfce Wiki

Sub domains

Catfish - Introduction

Catfish is a versatile file search utility for the Xfce desktop. Powered by Python and GTK, it is fast, flexible, and exceptional at finding files.


  • Minimalistic, GTK+3 interface
  • Search suggestions, powered by Zeitgeist and locate
  • Powerful filtering by date, file type, and more
  • Full-text file content search

Required Packages

  • GTK+ (3.12 or above)
  • GLib (GLib / GObject Python bindings: GdkPixbuf, GLib, GTK 3, Pango, Cairo, Xfconf)
  • locate or mlocate


Catfish includes optional support for Zeitgeist, which is used to provide instant search results. You can learn more about Zeitgeist on the Zeitgeist Homepage or the Zeitgeist Arch Wiki page.

To enable Zeitgeist (on Debian-based systems), just install the Python Zeitgeist GIR binding and ensure the Zeitgeist datahub is running.

  sudo apt install gir1.2-zeitgeist-2.0 zeitgeist

Installation instructions

To install the build and runtime requirements on a Debian-based system, the following command is sufficient:

  sudo apt install python3 python3-distutils-extra gir1.2-gdkpixbuf-2.0
  gir1.2-glib-2.0 gir1.2-gtk-3.0 gir1.2-pango-1.0 python3-gi-cairo
  gir1.2-xfconf-0 xfconf python3-pexpect locate

If gir1.2-xfconf-0 cannot be found in your repository, it may be located at the Xubuntu Experimental PPA

From a source repository:

  1. Unpack the archive.
  2. Install Catfish:
    1. To install locally (a user install), run: python3 setup.py install –user
    2. To install system-wide (a root install), run: sudo python3 setup.py install
  3. For a list of command line options run: catfish –help

Back to Top

Back to main Catfish page