Test drive Beagle

Ben’s article about Beagle gave me confidence to try out Beagle once again. Beagle recommends you to make two changes to your system so that it can have the best performance. One is to use an inotify-enabled kernel. Good, as I’m already using 2.6.13.1, which has the inotify feature merged in. The other is to enable extended attributes to your filesystem. I thought I can’t be luckier, my filesystem is XFS and extended attributes is a default feature. It was time to apt-get install beagle and waited for all related packages (25MB in total) to be downloaded.

My overall experience to beagle is very positive, the setup is smooth and search speed is very fast. Below is a screenshot of the Beagle search tool, Best.

beagle search tool

beagle firefox extension

Beagle can also index the webpages that you have visited in Firefox, but you have to install the Firefox extension found here. As usual, the extension was installed like a breeze. Having restarted Firefox, you will have a brand-new dog-head icon on the lower-right corner of your browser (see right), indicating that it is now working with Beagle.

Best, the search UI, can report any new search results in real-time. Start up best and key in a search string, then in Firefox browse a web page that matches the search string you just entered, then go back to best. See? The page you just visited is now showing up in best. Sweet, isn’t it?