Searching on the command line

There are several ways to obtain search results as a text stream, without a graphical interface:

  • By passing option -t to the recoll program, or by calling it as recollq (through a link).

  • By using the actual recollq program.

  • By writing a custom Python program, using the Recoll Python API.

The first two methods work in the same way and accept/need the same arguments (except for the additional -t to recoll). The query to be executed is specified as command line arguments.

recollq is not always built by default. You can use the Makefile in the query directory to build it. This is a very simple program, and if you can program a little c++, you may find it useful to taylor its output format to your needs. Apart from being easily customised, recollq is only really useful on systems where the Qt libraries are not available, else it is redundant with recoll -t.

recollq has a man page. The Usage string follows:

recollq: usage:
 -P: Show the date span for all the documents present in the index.
 [-o|-a|-f] [-q] <query string>
 Runs a recoll query and displays result lines. 
  Default: will interpret the argument(s) as a xesam query string.
  Query elements: 
   * Implicit AND, exclusion, field spec:  t1 -t2 title:t3
   * OR has priority: t1 OR t2 t3 OR t4 means (t1 OR t2) AND (t3 OR t4)
   * Phrase: "t1 t2" (needs additional quoting on cmd line)
 -o Emulate the GUI simple search in ANY TERM mode.
 -a Emulate the GUI simple search in ALL TERMS mode.
 -f Emulate the GUI simple search in filename mode.
 -q is just ignored (compatibility with the recoll GUI command line).
Common options:
 -c <configdir> : specify config directory, overriding $RECOLL_CONFDIR.
 -C : collapse duplicates
 -d also dump file contents.
 -n [first-]<cnt> define the result slice. The default value for [first]
    is 0. Without the option, the default max count is 2000.
    Use n=0 for no limit.
 -b : basic. Just output urls, no mime types or titles.
 -Q : no result lines, just the processed query and result count.
 -m : dump the whole document meta[] array for each result.
 -A : output the document abstracts.
    -p <cnt> : show <cnt> snippets, with page numbers instead of the concatenated abstract.
    -g <cnt> : show <cnt> snippets, with line numbers instead of the concatenated abstract.
 -S fld : sort by field <fld>.
   -D : sort descending.
 -s stemlang : set stemming language to use (must exist in index...).
    Use -s "" to turn off stem expansion.
 -T <synonyms file>: use the parameter (Thesaurus) for word expansion.
 -i <dbdir> : additional index, several can be given.
 -e use url encoding (%xx) for urls.
 -E use exact result count instead of lower bound estimate.
 -F <field name list> : output exactly these fields for each result.
    The field values are encoded in base64, output in one line and 
    separated by one space character. This is the recommended format 
    for use by other programs. Use a normal query with option -m to 
    see the field names. Use -F '' to output all fields, but you probably
    also want option -N in this case.
   -N : with -F, print the (plain text) field names before the field values.
 --extract_to <filepath> : extract the first result to filepath, which must not exist.
      Use a -n option with an offset to select the appropriate result.

Sample execution:

recollq 'ilur -nautique mime:text/html'
Recoll query: ((((ilur:(wqf=11) OR ilurs) AND_NOT (nautique:(wqf=11) OR nautiques OR nautiqu OR nautiquement)) FILTER Ttext/html))
4 results
text/html       [file:///Users/dockes/projets/bateaux/ilur/comptes.html]      [comptes.html]  18593   bytes   
text/html       [file:///Users/dockes/projets/nautique/webnautique/articles/ilur1/index.html] [Constructio...
text/html       [file:///Users/dockes/projets/pagepers/index.html]    [psxtcl/writemime/recoll]...
text/html       [file:///Users/dockes/projets/bateaux/ilur/factEtCie/recu-chasse-maree....