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If a pattern is a plain string it contains no metacharacters locate displays all file names in the database that contain that string anywhere. If a pattern does contain metacharacters, locate only displays file names that match the pattern exactly. As a result, patterns that contain metacharacters should usually begin with a `*', and will most often end with one as well. The exceptions are patterns that are intended to explicitly match the beginning or end of a file name.
The file name databases contain lists of files that were on the system when the databases were last updated. The system administrator can choose the file name of the default database, the frequency with which the databases are updated, and the directories for which they contain entries; see updatedb(1L).
The file name database format changed starting with GNU find and locate version 4.0 to allow machines with diffent byte orderings to share the databases. This version of locate can automatically recognize and read databases produced for older versions of GNU locate or Unix versions of locate or find.
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