[lug] Beagle

Zan Lynx zlynx at acm.org
Sun Dec 10 22:07:43 MST 2006

On Sun, 2006-12-10 at 16:51 -0700, Daniel Webb wrote:
> I'm interested in trying Beagle, but before I put 31 packages and 30MB on my
> system (!) I'd be interested to hear if anyone has experience with it,
> especially on Debian Etch.  Specifically, I want something to index my text,
> PDF, MP3 and OGG tags, Maildir mailboxes, and Firefox history.  I would just
> try it but I've read enough online to think that it won't do that reliably.  
> Assuming it's as unstable/unreliable as I've read, is there anything else in
> Debian that can do what I want?  Google searches have left me cold on this.

Well, I run it on my Gentoo Gnome system and it seems to work pretty
well.  It does have some annoying habits...
 - Sometimes new versions wipe out the old databases and start from
 - Maildir indexing, at least of Evolution maildirs, is not optimal.  It
seems to reread every mail file in a modified maildir.  OK with less
than 1,000 messages.  Very annoying with 23,000 messages.
 - Index flush and optimization.  Beagle delays these actions until
there is nothing left to index.  With my very large mailboxes, plus the
slow maildir scan, it can get into a situation where it cannot scan the
mail before new mail arrives, leading to it not doing a flush and
optimize of the mail index for weeks, if I don't leave my laptop running
with Evolution closed.  With an LKML subscription, it never stops
receiving mail. :)
 - This is more of a Gentoo problem.  With some versions of Beagle
and/or some versions of Mono, it develops memory leak problems.  I once
had to kill a 1.5 GB Beagle process.  It had driven everything else out
to swap.  However, this shouldn't happen on Debian, since they hopefully
picked a correct combination of Beagle and Mono.

Some good things are that it seems to use a reasonable amount of RAM
when running without bugs, it uses both niced CPU priority and I/O
priority, and the searches seem to be pretty quick.  Plus, a lot of
Gnome software is integrating with it.
Zan Lynx <zlynx at acm.org>
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