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File meta data and location of notes saved in notes tab of Nautilus

 ·   ·  ☕ 2 min read  ·  ✍️ Sathyajith Bhat · 👀... views

I spend quite a lot of time on Super User( my repis a testament to that I guess ;) ) - both on the site as well as the mindblowingly awesome chat (if you haven’t been here, you *must* drop by).

Today a user dropped by and asked a very nice question - which went like -

I have some files that have some text in the notes fields(the tab where you put notes in the properties dialog box)… so can I output those texts with using the ls command.

Now me being a KDE user I had noticed this but never paid much attention. This piqued my interest, and I fired a quick search on “notes in gnome file properties” - this returned few results, all of them corroborating that the meta data is stored in an XML file in ~/.nautilus/metafiles. So I told him about the location. He replies stating that the path does not exist and ~/.nautilus is empty. Now that prompted me to get off my Windows partition and boot into Gnome ( probably the second time that I’ve booted into it after installing Ubuntu - as I said above I’m more of a KDE guy :-) ) and find out for myself where this is.

First thing I did run a system wide find for metafiles folder:

find / -iname metafiles

That didn’t return anything, so I went back to the big G and searched deeper, to find this launchpad answer :

This is handled in gvfs now, and the information is stored in ~/.local/shared/gvfs-metadata

And indeed, it was

Unfortunately, given the data stored against it, I don’t think it would be possible to parse out the Notes data (The note I had saved was “where will this note be saved?").

Just another thing you learn every day :)

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Sathyajith Bhat
Sathyajith Bhat
Author, AWS Community Hero and DevOps Specialist

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