Google has released a new version of Google Desktop with support for Linux. As with early versions of the Windows tool and the recently release Mac OS X tool, Google Desktop for Linux is just the desktop search engine component, but the company says eventually support for the sidebar and gadgets will be added. The Linux version of Google Desktop can index OpenOffice documents, PDF and PostScript files, text and HTML, man pages, music, video and image files, web history (provided you use Firefox) and emails from Gmail and/or Thunderbird.
If you’re not a Firefox user Google Desktop can still index things like bookmarks, but you won’t have access to your web history.
Currently Microsoft Office documents can not be indexed and, regrettably, neither can chat transcripts or archive files.
Google Desktop for Linux officially supports Ubuntu 6.10+, Debian 4.0+, Fedora Core 6+, SUSE 10.1+ running on x86 hardware, however, so long as you have the core components (glibc 2.3.2 or later and gtk+ 2.2.0 or later) installed, it should work with just about any x86 distro.
Unlike some Google offerings, Google Desktop for Linux is not open source. Google says the tool is based on its own desktop search algorithms not existing Linux search programs.
Although there are already some great desktop search programs for Linux (Beagle comes to mind), it’s nice to see Google make good on its promise to delivery more Linux software offerings. Google Desktop for Linux joins Picasa, Google Earth and the Firefox toolbar, all of which offer Linux support.