Index Server G8 User manual (Version 3.0.0)  

1 HELIOS Index Server

HELIOS Index Server allows fast and comprehensive file searches in HELIOS volumes. File contents and attributes such as metadata or file comments can be searched from EtherShare, PCShare, and WebShare clients, and via the HELIOS “dt” tools. The index server is inspired by the Apple Spotlight search. Mac clients simply use the Find function to perform searches in HELIOS server volumes. Windows clients use the HELIOS PCShare Search dialog, and WebShare users use the File > Search menu. For more information see chapter 2 “Searching from remote clients”.

1.1 Spotlight search settings in HELIOS Admin


Indexing and searching needs to be activated per HELIOS volume. If indexing has been activated for a volume, the initial database must be created using the HELIOS Admin Rebuild Spotlight Index function.

Spotlight indexing is not supported on home volumes.

Rebuild Spotlight index

Each HELIOS volume that has the Spotlight Index option activated (Fig. 1.1) will contain Spotlight full-text form field information, EXIF, IPTC, XMP metadata, and WebShare annotation information.


Volumes with an enabled Spotlight Index option are displayed with a ICON icon in the HELIOS Admin volume list.

If the Spotlight Index option is checked, the PDF Text Indexing and Office File Indexing options are automatically activated as well. They allow Spotlight indexing of text in PDF documents, and Office documents respectively.


To initially create or to rebuild the Spotlight index database of a HELIOS volume select the volume from the HELIOS Admin Volumes tab and choose Rebuild Spotlight Index from the Volume menu (Fig. 1.2).

Volume settings in HELIOS Admin

Fig. 1.1: Volume settings in HELIOS Admin

Rebuilding the Spotlight index of a volume

Fig. 1.2: Rebuilding the Spotlight index of a volume

There are a two methods to keep the database in sync with new and edited files. If Automatic Indexing is enabled for the volume, the index server will be notified of all new and edited files and update the index accordingly. If Automatic Indexing is disabled, the index must be updated manually using the indexsrv -r command (see 3 “The index server program”), e.g. using a cronjob that runs every night at midnight.

Automatic index updating may utilize all available server CPUs. The number of concurrent processes is specified via the MaxProc preference. A list of files that are subject to indexing is cached in (“HELIOSDIR/var/run/”). In doing so, pending jobs do not get lost, even if the HELIOS services have been stopped and restarted.

The collected data is stored in an index database (“.DesktopIndex”), which by default is located in the volume root directory, together with the desktop database. The latter is also required by the index server because file references are resolved via file IDs. If the desktop database is moved to a different path (via the desktoplocation preference; see HELIOS Base manual) the index database is moved to the same location.


The index database may increase considerably in size (several gigabytes!). Make sure that there is enough free disk space!

The server uses plug-ins for indexing the different file types (see 3.2 “Indexing modules” below). Depending on the file type the disk size requirements per file may vary:

File Size
Without any metadata About 100 bytes, can be more e.g. if file comments are available
With metadata (e.g. images) Up to several kilobytes
Containing text (e.g. PDF) Full-text indexing may require the same size as the original file

Table 1.1: Disk size requirements

List of all file formats and attributes that can be indexed by the HELIOS Spotlight search indexing modules:

Format Index
Files and folders File and folder names including dates
Comments File and folder comments
Images Attributes of major image formats (color space, resolution, …)
IPTC IPTC metadata fields
EXIF Image information from EXIF records
XMP XMP metadata fields as well as custom XMP fields
ICC ICC profile names that are included within images
Text Text files
Word Word files (doc and docx)
Excel Excel files (xls and xlsx)
PowerPoint PowerPoint files (ppt and pptx)
PDF PDF metadata and form fields
PDF-Text PDF full-text extraction via PDF HandShake add-on
XPress/InDesign Full-text extraction via ImageServer add-on (XPV files)
Annotations Author, project title, file status and due date information
Media aax, m4a, m4p, mp3, wma, mov, wmv file metadata

Table 1.2: Indexed file formats and attributes

Exclude folders from Spotlight indexing

Sometimes you may want to exclude one or more folders in the selected directory from being indexed:


Click on the Add... button and select in the file chooser window the folder that you wish to be excluded from Spotlight indexing (see Fig. 1.1). Confirm with OK and back in the volume configuration window, click on the Save button.

The selected folder will now appear in the Omit Indexing for Directories in '<directory>' list.

If you need to specify additional folders, repeat the procedure described above.

1.2 Search security

File system permissions are enforced for all searches via HELIOS Index Server. Users will only see search results for files that they have permission to view.

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HELIOS Manuals September 10, 2020