How to Search through multiple external Portable drives Simultaneously


I recently installed Manjaro as my first attempt at attempting to move from Win to Linux. I ran into a basic issue and hope someone here can help.

I have multiple Portable External Hard Disks. These are all NTFS drives.

When I connect them they are detected just fine by Manjaro.

I want to be able to search through multiple connected drives/folders simultaneously. For example through 3 Folders on external drive 1 and 2 folders on external drive 2.

I could see no option in Dolphi to do this. It onlyseems to allow selection of a single path.

In Windows I do this via a free 3rd party file manager called “Free Commander XE” that I have been using for years. It allows me to choose any many drives/folders to search as I like - there is no limit. Al I need to do is “browse” to the drive/folder and add it to the search path.

If Dolphin cant do this, is there some other File Manager in Manjaro I can use for this purpose? Any help appreciated.



Usually if you auto-mount trough System Settings > Removable devices … or you mount them via Dolphin, the mountpoints will be in /run/media/yourUseName/mountpoint
Because of that, if you search in / path, aka ROOT, then the search will be performed also in all your mountpoints. If you have custom mountpoint paths, will still apply …
If you exclude those partitions/mount points from indexing, then the search result will be displayed slower. That is the simples way i can explain it.

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Dolphin supports both tabs and split views, so you can have multiple directories open within Dolphin in separate tabs and/or in split-view mode.

That said, please be advised that the concept of drives does not exist in UNIX. There is only a single, hierarchical directory structure, and everything is mounted into the directory hierarchy, regardless of what physical medium it exists on.

That said, the “Places” section ─ available in most file managers ─ does show individual storage devices as separate entities, but even then, you can still use the split-view and/or multiple-tabs approach.

In addition to the above, if you really meant to use the term search, then you can use the Baloo indexer, which will index everything it finds on your system ─ unless you tell it to exclude certain paths ─ and will narrow down the results as you start typing.

You can use this functionality from your desktop without needing to open Dolphin. Just start typing the name of a file on an empty desktop ─ if there is already an application open and in focus, then you may need to hit Alt+F2 or Alt+Space first.

Of course, Baloo must be enabled in System Settings. :arrow_down:

System Settings → Workspace → Search → File Search → Enable file search

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Thanks a tonne to both of you for the super fast replies! Greatly appreciated.

Will try what you suggested and see if it does what I need.


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Tried the method suggested by you Aragorn. It works but there’s an issue.

When I connect an external drive, add it to search and index it all is well. Search works just fine.

However, if I disconnect the drive and reconnect it 10 seconds later, it fails to find any files on the reconnected drive even though the path is very much still present in the “Search” properties.

Is there any way to fix this permanently? Do let me know.


This is a bug in the KDE software. It is known about upstream, and promised to have been fixed in the next release of Plasma.

The bug consists of the disconnecting and reconnecting sequence being interpreted as that the second connection is a new (and non-existing) drive, causing it to appear unreadable.

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