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What Is FileWatcher?

Watching Filewatcher Penguin FileWatcher is a FTP search engine which monitors more than two billion files on more than 5,000 FTP servers. It allows you to search for files by specifying parts of the filename or other criteria.

How Does It Work?

A FTP spider is constantly scanning all FTP sites which are in FileWatcher's database. Once per day new or updated files found by the spider are included into the search index.


FileWatcher started in 1997 as a personal project of Oliver Maruhn in shape of a Linux community site. At that time it was known as "Linux FTP Watcher". With the help of partners and sponsors like Robert E. Blue, Jim Pick, and Penguin Computing the site kept on growing. Volunteers like Erwin Lemmers joined the team and helped maintaining the Linux Software Directory.

In 2002 the site had to go down because of technical reasons. It was relaunched in the beginning of 2003. In the meantime the search engine core has been partially rewritten and highly optimized. Today more than 450 million files are indexed.

Our Hardware (outdated)

Currently FileWatcher is intentionally running on low-end hardware. The picture on the left shows the index building server which is a 1533 MHz AMD Athlon with 1 GB of RAM. At the upper right is the query server which also hosts the FTP spider. This box runs with an underclocked 374 MHz Intel Celeron with 512 MB of RAM. The lower right picture shows a monitor and keyboard connected to the index builder.

On both machines Debian Linux is running. It is planned to move FileWatcher to more powerful servers.

Statistics: Search Requests per Day (outdated)

The following graph shows the amount of daily search requests from April 2003 on until today:


Your comments are welcome. You can reach us at <>. We will not answer generic software related questions or personally help you to find any files.

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