For those prefer installing and removing Ubuntu packages via Synaptic package manager, you must have noticed the ‘Quick filter’ search function has been replaced by a search button.
This quick tutorial is going to show you how to re-enable the ‘Quick filter’ function in Synaptic package manager in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 16.04, and higher.
UPDATE: The tutorial is still working in today’s Ubuntu, including Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 22.04, and Ubuntu 23.10.
The quick filter search box is offered by ‘
apt-xapian-index‘, which is a ‘recommends’ dependency package for Synaptic. Installing synaptic via Ubuntu Software or apt command without
--install-recommends will exclude that optional dependency package.
So, the solution is just install the package and re-build search engine index by doing the following steps one by one:
1. Open terminal either via Ctrl+Alt+T keyboard shortcut or from application launcher. When it opens, run command to install
sudo apt install apt-xapian-index
Type user password (no asterisks feedback) when it prompts and hit Enter to continue.
2. Then rebuild the search engine index via command:
sudo update-apt-xapian-index -vf
Finally open or re-open Synaptic package manager, and you’ll see the search box back. Unfortunately for perfectionist, the original ‘Search’ button seems not easy to be removed from tool-bar.