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To start, you first need to make sure updatedb has been run/updatedb, and initialized the db:
su -l root -c updatedb
This locate command is provided through the mlocate package, installed by default on most GNU/Linux distributions. It's available on the BSDs as well. Not sure about support for proprietary UNIX systems. The output is self-explanatory- it provides an overview of how many directories and files are on your system.