Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

What would you like to do?
GNOME Tracker Disable

Disabling GNOME Tracker and Other Info

GNOME's tracker is a CPU and privacy hog. There's a pretty good case as to why it's neither useful nor necessary here:

After discovering it chowing 2 cores, I decided to go about disabling it.



After wiping and letting it do a fresh index on my almost new desktop, the total size of each of these directories was a whopping 3.9 GB!

Startup Files

On my Ubuntu GNOME setup, I found the following files:

$ ls  /etc/xdg/autostart/tracker-*

You can disable these by adding Hidden=true to them. It's best done in your local .config directory because 1) you don't need sudo and 2) you are pretty much guaranteed that your changes won't be blown away by an update.

The tracker Binary

Running tracker will give you a vast array of tools to check on tracker and manage its processes.

$ tracker
usage: tracker [--version] [--help]
               <command> [<args>]

Available tracker commands are:
   daemon    Start, stop, pause and list processes responsible for indexing content
   info      Show information known about local files or items indexed
   index     Backup, restore, import and (re)index by MIME type or file name
   reset     Reset or remove index and revert configurations to defaults
   search    Search for content indexed or show content by type
   sparql    Query and update the index using SPARQL or search, list and tree the ontology
   sql       Query the database at the lowest level using SQL
   status    Show the indexing progress, content statistics and index state
   tag       Create, list or delete tags for indexed content

See 'tracker help <command>' to read about a specific subcommand.

Non-Invasive Disable Cheat Sheet

This disables everything but tracker-store, which even though it has a .desktop file, seems tenacious and starts up anyway. However, nothing gets indexed.

tracker daemon -t
cd ~/.config/autostart
cp -v /etc/xdg/autostart/tracker-*.desktop ./
for FILE in tracker-*.desktop; do echo Hidden=true >> $FILE; done
rm -rf ~/.cache/tracker ~/.local/share/tracker

Note that tracker daemon -t is for graceful termination. If you are having issues terminating processes or just want to take your frustration out, tracker daemon -k immediately kills all processes.

After this is done, tracker-store will still start on the next boot. However, nothing will be indexed. Your disk and CPU will be better for wear.

$ tracker status
Currently indexed: 0 files, 0 folders
Remaining space on database partition: 123 GB (78.9%)
All data miners are idle, indexing complete

Other References

Copy link

I am new to Linux, just moved here after 30+ years in Windows... Am afraid to follow things, maybe I will damage something...
Using KDE Plasma over Ubuntu 20.04 and am getting this error:

A start job for unit fwupd-refresh.service has finished with a failure.
The job identifier is 2337 and the job result is failed.

What should I do?

Copy link

wachin commented Nov 5, 2021


Copy link

eevmanu commented Mar 2, 2022

Nowadays you can disable Tracker easier, by masking its systemd services, see here

👍 , thx @logix2

Testing with the directories and it works (stop increasing the disk usage):

$ du -shc .cache/tracker/
380K	.cache/tracker/
380K	total

$ du -shc .local/share/tracker/
84K	.local/share/tracker/
84K	total

also, if you're confortable with terminal, I strongly recommend:

  • fzf to search patterns on filenames
  • ripgrep to search patterns over files content

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment