22 August 2012

224. Disabling tracker-miner-fs

Yes, yes, I shouldn't have a full desktop install on a computational node, but the nodes serve as instant replacement desktops if something goes awry with my main desktop, and occasionally visitors get to use them to access the internet in order to avoid getting bored.

Anyway, tracker-miner-fs is eating up 26% of my 8 Gb RAM on one of my nodes running KDE, and I really don't need it. I mean, I don't know if it's useful to most people running a full DE, but on my node I most certainly, definitely don't need it.

Given the number of posts online with questions about tracker ('What is it?", "Why is it using up all my resources?" etc.) I think that there's a bit of a PR problem. If it's a program that is noticeable because it makes demands on your computer system, the users should be allowed to know why putting up with this extra drain on resources is desirable -- or not.


aptitude show tracker says:
"Tracker is an advanced framework for first class objects with associated metadata and tags. It provides a one stop solution for all metadata, tags, shared object databases, search tools and indexing."

...which means what exactly in practical terms?

man tracker-miner-fs 
       tracker-miner-fs - Used to crawl the file system to mine data.
man tracker-store
       tracker-store - database indexer and query daemon
My guess would be that tracker-miner is basically indexing files for faster search, but I really don't know. It's one daemon I'm happy to expel.

There's a standard place for stuff that's supposed to be brought up with x:

ls /etc/xdg/autostart/

-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   306 May  3 09:42 at-spi-dbus-bus.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  6216 Jun 20 06:58 evolution-alarm-notify.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  7404 Oct 14  2011 gdu-notification-daemon.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  5340 May 24 08:46 gnome-keyring-gpg.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  6711 May 24 08:46 gnome-keyring-pkcs11.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  6282 May 24 08:46 gnome-keyring-secrets.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  5138 May 24 08:46 gnome-keyring-ssh.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  6681 May 30 21:02 gnome-sound-applet.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  7018 Apr 28 09:27 gsettings-data-convert.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   460 Oct 21  2011 guake.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   301 Jun 24 16:52 hplip-systray.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   238 Dec  2  2011 kerneloops-applet.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  4673 Mar 25 08:49 nm-applet.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   250 Sep 10  2011 notification-daemon.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  4651 Nov 12  2011 polkit-gnome-authentication-agent-1.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  7112 Dec 23  2011 print-applet.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  3864 Oct  1  2011 pulseaudio.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   633 May 20 06:08 pulseaudio-kde.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  3288 Aug 12 12:05 tracker-miner-fs.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  3004 Aug 12 12:05 tracker-store.desktop

-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 11041 Apr  4 22:02 user-dirs-update-gtk.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   433 Nov  3  2011 wicd-tray.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   150 Feb  8  2012 xfce4-settings-helper-autostart.desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   357 Aug  1  2011 xfce4-volumed.desktop
Incidentally, the folder on that particular node betrays a history of previously installed desktop environments...

To stop and remove the tracker-miner processes, do
tracker-control -r 
It removes the databases it has created as well.

To disable:
Launch tracker-preferences from the KDE menu. Uncheck all options under 'Semantics'. Uncheck all places under locations. Clicking apply doesn't seem to have any effect, but if you open tracker-preferences again you'll probably find that it worked.

To disable tracker-miner-fs and tracker-store from the terminal you can probably edit:

51 Icon=
 52 Exec=/usr/lib/tracker/tracker-miner-fs
 53 Terminal=false
 54 Type=Application
 55 Categories=Utility;
 56 X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=false
 57 X-KDE-autostart-enabled=false
 58 X-KDE-StartupNotify=false
 59 X-KDE-UniqueApplet=true
 60 NoDisplay=true

54 Icon=
 55 Exec=/usr/lib/tracker/tracker-store
 56 Terminal=false
 57 Type=Application
 58 Categories=Utility;
 59 X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=false
 60 X-KDE-autostart-enabled=false
 61 X-KDE-StartupNotify=false
 62 X-KDE-UniqueApplet=true
 63 NoDisplay=true
 64 OnlyShowIn=GNOME;KDE;XFCE;

Reasons why we don't simply uninstall it:

apt-cache rdepends tracker
Reverse Depends:
  nautilus (twice?)


  1. Thanks Lindqvist you put me on the right track to solve my problem.

    I had 2 identical laptops with wheezy installed on on #1 the tracker-miner-fs behaved itself on #2 the tracker-miner-fs would use 7 gigs of my 8 gigs ram and heat the laptop up to 79c while my other laptop temp was 52c.

    I found a post reporting not having the locales set would cause problems with tracker-miner-fs on #2 they were not set correctly (why i am not sure something during the install i guess). I then corrected the locales but still had a problem with tracker-miner-fs.

    When I read your post i thought my problems might be tied in with the tracker-miner-fs database. To delete the data base I did as you suggested: tracker-control -r rebooted and now my tracker-miner-fs behaves normally .
    So I reckon the incorrect locales has corrupted the database causing the tracker-miner-fs to through a wobbly .

    rgds Steve

    1. Happy it sorted itself out, and thanks for the feedback

    2. thanks for giving details. I made quiet a mess with my language settings but would never have though to connect that with the tracker problem.

      Doing as you (and of course Lindqvist) suggested tracker-control -r rebooted seems to work for me as well.

      thanks a lot you two :)

  2. Thanks a lot for making this post... Don't know why gnome has dependencies on this as everything work MUCH BETTER without this stupid app consuming resources!

  3. thanks - disabling this pgm/service resulted in a really usable machine.

  4. Thanks for the post, REALLY helped!!

  5. Any idea how to disable this under debian? Will doing so cause errors with FDE?

  6. in debian jessie to kill it and remove the db
    as the local user> tracker-control -r

    to disable it

    thank for the write up, this program is buggy and a bug report should be submitted to Debian.

    my HDD was running at 100% because of this program

    1. There's a new nuisance as well -- bijiben-shell-search. It doesn't run long, but it causes a spike in CPU usage, and you can't get rid of it . Oh, gnome...