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12.29.2014

Disable Tracker on Fedora 21 / Fedora 20

Question sent in by Townsen from Wisconsin.

Q: I have some tracker processes running high CPU on my machine and can't figure out how to get rid of them. When they are running it makes my video choppy and slows down my machine drastically. I have read several articles on how to uninstall tracker, but they always warn that it could break other applications. Can you give me any help?

A: I have been through the same thing, and it wasn't fun. Tracker is a collection of daemons that run on the system to index your files to make search faster. For more information on what tracker is, you can visit the project page (https://wiki.gnome.org/Projects/Tracker/WhatIsTracker).

If you are using a higher end system usually tracker doesn't get in your way, except for the initial index. But I have heard problems when people have large amounts of data on a USB drive, or even a network drive and tracker tries to index those locations.

Some of the processes that people report causing issues are:

tracker-store
tracker-miner-fs
tracker-extract

To answer your question, there is no need to uninstall or disable Tracker. You can use the UI to edit the folders which are indexed instead, or you can remove all the folders to be indexed effectively shutting it off.

If you don't already have it installed, let's install the tracker-preferences package like so:

yum -y install tracker-preferences
NOTE: In older version of Fedora this package may not be available, in that case use:
yum install tracker-ui-tools

Now you can open the tracker-preferences window by typing "tracker-preferences" at the command line, or open "Search and Indexing" from the Applications menu. Once opened, you can disable most of the troublesome features.

First, I unchecked all the options under the Semantics section and also set "Only when computer is not being used" in the Limitations section.



On the Locations tab, I deleted all the locations by repeatedly clicking the minus sign until all items were removed.


I skipped the ignore content tab, because quite frankly if we have no Locations to index, then we should not need to ignore anything. I moved on to the Control tab and make sure both options were unchecked.


Lastly, I removed all the indexes by clicking "Yes, remove all indexes" on the System tab.


That's it. You have successfully disabled tracker. The daemons might still run, but they will have nothing to index and should not be of any problems. Alternatively you can select a few places (Maybe you documents folder?) that you still want indexed to keep functionality and limit the disk and CPU usage.

I have used the above method on a few systems with pretty good success, but there is more than one way to skin a cat. You can also copy the autostart files to your home directory and disable them there.

Create a directory in your home folder (careful, it may already exist) like so:

mkdir ~/.config/autostart
Now copy the tracker autostart files into this directory:

cp /etc/xdg/autostart/tracker* ~/.config/autostart
Now let's move into that directory and use sed to set "X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=true" to "X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=false".

cd ~/.config/autostart
sed -i 's/X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=true/X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=false/' tracker*


Now Tracker shouldn't start the next time you log in.

There are other reported ways of doing this, but I have not found any as non-destructive as the two listed here.  Some require editing global files, which can possibly be recreated with a package update effectively undoing your changes.  Other methods require removing packages, but that also required removing any packages that require the libraries.  The methods outlined above are the safest bet and seem to do the trick on all my systems.  Feel free to comment below if you have any different experiences or ideas.

13 comments:

  1. Great, just what I was looking for, thanks for the instructions.

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  2. Wonderful. Very helpful. It works!

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  3. Thank you for the instructions. My computer seems so "fast & furious" now!

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  4. at startup:

    kill -9 `ps -A |grep tracker | gawk '{ print $1 }'`

    I have a script that I run whenever I log in. this is only one of the groups of processes that I kill.
    What the statement does is as follows:

    kill -9
    for the processes that have 'tracker' in their name.
    All the processes are found with the ps command, then the list is
    grepped for the 'tracker' token, then
    from that list we get the process number using gawk.

    I do this for a bunch of troublesome deamons for which there is no other way to remove them.


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  5. Thank you. Very helpful. Problem solved.

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  6. Thank you. Very helpful. Problem solved.

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  7. Thank you!! Worked very well for me. I used the top command to monitor system resources.

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  8. Спасибо.Thank you.

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  9. Thank you. I am currently using Fedora and GNOME. It's big clue for me.

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  10. If anyone knows how to get tracker-preferences to open on RHEL / RedHat 7, replying to me here would be a great service to Google-searchers.

    @OP, thank you for this post. The 2nd/final solution seemed to have actually worked. Hopefully it helps my colleague with his crashing issues he's been having, even with light usage.

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