Tracker has been around for a long time now. I personally have been disabling it since Fedora 20 and continue to disable it and save my hard disk on my older machines from thrashing. I even turn it off on my new laptop with a fast SSD. The old school thought is, if I am not using it, it shouldn't be running.

What is tracker?

Tracker is a set of processes that run and index files on your disk for quicker searching. It is capable of indexing not only the normal name, location and modified dates of your files, but also the metadata and contents. This makes it both a resource hog and a privacy concern.

There are 4 processes running on my system:

If you are like me and are tired of running top and seeing these processes using too many precious resources, then read on...

Stopping Tracker Processes

The command line tool is "tracker" which allows you to do a lot of stuff except stop it from running on boot.

You can stop the daemon with the command line tool (Well it says you can):

# tracker daemon stop
20 Jan 2019, 17:11:35: 0% Store - Idle
20 Jan 2019, 17:11:35: ✓ RSS/ATOM Feeds - Idle
20 Jan 2019, 17:11:35: ✓ File System - Idle
20 Jan 2019, 17:11:35: ✗ Extractor - Not running or is a disabled plugin
20 Jan 2019, 17:11:35: ✓ Applications - Idle

# ps -ef | grep -i tracker
root 3163 1526 0 17:03 ? 00:00:00 /usr/libexec/tracker-miner-rss
root 3174 1526 0 17:03 ? 00:00:01 /usr/libexec/tracker-store
root 3190 1526 0 17:03 ? 00:00:00 /usr/libexec/tracker-miner-fs
root 3255 1526 0 17:03 ? 00:00:00 /usr/libexec/tracker-miner-apps
root 4369 2401 0 17:23 pts/0 00:00:00 grep --color=auto -i tracker

As you can see, I had no luck. Also, the daemon is not available for action via the systemctl or service command. I eventually stopped the daemon with the kill switch "tracker daemon -k", but it just started again on a reboot.

Stop Tracker from Starting on Boot

The processes are started with .desktop files in the /etc/xdg/autostart directory.

# pwd
# ls -lrt tracker*
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 5954 Sep 28 01:27 tracker-miner-fs.desktop
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 5234 Sep 28 01:27 tracker-miner-apps.desktop
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 4635 Sep 28 01:27 tracker-miner-rss.desktop
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 4880 Sep 28 01:27 tracker-extract.desktop
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 5474 Nov 12 08:02 tracker-store.desktop

So to disable tracker we will copy these files to our ~/.config/autostart directory and add Hidden=true. This will stop them from loading when we log in.

$ pwd

[savona@putor autostart]$ cp -v /etc/xdg/autostart/tracker* .
'/etc/xdg/autostart/tracker-extract.desktop' -> './tracker-extract.desktop'
'/etc/xdg/autostart/tracker-miner-apps.desktop' -> './tracker-miner-apps.desktop'
'/etc/xdg/autostart/tracker-miner-fs.desktop' -> './tracker-miner-fs.desktop'
'/etc/xdg/autostart/tracker-miner-rss.desktop' -> './tracker-miner-rss.desktop'
'/etc/xdg/autostart/tracker-store.desktop' -> './tracker-store.desktop'

$ for FILE in $(ls tracker*); do echo "Hidden=true" >> $FILE; done

Now, let's kill the daemon, and delete the old cache files.

$ tracker daemon -k
$ rm -rf ~/.cache/tracker ~/.local/share/tracker

We should be good to go now. I did a reboot and IT IS GONE!

# !ps
ps -ef | grep -i tracker
root 2781 2748 0 17:27 pts/0 00:00:00 grep --color=auto -i tracker

Sweet... Goodbye tracker, see you on the next install.

I will admit, I am impatient and kind of impulsive. There may be a better way to do this. If anyone knows of one, please leave it in the comments.

P.S. I can still search my files, apps, etc...


UPDATE: It looks like the tracker-store process eventually comes back. BUT it doesn't use any resources because all the miners are dead. Still a win...

$ tracker status
Currently indexed: 0 files, 0 folders
Remaining space on database partition: 809.7 GB (85.70%)
All data miners are idle, indexing complete

$ tracker daemon
21 Jan 2019, 08:41:30: 0% Store - Idle
21 Jan 2019, 08:41:30: ✗ RSS/ATOM Feeds - Not running or is a disabled plugin
21 Jan 2019, 08:41:30: ✗ File System - Not running or is a disabled plugin
21 Jan 2019, 08:41:30: ✗ Extractor - Not running or is a disabled plugin
21 Jan 2019, 08:41:30: ✗ Applications - Not running or is a disabled plugin


Gnome Tracker Project