Disabling the Tracker Service in the GNOME Desktop

Categories: Linux

The GNOME desktop environment includes a background task that tracks all file changes and indexes them so file-searches from the GNOME file browser can be fast. However this service does consume quite a lot of IO and CPU resources, particularly for software developers due to the way we use tools that generate large numbers of files. I don’t use desktop-search, and disabling it has made my development system far more responsive. Here are the steps needed to disable tracker (thanks primarily to this tip from site Linux Uprising):

systemctl --user mask \
  tracker-store.service tracker-miner-fs.service \
  tracker-miner-rss.service tracker-extract.service \
  tracker-miner-apps.service tracker-writeback.service
tracker reset --hard

# and check
tracker status  # should report "is masked"
tracker daemon  # should report "unavailable/not running"

Supposedly, within the GNOME Settings tool, going to “Search” and turning it off completely (in the window headerbar) will also disable it, but some people have found this doesn’t work.