What is trackerd and Why Is It Running?

If you’ve looked at the running processes on your Ubuntu box and wondered why there’s a process named “trackerd” that is overusing the CPU, you are in luck, because that’s exactly the topic we’ll cover today.

Tracker is a search tool built into Ubuntu, and by default seems to be configured to maximize CPU while indexing. We can either throttle it down, or just simply uninstall it if you never use it.

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What Exactly Is It?

If you go to Applications \ Accessories, you’ll find the Tracker Search Tool in the list. From here you can do a full-text search against your files, and even refine by category.

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It’s not a bad search tool, really.

Throttle Indexing Speed

What you can do is configure Tracker to not use as much of your CPU, by going to System \ Preferences \ Indexing Preferences.

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From here you can choose to completely turn off indexing by unchecking the “Enable indexing” option.

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On the performance tab, you can change the slider for Indexing speed from “Faster” all the way down to “Slower”. Then you can choose to Minimize memory usage as well.

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On the Ignored Files tab, you can also add in paths of files to exclude from the indexing. If you’ve got a ton of files sitting around that you know you’ll never need to search through, there’s really no reason to have them in the index.

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At this point you can Close the dialog to apply the changes. Note that if your indexing process is still out of control you might have to kill -9 the process ID, or just reboot if you feel like it.

Uninstall Tracker From the Command Line

If you never use the search screen and would simply like to get rid of it, you can open up a terminal and use the following command to remove this process.

sudo apt-get remove tracker tracker-search-tool tracker-utils

Uninstall Tracker From Synaptic

If you prefer, you can search for “tracker” within Synaptic Package Manager and then just uncheck the tracker options in the list. Once you are done, use the Apply button to actually do the uninstall.

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Does anybody actually use this search engine?

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/1/08
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