Friday, December 19, 2008

Speed Up Your System and Save Your Hard Drive: Disable Tracker

Tracker is a tool designed to extract information and metadata about your personal files so that it can be searched easily and quickly. When using Tracker, you no longer have to remember where you've left your files. To locate a file you only need to remember something about it, such as a word in the document or the artist of the song. Traditional searching, by name and location, is also supported.

Tracker is turned on in Ubuntu by default. I personally turn it off because it uses up system resources that I don't want to spare and I don't keep a lot of data on my Mini. Other users have concerns with Tracker's wear and tear on their system drives. The Mini 9 ships with a solid-state hard drive that has a finite number of erase/write cycles that the flash memory can tolerate. There are also users who disable Tracker because they feel it is not a very good indexing program.

While I don't need an indexing program on my Mini, I have been testing Tracker on my desktop. I find that it works well.

But whatever your reason, disabling Tracker is easy.

To Stop Tracker From Loading on Start Up:
Under System>Preferences>Sessions
Screenshot-Sessions Preferences
Uncheck both Tracker and Tracker Applet

To Disable Indexing:
Under System>Preferences>Search and Indexing
Screenshot-Tracker Preferences
Uncheck both enable indexing and enable watching

Changes will take effect next time you restart your PC.

Remove Tracker
If you prefer you can chose to remove Tracker from your system:
In a terminal type
sudo apt-get remove tracker tracker-search-tool tracker-utils

For more information about solid-state hard drives.

Have a question or problem that this article doesn't cover?
Ask our Ubuntu Mini 9 Google Group for help.


Ryen said...

Hey redDEAD, I keep meaning to say thank you.. so uhm, thank you.

Your guide has not only made being a Mini owner easier, but has also recommited my interest in being a better Linux/Ubuntu user.

Keep up the great work man.


aplante said...

Just got my Mini 9 w/ Ubuntu yesterday. Tracker was not enabled on my system nor was it even installed. Just lettin' folks know in case they are looking for this on their own Mini 9's.

redDEAD said...


You don't have Tracker installed because you are using Mini OS (Dell's awful Ubuntu offering). This site is about Ubuntu (proper) on Dell Mini 9.

Anonymous said...

redDEAD, you're the best, thanks so much for putting this website up.

Also, I did a vanilla install and "Enable indexing" and "Enable watching" were already unchecked, however I did have to check "Disable all indexing when on battery".

redDEAD said...

Did you stop it from starting on boot?

ரவிசங்கர் said...

thanks for the useful tip.