Quick Tip: Clear Out GNOME Tracker Indexes

Tracker logo

If you followed my recent video tutorial on enabling Ubuntu/GNOME’s Tracker search tool, you should now be enjoying the ability to search the files on your system.

During a recent upgrade to Ubuntu 9.04, which was recently released, I found that the Tracker search tool index had become corrupted. I tried to tell Tracker to rebuild the index, but experienced some weird issues.

In this quick tip, I’ll show you how to avoid this and other issues by deleting Tracker’s index and cache manually, so that it can start 'from scratch’. Note that if you are having issues with tracker, it is worth trying to rebuild the index from the graphical interface first. This tip is a last resort if you need to clear everything out from scratch and start it again.

Tracker’s Files

According to the documentation, Tracker stores its files in the following locations:

  • Configuration Files – ~/.config/tracker/tracker.cfg
  • Data Files – ~/.local/share/tracker
  • Index Cache – ~/.cache/tracker

If you’re happy with the settings you have, you may want to leave the configuration file intact, and just wipe out the data files and index cache.

Quit Tracker and Delete the Files

First of all, you need to go ahead and quit the Tracker application in the system tray.

Quit the Tracker tray applet

Next, you must quit all processes of both trackerd and tracker-indexer, so open up a terminal and run these commands:

$ killall trackerd<br /> $ killall tracker-indexer

And finally, carefully delete the files listed above (excluding the config file, if you don’t think you need to clear that out as well).

So to recap, go ahead and delete the folders:

  • ~/.local/share/tracker
  • ~/.cache/tracker

and if you wish, the config files:

  • ~/.config/tracker/tracker.cfg
  • ~/.config/tracker/tracker-applet.cfg

To restart Tracker, I recommend that you log out and log back in so that trackerd and the system tray applet both restart properly. You should then be able to reconfigure it from the beginning as detailed in the original tutorial.

And that should be it – Tracker should rebuild itself from scratch. Useful to know for if things go wrong!

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold - http://peter.upfold.org.uk/

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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Discussion: Quick Tip: Clear Out GNOME Tracker Indexes

  1. HERNAN (guest)

    # Posted on 30 April 2009 at 12:31 AM

    in my brand new ubuntu 9.04 , tracker not exist, ¿WHY?

  2. simonel (guest)

    # Posted on 01 May 2009 at 10:59 AM

    Downgrade to 8.10 or go to Debian. ubuntu sucks!

  3. marco (guest)

    # Posted on 02 May 2009 at 08:47 AM


  4. ressu (guest)

    # Posted on 11 May 2009 at 08:18 AM

    You can also use the command tracker-processes -r

    It will shutdown tracker and delete the databases.

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