First 5 minutes with Tracker

When a user installs Tracker in his computer, is not evident how it is working, what it is doing and how to set up its behavior. Here comes a compilation of usual questions for new users.

Tracker is not running? First boot just after installing

Tracker is started when you log in. This usually means that after installing it in your distribution you need to log out and in again.

There is one Tracker per-user, so only when the user logs in is Tracker started. This makes it very difficult to start it automatically just after installation.

How do I know if Tracker is running or doing something?

We have a command line tool: tracker that can help you with that. Run tracker daemon, and it will return the status of all tracker pieces.

Check the help (tracker daemon --help-all) to see more interesting options.

How do I configure what directories Tracker is indexing?

See Settings → Search → ⚙. There you can choose what directories are watched (monitored for changes) and indexed.

If you are curious about the details:

  • In Tracker <= 0.10 the configuration is under XDG_CONFIG_HOME/tracker. Usually the default value is $HOME/.config/tracker.

  • In more recent versions of Tracker (> 0.10, or master) the configuration is in gsettings. This means it can be stored in different places (depending on your gsettings backend). Use the gsettings command-line tool to play directly with the options.

Enable logging in Tracker

If you want to know in more detail what Tracker is doing, you can increase the verbosity of the Tracker logging. Read instructions on debugging.

Resetting Tracker DB

If you want to start Tracker from scratch, removing its databases and restarting all the processes, you can use tracker reset -r. If you want to start the miners (i.e. indexing) again, then run tracker daemon -s

It is indexing a huge amount of data... checking the progress

You can at any time run tracker daemon -f to "follow" the progress of the operations. For long indexing it will print the percentage of work done.

Tracker is done, and now?

Click on 🔍 in nautilus to search for your information.

Cannot find results

Tracker with a default configuration, and after indexing your documents, should be able to run a "full text search": you type one or more words in tracker-needle and the results are there.

There are a couple of details to take into account though:

  • Tracker ignores words with less than 3 characters. This is a common practice in any index service to avoid "useless" words like "or", "a", "if"..
  • Tracker has a list of "stop words" that will be ignored. Those are words without much content, like "anyway". Explanation of stop words, lists used by Tracker

This means that searching for "anyway indeed nowhere" (all stop words) or "The a and the b" (shorted than 3) will answer "no valid terms in the query".

Both stop words and minimum length of a word to be indexed, can be enabled/disabled in the configuration.

I still have a question

A few options:

  • If you find the answer yourself, please add it to this wiki
  • If you need interactive help, come to the IRC (#Tracker in GIMPnet, on Matrix)

  • Ask in GNOME's forum (use the 'tracker' tag)

Projects/Tracker/Documentation/First5Minutes (last edited 2020-08-10 08:37:45 by SamThursfield)