Friday, September 26, 2008

Trackerd Uses 100% of CPU in Gutsy

I was on my computer the other day and suddenly it acted like it was frozen.
I looked at the CPU monitor in my toolbar and saw that my CPU usage was pegged at 100%.
What!!! I was only reading the news.

So I opened up my monitor tool to see what was eating up my CPU.
After a minute or so it finally opened and I saw the culprit.

What is that? I quickly killed it and hoped it wouldn't shut down my system.
It didn't and a few seconds later my computer was acting normal again.
I went to Google and looked up trackerd.
It's an indexing app to make file searches faster. It also seemed to have numerous bug reports concerning high CPU usage in Gutsy. It doesn't seem to be a problem in previous Ubuntu versions or the newest Hardy version.

I also found out that it can really load up your hard drive with massive databases of the indexed files. My database files totaled over 470 megs!
I also found out you don't need it. All that will happen when you search for a file it will take a few seconds longer.

Below are several options to solve the problem.

Solution #1;
Change the options of your indexing. Tell trackerd what it can or cannot index.
This can be done by going to Preferences > Indexing preferences > Tab ignored files and select what files and folders it should ignore.

Solution #2
Change the performance of trackerd by going into the same configuration screen and turning down the performance. Please note that this may not help. Trackerd has a nice setting of +19. Changing this setting seems to have no effect.

Solution #3
Disable trackerd by going to System> Preferences> Sessions or use this command:
Then uncheck Tracker and be sure to remove the Deskbar applet from the panel.

Solution #4
Uninstall trackerd. WARNING! This may try to uninstall your Gnome Desktop.
If you get a warning or message that the Gnome Desktop will also be removed you need to abort this process and disable trackerd instead.
Open your terminal and use the following command;

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

Then delete the index stored here.
du -sh ~/.config/tracker
rm -rf ~/.config/tracker

That should do it. By using one of the above options will give you more control over your CPU usage and free up some disk space.




Anonymous said...

- Gutsy is pretty close to obsolete.

- The discrepancy between searching with and without Tracker is larger than you make it out to be. It can be the difference between getting a result in five minutes and getting it instantly.

- 470 mb is not a huge amount of disk space on a modern hard drive.

TaZMAn said...

Gutsy may be pretty much obsolete but was very mainstream when the article was posted.
And it is still alive in countries that don't have access to high speed internet or unlimited bandwidth.

Some areas have a 1 Gig per month per user download cap. Makes it tough getting a new distro and still hope to surf the internet for the rest of the month.
So they make do with what they have until they are forced to update.

470 Megs may not sound like much if you are using a large hard drive but what really upset me was that the database and install wasn't that old.
What would that database size be in 6 months or 1 year?
It was too much database for so little gain.

I now have a 500 Gig Sata hard drive and don't use Trackerd.
My search times for an file on the system has never taken more then a minute.
On the 40 Gig hard drive I was using at the time, searches never took more then 15 seconds without Trackerd. I guess it all depends on how many files you have.

And apparently Trackerd is still an issue in Hardy judging by the amount of visitors and time spent on this page.