On my desktop I use Xubuntu 12.04, and today i noticed that this distribution shipped by default the Zeitgeist daemon, a thing that I’m not using at all, for what i know.
Zeitgeist is a service which logs the users’s activities and events, anywhere from files opened to websites visited and conversations. It makes this information readily available for other applications to use in form of timelines and statistics. It is able to establish relationships between items based on similarity and usage patterns by applying data association algorithms such as “Winepi” and “A Priori”
Zeitgeist is the main engine and logic behind GNOME Activity Journal which is currently seen to become one of the main means of viewing and managing activities in GNOME version 3.0
Personally i don’t use any tool that use the Zeitgeist Framework and I’d prefer to open a terminal and use locate or find to search for files than having something that log all my activity and so slow down my system, so I’ve decided to remove this daemon totally from my system, please note that if you use Gnome 3 or Unity you could have some side effect, or perhaps the system will just become more faster, like the author of the article: Removing Zeitgeist Sped Up Unity .
Just remember that the information collected by Zeitgeist are stored for use in various forms in Unity: showing what were the last application you used, what are the applications you use most, which are the files that were used lately, the music you listen, among many other aspects. If you think you can live without these information probably your system will gain a good sped up.
As first step I suggest you just disable logging, you can also blacklist everything or turn off logging altogether.
To check if the daemon is running you can run a
ps like this one:
linuxaria@xubuntu-home:~# ps -ef |grep zeit linuxaria 2085 1 0 16:31 ? 00:00:00 /usr/bin/zeitgeist-daemon linuxaria 2093 1 0 16:31 ? 00:00:00 /usr/lib/zeitgeist/zeitgeist-fts root 8372 8300 0 18:48 pts/0 00:00:00 grep --color=auto zeit
Now on a terminal run these commands with your normal user (not root):
linuxaria@xubuntu-home:~/Downloads$ chmod -rw ~/.local/share/zeitgeist/activity.sqlite linuxaria@xubuntu-home:~/.local/share/zeitgeist$ zeitgeist-daemon --replace [16:53:46.292663 WARNING] Could not access the database file. Please check the permissions of file /home/linuxaria/.local/share/zeitgeist/activity.sqlite.
The first command remove the possibility to read and write to the file
~/.local/share/zeitgeist/activity.sqlite to everyone and the second restart zeitgeist, and you’ll get an error, congratulations you have just stopped the zeitgeist daemon while keeping your information.
if you see that is something is wrong and you want to reactivate the daemon just run:
linuxaria@xubuntu-home:~/Downloads$ chmod +rw ~/.local/share/zeitgeist/activity.sqlite linuxaria@xubuntu-home:~/.local/share/zeitgeist$ zeitgeist-daemon --replace
And the daemon will be restarted on your computer.
Remove Zeitgeist from your Ubuntu
As first thing discover which Zeitgeist packages are installed on your system with:
oot@xubuntu-home:/etc# dpkg -l |grep zeit ii libzeitgeist-1.0-1 0.3.18-1ubuntu1 library to access Zeitgeist - shared library ii python-zeitgeist 0.9.0-1ubuntu1 event logging framework - Python bindings ii zeitgeist-core 0.9.0-1ubuntu1 event logging framework - engine
And once you have the names of the packages (the second column) you can run the command
apt-get purge names such as:
root@xubuntu-home:/etc# sudo apt-get purge libzeitgeist-1.0-1 python-zeitgeist zeitgeist-core Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done The following packages will be REMOVED: gedit libzeitgeist-1.0-1 python-zeitgeist zeitgeist-core 0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 4 to remove and 0 not upgraded. After this operation, 3,921 kB disk space will be freed. Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y
Congratulations now Zeitgeist is completely removed from your Ubuntu