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Indexing preferences in GNOME 3.8

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Gnome Control Center Search

For beginning there is the new Search Panel in G-C-C that provides us with some options, like to add the folders we want the system to search for and indexing.


If we add a new Search Location here, the results will also be displayed in GNOME Shell Search. Cool, but we can do more!

Tracker Indexing Preferences

There is a nice interface to manage some options of Tracker. The package in Fedora 19 is called “tracker-ui-tools” and isn’t installed by default. To get it:

$ sudo yum install tracker-ui-tools

Obviously you can look for it in every distro. After installing it you can launch it by

$ tracker-preferences

You can also started it within Shell AppsOverview, but I am just giving the command name for what’s it worth.



The most important part here is the option to control indexing under certain circumstances. For example to speed up your box, you can set indexing to take place only when computer is idle. Indexing is a heavy process and no matter how good Tracker is, it could be proven quite resources-hungry.



This is quite similar to G-C-C Search Panel, but you also have an extra option to remove the recursive search. It could be handy if for example you want Shell to search for files inside a Folder, but not in Sub-Folders.

Ignored Content


One more nice thing, is that you can exclude certain files or even directories from your search.

Tracker CLI


Ok this is Linux, and CLI just can’t be missing ;)

To discover all Tracker CLI options just hit in terminal..

$ tracker-search --help

And to discover all Tracker tools

$ tracker-[double Tab for autocomplete]

More Tracker Options

The absolute Tweak Tool of GNOME is nothing else than DConf-Editor, which it reminds me a bit the “about:config” in Firefox.


With DConf you can change pretty much everything in your system, and not just Tracker behavior. A must have Tool for every GNOME System!

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  • Pau Iranzo

    Hey Alex,

    Any idea which package has to be installed on Ubuntu for getting this?

    • alex285

      Can’t find it in Google. tracker-preferences maybe?

      • Rajesh Ksv

        Yes, tracker-preferences is the command in Ubuntu


        • Pau Iranzo


          Yes that’s it. But on the GCC there is no menu entry for this…

          • alex285


          • jsnj

            In Ubuntu 13.04 dailies, neither the Search nor Privacy icons are shown in System Settings(GCC). The Privacy Icon is Ubuntu’s, not the GNOME one. There’s also no Search Icon to customize the Overview Search. Quite disappointing. I installed GS 3.8 in Ubuntu 13.04 via the gnome & ricotz ppa’s. I don’t know if Ubuntu GNOME 13.04 dailies have a fix for this or not.

  • Craig

    Nitpick attack:

    When I read “GCC”, I always think “GNU Compiler Collection”. I think the control center should be “G-C-C”. Also, in the last sentence, I think you meant DConf (not GConf).

    • alex285

      Oh right, I fixed both. Thank you!

    • Mike Manilone

      Agree. At least gnome-cc ;-)

  • Evropi

    Really neat, love it! Seems GNOME is back on track. :)

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