Ubuntu: Disabling Zeitgeist


I have zeitgeist daemon always in processes. I don't see the point of this zeitgeist, it logs my activity. i removed it from startup programs, but it is still there.

Can I uninstall this package? Why do I need it at all?


Run sudo apt-get remove zeitgeist* in a terminal. It might remove a few related packages, but so long as you don't see anything suggested for removal that you don't want, you should be fine.

As per comments: you will lose unity functionality (I was not sure how much when I first wrote the answer) if you remove zeitgeist. So, I suggest you just disable logging.

You can also off logging altogether from system settings.


There is an easy way described here -- which does not include deleting any package, but simply de-activating the corresponding services. I didn't try it myself, but this way side-effects should be minimal (and probably even wanted, as e.g. no "recent items" being available etc. Moreover, it is easily revertable in case of "unwanted" side effects.

The author of that article explicitly states: Here is a way to disable this logging without breaking Unity or any other part of the system, execute these commands in a terminal:

sudo mv /etc/xdg/autostart/zeitgeist-datahub.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/zeitgeist-datahub.desktop-inactive  rm ~/.local/share/recently-used.xbel  mkdir ~/.local/share/recently-used.xbel  rm -rf ~/.local/share/zeitgeist  

Reverting this (if one wants to enable Zeitgeist again) thus should be done like this:

mkdir ~/.local/share/zeitgeist  rmdir ~/.local/share/recently-used.xbel  # no action for the .xbel file, as it will be re-created automatically  sudo mv /etc/xdg/autostart/zeitgeist-datahub.desktop-inactive /etc/xdg/autostart/zeitgeist-datahub.desktop  

which is simply "reversing" the steps of the de-activation.

Remark: The ~/.local/share/recently-used.xbel has nothing to do with Zeitgeist itself, it just falls into the same category somehow. The article mentioned is about "disabling activity logging", and thus included this. If you just want to disable Zeitgeist, you can skip the two middle steps.


If you remove Zeitgeist then the menu in Unity wont work properly, it stops you searching for programs by typing into the box.


I found hints about renaming of /etc/xdg/autostart/zeitgeist-datahub.desktop, but it isn't enough. It prevents Zeitgeist from running at startup, but in my case (Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS) it started later somehow (perhaps as a result of some DBus activity).
If you'd like to keep Zeitgeist installed, but prevent it from running, try renaming its executables:

zeitgeist-daemon --quit  cd /usr/bin/  sudo mv zeitgeist-daemon zeitgeist-daemon.bak  sudo mv zeitgeist-datahub zeitgeist-datahub.bak  

Now Zeitgeist daemon won't start. You can check this later with ps aux | grep [z]eitgeist. You can also purge the database which was collected by Zeitgeist by deleting ~/.local/share/zeitgeist/ folder with its contents, if you like to save some space.
To secure these files from updating you can also lock packages zeitgeist-core and zeitgeist-datahub in Synaptic or Aptitude.

To revert the changes simply rename these executables back:

cd /usr/bin/  sudo mv zeitgeist-daemon.bak zeitgeist-daemon  sudo mv zeitgeist-datahub.bak zeitgeist-datahub  

If you altered .desktop file in /etc/xdg/autostart/, you should also return it back.


Here's an editorial on the topic of zeitgeist, including an interview with the creator: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/08/is-zeitgeist-spying-on-you And some instructions on disabling (not removal) http://linuxaria.com/howto/how-to-remove-zeitgeist-in-ubuntu-and-why

An easy way to reduce the logging (but not the heavy resource and disk use) is via the control panel: enter image description here

Unfortunately little about Zeitgeist is well disclosed or clear. Zeitgeist is not easy to disable, nor is it easy to see what it's doing. You can't "stop" it like other background system services.

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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