Workaround for tracker-miner-f high CPU utilization

High CPU utilization
Workaround for tracker causing high CPU utilization

One fine day I heard a laptop of mine making a sustained noise. I thought immediately of high CPU utilization. My intuition was right.

The issue was happening in Debian 11, running the Linux kernel 5.10.0-17-686-pae. Yeah, you’re right, it’s an i686 still functional machine. The issue began suddenly, but once it started remained happening for hours with no signs to stop.

I checked the processes using “top” and soon found the culprits. They were:

  • tracker-miner-f
  • tracker-extract
  • tracker-store

I have never seen these guys before, so, I started browsing the web for advisory… I found a good match in the thread tracker-miner-f taking over 100% of cpu. First, I learned that tracker-miner-f is Gnome’s file indexer. I had no idea about it. Anyway, I searched for any systemctl command to disable it, and found none. OK… so, I continued reading and figured out to uninstall these packages:

  • tracker-miner-fs
  • tracker-extract
  • tracker

but I noticed a removal of any of them (or all of them) would impact nautilus; so, I dismissed the idea of uninstalling them.

Then, I emptied the cache of tracker:

rm -f .cache/tracker/*

but the issue came back later.

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VNC server installation on Linux Mint running the Mate desktop environment

VNC server on Linux Mint Mate desktop


The installation of a VNC server on Linux Mint -running the Mate desktop environment- can be accomplished by following this step-by-step guide. The procedure below is scoped to run the vnc server on demand, it is, only when required.


First thing anyone should do is to trigger an update of the packages from the corresponding repositories. To accomplish this, simply run:

sudo apt-get update

I would say it should be good to upgrade the versionof the installed packages by running:

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Definitive guide to: The following packages have been kept back

In virtually every installation of Debian -or derivative- it will happen that at some point during software management one will be prompted this message: The following packages have been kept back Let’s provide an example to make it clear.


First, you ran:

apt-get update

and everything was fine. We can affirm the command reported a 0 exit code.

After this you ran:

sudo apt-get upgrade

if your OS‘ software gets updated often and if it is updated at the time of running the upgrade command the output will be like this:

[email protected]:~$ sudo apt-get upgrade
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Calculating upgrade... Done
The following packages have been kept back:
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 1 not upgraded.

… and there is the weird message: The following packages have been kept back.

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Linux: 25 years old

Linux -the best Operating System ever- celebrates today 25 years since it was announced on August 25th, 1991 by the Finnish developer Linus Torvalds. The Internet we are used to is powered by thousands of servers running Linux. Also, Linux is present in mobiles, embedded devices, NAS, laptops and super-computers.

Linux is 25 years old
Linus Torvalds (Linux creator) and Tux

But… what is exactly Linux? In short, Linux is the kernel (the core software that permits hardware to translate primitive orders into actions via software/hardware), but, if speak about that kernel plus the necessary utilities to meet the user’s needs we should formerly refer that as GNU/Linux. Hey, hey… one moment… So, now what is GNU? It drives to introduce you to the GNU Project. You can read an extensive explanation of what it is in that link, but, for our straight to the point matter I’ll tell you that such GNU project has been responsible to provide a lot of software that we can find in the GNU/Linux distributions (Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, Slackware, Arch Linux, etc). This mix of Linux and GNU occurred in 1992, when Torvalds released its project -Linux- as free software and it was adopted by the GNU project -leaded by Richard Stallman.

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