tracker  2.3.4
About: Tracker is a desktop search engine, search tool and metadata storage system (GNOME).
  Fossies Dox: tracker-2.3.4.tar.bz2  ("unofficial" and yet experimental doxygen-generated source code documentation)  

tracker Documentation

Some Fossies usage hints in advance:

  1. To see the Doxygen generated documentation please click on one of the items in the steelblue colored "quick index" bar above or use the side panel at the left which displays a hierarchical tree-like index structure and is adjustable in width.
  2. If you want to search for something by keyword rather than browse for it you can use the client side search facility (using Javascript and DHTML) that provides live searching, i.e. the search results are presented and adapted as you type in the Search input field at the top right.
  3. Doxygen doesn't incorporate all member files but just a definable subset (basically the main project source code files that are written in a supported language). So to search and browse all member files you may visit the Fossies
  4. tracker-2.3.4.tar.bz2 contents page and use the Fossies standard member browsing features (also with source code highlighting and additionally with optional code folding).


Tracker is an efficient search engine and triplestore for desktop, embedded and mobile.

The Tracker project is divided into two main repositories:

  • Tracker core contains the database (tracker-store), the database ontologies, the commandline user interface (tracker), and several support libraries.

  • Tracker Miners contains the indexer daemon (tracker-miner-fs) and tools to extract metadata from many different filetypes.

More information on Tracker can be found at:

Source code and issue tracking:

All discussion related to Tracker happens on:

IRC channel #tracker on:

Related projects:

  • GNOME Online Miners extends Tracker to allow searching and indexing some kinds of online content.

Developing Tracker

If you want to help develop and improve Tracker, great! Remember that Tracker is a middleware component, designed to be integrated into larger codebases. To fully test a change you may need to build and test Tracker as part of another project.

For the GNOME desktop, consider using the documented Building a System Component workflow.

It's also possible to build Tracker on its own and install it inside your home directory for testing purposes. Read on for instructions on how to do this.


Tracker uses the Meson build system, which you must have installed in order to build Tracker.

We recommend that you build tracker core as a subproject of tracker-miners. You can do this by cloning both repos, then creating a symlink in the subprojects/ directory of tracker-miners.git to the tracker.git checkout.

git clone
git clone

mkdir tracker-miners/subprojects
ln -s ../../tracker tracker-miners/subprojects/

Now you can run the commands below to build Tracker and install it in a new, isolated prefix named opt/tracker inside your home folder.

NOTE: If you see 'dependency not found' errors from Meson, that means there is a package missing on your computer that you need to install so you can compile Tracker. On Ubuntu/Debian, you can run apt build-dep tracker-miners and on Fedora dnf build-dep tracker-miners to install all the necessary packages.

cd tracker-miners
meson ./build --prefix=$HOME/opt/tracker -Dtracker_core=subproject
cd build
ninja install

Running the testsuite

At this point you can run the Tracker test suite from the build directory:

meson test --print-errorlogs

Developing with tracker-sandbox

Tracker normally runs automatically, indexing content in the background so that search results are available quickly when needed.

When developing and testing Tracker you will normally want it to run in the foreground instead. The tracker-sandbox tool exists to help with this.

You can run the tool directly from the tracker.git source tree. Ensure you are in the top of the tracker source tree and type this to see the --help output:

./utils/sandbox/ --help

You should always pass the --prefix option, which should be the same as the --prefix argument you passed to Meson. You also need to use --index which controls where internal state files like the database are kept. You may also want to pass --debug to see detailed log output.

Now you can index some files using --update mode. Here's how to index files in ~/Documents for example:

./utils/sandbox/  --prefix ~/opt/tracker --index ~/tracker-content \
    --update --content ~/Documents

You can then list the files that have been indexed...

./utils/sandbox/  --prefix ~/opt/tracker --index ~/tracker-content \

... run a full-text search ...

./utils/sandbox/  --prefix ~/opt/tracker --index ~/tracker-content \
    --search "bananas"

... or run a SPARQL query on the content:

./utils/sandbox/  --prefix ~/opt/tracker --index ~/tracker-content \
    --sparql "SELECT ?url { ?resource a nfo:FileDataObject ; nie:url ?url . }"

You can also open a shell inside the sandbox environment. From here you can run the tracker commandline tool, and you can run the Tracker daemons manually under a debugger such as GDB.

For more information about developing Tracker, look at