Disabling tracker-extract in Gnome 46

I like the tracker service in Gnome, which indexes files so that you can easily search for them from the Activity view or the file manager. However, I don’t like tracker-extract, which also indexes the file contents: I use Recoll for such a service, and tracker-extract uses too much CPU (it indexes new or modified files as you create/change them).

In the past, up to Gnome 45, I could disable tracker-extract only with

However, in Gnome 46, that service has gone, so tracker extract always runs, and I couldn’t find a way to disable it. I discovered it when I upgraded to Fedora 40 or EndeavourOS, which both provide Gnome 46. I bet it will be the same for Ubuntu 24.04.

Luckily, I found help on the Gnome discourse forum: https://discourse.gnome.org/t/can-tracker-extract-be-disabled-in-gnome-46/20782.

There’s no supported way to disable tracker-extract, but I was suggested to simply wipe the tracker-extract rules from “/usr/share/tracker3-miners/extract-rules/”.

For example,

If you want to keep a backup, you might want to move those files somewhere.

That works!

But be warned: as soon as tracker-extract is updated to a new version, those files will show up again, and you’ll have to remove them again. Possibly, before logging into Gnome, to avoid that tracker-extract starts eating your CPU.

In the meantime, I also created this issue for Gnome: https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/tracker-miners/-/issues/342.

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