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Is there a way to block a specific folder's files from showing up in the Unity search?

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marked as duplicate by Basharat Sialvi, Radu Rădeanu, Eric Carvalho, Kevin Bowen, Thomas Ward Jun 27 '13 at 17:15

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

Answered already .. question:… my answer:… – david6 Oct 26 '11 at 9:00
i find it creepy that my activity is put into a database at all so i stopped Zeitgeist from starting up at boot by removing it from /etc/xdg/autostart/ then i ran wipe on the database dump at /home/user/.local/share/zeitgeist/activity.sqlist any program that keeps a database of my activity is a violation of my privacy and it does more harm then good in my opinion.. – user46469 Feb 15 '12 at 3:58
up vote 0 down vote accepted

When you use files and folders, your activity is logged by a service called Zeitgeist. Unity uses the data from Zeitgeist in its search results.

Because Zeitgeist and Unity are separate services, Zeitgeist shouldn't be affected by updates to Unity.

As far as I'm aware, the Activity Log Manager is the only easy way to manage what Zeitgeist logs. I know you're worried about the Zeitgeist Activity Log Manager not being 'native', but as far as I can tell, it is. It's maintained by Zeitgeist's developers and is going to be included in Ubuntu Precise; I think the only reason it isn't included in Oneiric is because it was released too late.

As you might have seen from the OMG Ubuntu article Gonzo linked to, there's a PPA, so keeping Zeitgeist and the Activity Log Manager up to date really isn't anything to worry about. I installed Activity Log Manager on my Oneiric netbook months ago, and it's working perfectly since then.

Here's what you need to do to:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:zeitgeist/ppa 
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install activity-log-manager

You can then launch it by searching for it in Unity. Once it's loaded, you'll find the option to prevent certain folders being logged in the Files tab.

When you use these files they won't be logged by Zeitgeist any more, but if you've used any of the files before they'll still show up in Unity's search results. To stop this, you'll need to delete Zeitgeist's record of them. The best way to do this would be to use "Activity Journal", which you might need to install first. Just search for it in the Ubuntu Software Centre or run:

sudo apt-get install gnome-activity-journal

Fire it up, and you'll see your computer usage is sorted chronologically. Flick through until you find when you last used those files, right click on a file and click "Delete all items with this URL"; Zeitgeist will forget you ever used that file.

The Activity Journal is included in the default Ubuntu repositories, so if you really don't want to add the PPA and install the Activity Log Manager, you could install it and use it to manually delete Zeitgeist's records each time you use your files. This wouldn't be very convenient, though.

EDIT: I originally said the the Activity Log Manager was an official GNOME project - as you'll see from Manish's comment, it turns out not to be. I've changed my wording to "maintained by Zeitgeist's developers".

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Zeitgeist Activity Log Manager not being 'native'. Activity Log Manager is a native project. It is built using Python and Gtk toolkit. What are your requirements for an application being native? – Manish Sinha Oct 28 '11 at 11:41
It's an official GNOME project <-- It is not an official GNOME project yet. An official GNOME project needs to be submitted to GNOME and be accepted in the GNOME moduleset proposal period. Additionally it needs to be hosted on GNOME infrastructure. Activity Log Manager is hosted on Launchpad. BTW Activity Log Manager is developed by Zeitgeist developers themselves – Manish Sinha Oct 28 '11 at 11:43
Ah, thanks for that Manish! It's good to know. I assumed that as it was developed by the same developers as Zeitgeist, it counted as official. I'll edit my wording. :) – Josh Oct 31 '11 at 13:15

Try this utility

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Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – Marco Ceppi Oct 23 '11 at 13:37
Thanks for answering. You mean there's really no native way to do it? That's bad.. If I have an update of the Unity, I may have to wait for an update of this utility also. It's not really the solution I wanted. Anyway, thanks for the information! – Tom Brito Oct 24 '11 at 16:03
@tom-brito You don't need to wait for an update of this utility if you update unity. You can continue keeping updating unity without problems – Manish Sinha Oct 27 '11 at 14:59

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