I understand, based on a number of other sources, that files will not appear in a dash search until they have been opened, due to the search drawing from zeitgeist.

As an example, this is frustrating if I am watching a season of a tv series, and I'd like to be able to get to the next episode via dash searching the show title. The obvious, clunky workaround is to open each file once by hand to force them into the index. I'd like to write a script that will do this for me for the contents of a directory.

Does anyone have advice on writing a Nautilus script that will open each file in a directory with high efficiency, ensuring that the files make it into the zeitgeist index?


  • It would be nice to have a small dummy application that functions as a data provider to zeitgeist, but does nothing but "open" the files of specified formats passed to it. This would eliminate the need to open a heavier app like a video/music player or a word processor.

I intend to look into this as (hopefully) elementary programming/scripting practice, and I would love tips/ideas if others are interested.


I have an answer that partly covers your question and partly is informative.

What I found out... it is all stored inside ~/.local/share/zeitgeist/activity.sqlite (SQLite 3.x database) and it uses a tool called Tracker (Applications -> Accessories -> Tracker Search Tool).

And there are Tracker plugins for Totem, Nautilus and the GTK+ File Chooser (so it needs to be 1 of these 3). This is done with 'Data Providers' and every program that wants to use this needs one.

So the answer to question 1 would be 'no' since we just need to feed the data provider with the name of the file you need. And the answer to question number 2 would be 'yes'. Only those applications that use a data provider can be used.

All data gathered from a tutorial on GNOME Activity Journal, Zeitgeist and Sezen. This page also talks about vim and emacs files being registered and has python example code but these do not seem to work (I posted a comment their asking for a way to add files through command line).

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks for the great article. However, isn't tracker a separate search indexer/program? Unless there's a way to feed tracker's index to zeitgeist, I don't think it can interact with the dash, which is zeitgeist-only at this point. (+1 for tracker support in the dash.) – Dorkus1218 May 6 '11 at 23:22
  • "python example code but these do not seem to work". Please contact me or come on #zeitgeist on Freenode if you want help. All of us are more than ready to help you. – Manish Sinha Jun 15 '11 at 13:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.