I found out I had the zeitgeist daemon on my computer, I noticed its been collecting info on me for years. How do I remove it, and its database. because I have uninstalled it, then I reinstalled it once I found out there was a viewer, and its database that it has collected on me.

I am really upset, as this could have been one of my sources of privacy compromise. I got rid of windows because of the malware, but it seems that I got security at the price of someone collecting info on me.

How do I remove the zeitgeist daemon database? Because removing the program doesn't delete the database.


To disable it (run as normal user not root):

  1. See if it's running with:

    ps -ef |grep zeit
    linuxaria  2085     1  0 16:31 ?        00:00:00 /usr/bin/zeitgeist-daemon
    linuxaria  2093     1  0 16:31 ?        00:00:00 /usr/lib/zeitgeist/zeitgeist-fts
    root      8372  8300  0 18:48 pts/0    00:00:00 grep --color=auto zeit
  2. Disable the ability to read and write to the database file:

    chmod -rw ~/.local/share/zeitgeist/activity.sqlite
  3. Try to restart the daemon to be sure it out of commission:

    ~/.local/share/zeitgeist$ zeitgeist-daemon --replace
    • You should see this output if it's disabled:

      [16:53:46.292663 WARNING] Could not access the database file.
      Please check the permissions of file /home/linuxaria/.local/share/zeitgeist/activity.sqlite.
  4. Need to reactivate it use these commands:

    chmod +rw ~/.local/share/zeitgeist/activity.sqlite
     ~/.local/share/zeitgeist$ zeitgeist-daemon --replace

To tally remove it completely:

  1. Check which zeist pacakges are installed:

    dpkg -l |grep zeit
    • Result:

      ii  gir1.2-zeitgeist-2.0        0.9.16-0ubuntu4  amd64  library    to       access     Zeitgeist  -        GObject   introspection  data
      ii  libzeitgeist-1.0-1:amd64    0.3.18-1ubuntu3  amd64  library    to       access     Zeitgeist  -        shared    library
      ii  libzeitgeist-2.0-0:amd64    0.9.16-0ubuntu4  amd64  library    to       access     Zeitgeist  -        shared    library
      ii  python-zeitgeist            0.9.16-0ubuntu4  all    event      logging  framework  -          Python   bindings
      ii  rhythmbox-plugin-zeitgeist  3.3-1ubuntu7     all    zeitgeist  plugin   for        rhythmbox  music    player
      ii  zeitgeist                   0.9.16-0ubuntu4  all    event      logging  framework
      ii  zeitgeist-core              0.9.16-0ubuntu4  amd64  event      logging  framework  -          engine
      ii  zeitgeist-datahub           0.9.16-0ubuntu4  amd64  event      logging  framework  -          passive  logging   daemon
    • Taking values from the second column remove the pacakages:

      sudo apt-get purge gir1.2-zeitgeist-2.0  libzeitgeist-1.0-1:amd64 libzeitgeist-2.0-0:amd64 python-zeitgeist  rhythmbox-plugin-zeitgeist zeitgeist zeitgeist-core zeitgeist-datahub 

Further reading:


  • I've voted to close the question as a duplicate. I think your answer is a good one that can be added to the duplicate candidate though. Perhaps include the other answer intended to be appended to your answer here? – WinEunuuchs2Unix Oct 20 at 12:48

Thanks @George Udosen . I did that, plus:

  sudo apt-get --purge autoremove activity-log-manager-common activity-log-manager-control-center zeitgeist zeitgeist-core zeitgeist-datahub
  sudo rm -fr {/root,/home/*}/.local/share/zeitgeist

Hopefully I got rid of it entirely

  • 1
    sudo touch {/root,/home/*}/.local/share/zeitgeist ; sudo chmod 000 {/root,/home/*}/.local/share/zeitgeist ------------- might help interfere with reinstallation upon a future upgrade – Craig Hicks Jan 4 at 22:52

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