10.10 - How can I prevent certain directories/files from appearing in Unity's dash?

  • ThePainter

    This question may sound similar to the following for which solutions are documented:

    How can I keep recent files from appearing in Unity?

    But my problem is that the Dash (in 10.10) not only lists recently touched files but all files on my mounted partitions (= obviously they are getting indexed automatically).

    Is there any way to make Zeitgeist (the responsible application I guesss) exclude certain files/directory hierachies? Or is there any way to disable this kind of indexing completely?

    Thanks in advance!

  • Answers
  • ThePainter

    I think I finally found an appropriate solution: It seems that my mistake was to completely delete the directory ~/.local/share/zeitgeist/ , I of course also deleted my blacklist this way! Now I tested to delete all files in the directory except the blacklist file, and it finally works the way I want. Thanks alot!

  • Related Question

    dash - How can I keep recent files from appearing in Unity?
  • mr.pig

    I sometimes browse erotic media files but I would like to avoid having them appear in files & folders / recent. How can I do that?

    The old "making .recently-used.xbel a folder" trick from 10.10 and older doesn't work any more.

    Plus I'd prefer to turn off tracking only temporarily.

    I also prefer not to use a separate user for this, as switching users sometimes isn't fast enough.

  • Related Answers
  • fossfreedom

    Method 1: Using Activity Log Manager

    Ubuntu Precise 12.04

    In Ubuntu Precise Activity Log Manager 0.9 is included by default. It can be accessed from System Settings or just by looking for Privacy.

    Finding Activity Log Manager in Dash enter image description here

    Or you can simply type Privacy in Dash

    enter image description here

    Now you can start blacklisting applications. Screenshots

    enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

    Activity Log Manager in Oneiric and first release

    You can install Activity Log Manager from the Stable PPA.

    For more details about Activity Log Manager you should check out the article on OMG! Ubuntu! and article on Webupd8

    A new version of Activity Log Manager is in development which looks better and is simpler to use. A screenshot of the unreleased Activity Log Manager

    Unreleased Activity Log Manager screenshot

    Method 2: Using Gnome Activity Journal

    You can do it, provided that there is some pattern in the files. For example you have kept all your explicit content in folder /home/mrpig/erotica/ folder.

    Then open Activity Journal which is a GUI frontend to Zeitgeist which acts as a Dashboard showing your recent activities. On top right Zeitgeist Icon, click it and Preferences. Check "Blacklist Manager" plugin

    Then goto "BlackList Manager" tab. Click on New button, and then edit the new entry which comes as file:///home/mrpig/erotica/*

    Linked Question:

    1. Hidden files are shown in Dash
  • hbdgaf

    There is a way to do it, but it will clear all the other recent files as well.

    All you have to do is run the following commands:

    rm ~/.local/share/zeitgeist/activity.sqlite
    zeitgeist-daemon --replace

    Edit zeitgiest/activity.sqlite no longer exists on my system:

    rm ~/.local/share/zeitgeist
    zeitgeist-daemon --replace

    It takes a moment, but it repopulates as the daemon starts.

    Update: Activity Log Manager has been released. This is a GUI tool that allows you to tweak the Zeitgeist history: you can delete part of the Zeitgeist history, blacklist some applications or prevent logging certain types of files as well as blacklist folders.

    Install it using the commands below:

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

    I've recorded a video demoing Activity Log Manager here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eQn7ZyfSlw

  • Lev

    Just rename the folder after browsing. After you renamed it, the files in there won't show up in unity recent files. Pretty easy solution, just make sure you don't forget it every time you use that folder :)

    (Sry for my english)

  • Simon

    The old "making .recently-used.xbel a folder" trick does work, but now the file is in ~/.local/share so:

    $ rm ~/.local/share/recently-used.xbel
    $ mkdir ~/.local/share/recently-used.xbel

    ...works for me :)

  • papukaija

    Zeitgeist's developers are working on Zeitgeist Global Privacy. It will allow to remove part of Zeitgeist history (last hour, week, etc), blacklist an application or file type from the history and exclusion of a folder from the history. A few screenshots are provided in the linked blog post.

  • Glutanimate

    The answer pointing to the activity log manager is true for zeitgeist. But zeitgeist is not the only way the system keeps track of recently used files. Some applications still use the old method, where access to folders and files is written to a central log file located at ~/.local/share/recently-used.xbel. This older activity logger is called GtkRecentManager. You can read more about the interplay between zeitgeist and its older counterpart here.

    In contrast to zeitgeist, there is no official GNOME tool for GtkRecentManager that would allow controlling what get's logged and what doesn't. However, as Bazon pointed out in a comment above there is a third-party solution which does the job quite well:

    GTK+ Recent Files Scrubber by ssokolow

    From the project page:

    So, you keep running for GNOME to wipe your recent files list and, sooner or later, you decide that it'd be easier to just turn it off altogether and that you wouldn't really be losing anything in the process.

    This tool takes a slightly different approach inspired by the HistoryBlock extension for Firefox. With this scrubber, you give it a list of places that you don't want to show up in your recent files list, then you get on with your life. (And it does its job discreetly.)

    The scrubber will sit in the background, waiting for new files to appear in the list. If they match any of the entries in your blacklist, it kicks them back out. No fuss, no muss. You just set it and forget it.

    The tool only offers a CLI interface but is comparatively easy to use. Instructions can be found on the project page and CLI help:

    $ gtk_cleanup.py --help 
    Usage: gtk_cleanup.py [options]
    A simple little tool which watches GTK+'s global recent files list and
    removes anything that matches a hashed blacklist of URI prefixes.
      --version             show program's version number and exit
      -h, --help            show this help message and exit
      -v, --verbose         Increase the verbosity. Use twice for extra effect.
      -q, --quiet           Decrease the verbosity. Use twice for extra effect.
      Resident-Compatible Actions:
        --purge             Purge all Recently Used entries during the initial
        --config=FILE       Specify a non-default config file
      Non-Resident Actions:
        -a URI, --add=URI   Add URI to the list of blacklisted prefixes.
        -r URI, --remove=URI
                            Remove prefixes from the blacklist which match URI
        --once              Don't become resident. Just scrub and exit.
  • Moune

    What I do is, I just rename the folder, add a _ at the end and it is gone from the list. But providing a Clear recent history windows should not be that difficult.

  • david6

    for Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric) + Unity (3D)

    [Adapted from Alin Andrei (answer).]

    UPDATED: Safer method of stop, erase, re-start (for Zeitgeist)

    step 1. get the tools

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

    step 2. set files/directory activity to ignore.

    'Activity Log Manager' >> Files >> Prevent logging files :
    (Select folder) /home/$username/Private  [Add]           -  private folders
    (Select folder) /home/$username/install/image  [Add]     -  Ubuntu .ISO files

    step 3. clear ALL history [safe method]

    zeitgeist-daemon --quit
    ls -l ~/.local/share/zeitgeist/
    sudo rm ~/.local/share/zeitgeist/activity.sqlite.bck  (if present)
    sudo rm ~/.local/share/zeitgeist/activity.sqlite-journal  (if present)
    sudo rm ~/.local/share/zeitgeist/activity.sqlite

    step 4. restart Zeitgeist [safe method]

    zeitgeist-daemon &

    ( The ampersand '&' allows process to run in background. )

  • adnan kamili

    For unity simply delete zeitgeist folder from .local/share/ and you will not see your recently used files again

  • dv3500ea

    Using a GUI Method:

    1. Click on the Home Icon on the Left Tool Bar which opens Nautilus in your Home directory.
    2. Under View on the Top Tool Bar make sure Show Hidden Files is checked.
    3. Now using Nautilus navigate to .local/share.
    4. Optional: if you don't like to type: highlight the file: recently-used.xbel then right click and choose Rename then copy the entire file name of recently-used.xbel by using either Ctrl+c or Ctrl+Insert
    5. Now Delete the file: recently-used.xbel
    6. In a blank area of the current folder right click and choose Create Document/Empty File
    7. Rename the default filename: new file to recently-used.xbel by either typing it or if you followed step 4 Paste by Ctrl+V or Shift+Insert the name so the new file appears as recently-used.xbel