Tracker – filesystem indexer, metadata storage system and search tool

Tracker is a tool designed to extract information and metadata about your personal data so that it can be searched easily and quickly. It can trawl through your hard drive and index existing files and data stores. It is a is a semantic data storage for desktop and mobile devices. Tracker uses W3C standards for RDF ontologies using Nepomuk with SPARQL to query and update the data.

It consists of a common object database that allows entities to have an almost infinte number of properties, metadata (both embedded / harvested as well as user definable), a comprehensive database of keywords/tags and links to other entities.

It provides additional features for file based objects including context linking and audit trails for a file object.

The software has the ability to index, store, harvest metadata, retrieve and search all types of files and other first class objects. Tracker detects file mime types and further enables you to limit searchs to specific types of files (audio, video, text files, etc.).

It is designed and built to run well on lower-memory systems with typically 128MB or 256MB memory. Typical RAM usage is between 4-30 MB.

The screenshot shows Tracker Search Tool in operation, a GTK-based graphical frontend.

Features include:

  • Full Text Search (FTS). Below are the features which are available with FTS (which can be disabled as part of the build):
    • Unaccenting is used to strip characters of their accents to allow comparisons between examples like Idea and Idéa to be as fast as possible.
    • Unicode Normalization is used to match examples like Straße and Strasse or the other way round.
    • Stemming is used to find more relevant results. For example a search for motorbikes (plural) will also return results relevant to motorbike (singular). This operates on a multi-lingual basis. Stemming is currently experimental and we’re looking to improve this.
  • File notification for real time updates.
  • Supports both free text search (like Beagle / Google Desktop) as well as structured searches using RDF Query.
  • Provides text filters for PDF, MS Office, OpenOffice (all versions), HTML and PS files.
  • Responds in real time to filesystem changes, automatically keeping its metadata database up to date.
  • Extracts embedded File, Image, Document and Audio type metadata from files.
  • Thumbnailing on the fly.
  • Uses multilingual word stemmers to help find more relevant results.
  • Indexer, a lightweight daemon that extracts information from files (trackerd).
  • Tracker Search Tool, a small GUI to search for indexed data.
  • Command line tools for searching, querying the daemon status, and tagging.
  • libtracker, a C wrapper around the DBus API.
  • Full DBus API for application authors using different toolkits or programming language.
  • Implements the freedesktop specification for metadata.
  • Supports the WC3’s RDF Query syntax for querying metadata.

Website: wiki.gnome.org/Projects/Tracker
Support: Mailing List
Developer: Jamie McCracken, Laurent Aguerreche, Luca Ferretti, Eugenio, Michael Biebl, and many others
License: GNU GPL v2

Tracker

Return to Productivity Tools Home Page | Return to Desktop Search Engines Home Page


Popular series
Linux for StartersNew to Linux? Read our Linux for Starters series. We start right at the basics and teach you everything you need to know to get started with Linux.
Free and Open Source SoftwareThe largest compilation of the best free and open source software in the universe. Each article is supplied with a legendary ratings chart helping you make informed decisions.
Linux ReviewsHundreds of in-depth reviews offering our unbiased and expert opinion on software. We offer helpful and impartial information.
Alternatives to GoogleAlternatives to Google's Products and Services examines your options to migrate from the Google ecosystem with open source Linux alternatives.
MicrosoftAlternatives to Microsoft's Products and Services recommends open source Linux software.
AdobeAlternatives to Adobe Cloud looks at free and open source alternatives to products available from Adobe Cloud's subscription service.
AppleAlternatives to Apple recommends free and open source alternatives to Apple's proprietary world.
CorelAlternatives to Corel surveys alternatives to Corel's range of graphics processing products and other software applications.
DockerGetting Started with Docker helps you master Docker, a set of platform as a service products that delivers software in packages called containers.
Linux System ToolsEssential Linux system tools focuses on small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users.
Linux ProductivityLinux utilities to maximise your productivity. Small, indispensable tools, useful for anyone running a Linux machine.
Home Computer EmulatorsHome computers became commonplace in the 1980s. Emulate home computers including the Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.
Now and ThenNow and Then examines how promising open source software fared over the years. It can be a bumpy ride.
Linux at HomeLinux at Home looks at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged.
Linux CandyLinux Candy reveals the lighter side of Linux. Have some fun and escape from the daily drudgery.
Best Free Android AppsBest Free Android Apps. We showcase free Android apps that are definitely worth downloading. There's a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series.
Programming BooksThese best free books accelerate your learning of every programming language. Learn a new language today!
Programming TutorialsThese free tutorials offer the perfect tonic to our free programming books series.
Stars and StripesStars and Stripes is an occasional series looking at the impact of Linux in the USA.
Share this article

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.