How to disable activity logging in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ozelot

Ubuntu has mechanism to log user activity such as used documents. This is used to facilitate searching, but can also be intrusive to your privacy.

Here is a way to disable this logging without breaking Unity or any other part of the system, execute these commands in a terminal:

  1. sudo mv /etc/xdg/autostart/zeitgeist-datahub.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/zeitgeist-datahub.desktop-inactive
  2. rm ~/.local/share/recently-used.xbel
  3. mkdir ~/.local/share/recently-used.xbel
  4. rm -rf ~/.local/share/zeitgeist

then log out and log in again.

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7 Responses to How to disable activity logging in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ozelot

  1. Forage says:

    ~/.local/share/recently-used.xbel is a file where GTK/GNOME applications log their files and not zeitgeist.

    You might want to elaborate on how to restore zeitgeist as well. Is restoring /etc/xdg/autostart/zeitgeist-datahub.desktop-inactive sufficient or will things be b0rked because ~/.local/share/zeitgeist is removed? If the latter is the case then you might want to rename/backup the folder instead of removing it.

  2. recently-used.xbel might not be part of zeitgeist, but it is part of the event logging facility in Ubuntu/GNOME/Unity. And this blog post is about disabling the event logging in general, not zeitgeist in particular.

  3. I haven’t tried to re-enable zeitgeist. But I assume it should work even if ~/.local/share/zeitgeist (if that won’t work I would consider it a bug in zeitgeist). Backing it up should only be necessary if you actually want to preserve the data zeitgeist has collected so far.

  4. Weeber says:

    THANK YOU. This finally solved my logging problem on ubuntu 12.10

  5. Pingback: Disabling Zeitgeist

  6. Pingback: Ubuntu:Disabling Zeitgeist – Ubuntu Linux Questions

  7. Tom Sparks says:

    Mikael…
    In Ubuntu 14.04…
    I don’t use Unity, but Gnome Classic. Can I remove Unity processes from
    /etc/xdg/autostart by changing them to -inactive?
    Any other processes that I can make inactive?

    Thanks!

    -tom

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