Nepomuk is not fast, is instant!

Everybody that has been a KDE user for the last 2 years knows Nepomuk and its bad reputation, maybe it was desired in the past, but no more. This morning I decided to get my Nepomuk up and running again, and I have to say that it is impresive! just take a look at
this video:

The only thing I had to do is modify a kernel configuration, but I had to do it because my distributionb (ArchLinux) didn’t for me, others like Ubuntu or OpenSuse have the correct value.

sysctl fs.inotify.max_user_watches
fs.inotify.max_user_watches = 524288

If you get a value such 8000 then you have to change it, to do it:

echo “fs.inotify.max_user_watches = 524288″ >> /etc/sysctl.conf

and restart.

The only thing I’m missing now is a good plasmoid (Crystal to the rescue?).

Update: I’m using trunk (4.6), but afaik Nepomuk should be as fast as in 4.5
Dolphin searchbar is a feature found in 4.6 (to be released in 2 months)
If you update the parameter using sysctl command remember to restart nepomuk.

  • yoda

    what for is that kernel conifg?

  • Pinaraf

    No need to restart uselessly, just do, as root :
    sysctl “fs.inotify.max_user_watches=524288″

  • Hans

    Ok, you convinced me to enable Strigi again, let’s see how long I keep it enabled this time.

    Usually I don’t feel that the decrease in performance (I’m using an old computer) is worth what I get with Strigi – FSRunner is usually enough for me.

    Oh and as a fellow Arch, I thank you for sharing the tip about increasing fs.inotify.max_user_watches.

    @yoda: It increases the maximum watches inotify can use to watch files and directories for changes.

  • crabman

    Is that kde 4.5 or 4.6 ?

  • TheBlackCat

    Which version of strigi and nepomuk are you using? Also, my version of opensuse does not have the same value, it gives 65536. Is that sufficient?

    @ yoda: I think it is for notifying KDE of changes to the filesystem.

  • guest

    Which version of Dolphin are you using, and how do you get the searchbar??

  • Dion Moult

    If a system setting like that makes such a huge difference, (yes, mine was 8192) why hasn’t it already be built into as a check in Nepomuk? If it isn’t technically possible to change their /etc/sysctl.conf (it does sound a little dodgy securitywise if apps freely changed it), at least it should say it somewhere.

    Posting your hardware specs would be really useful too.

    I didn’t try it out and have no plans to enable Nepomuk again until 4.6, as there are quite a few other memory inefficiencies which are biting me when I try to use KDE. (which should get fixed in 4.6, hopefully)

  • Dieppe

    Instead of restarting, you can also just do sysctl -p ;)

  • afiestas

    It is trunk (4.6), I get the searchbar with ctrl+f

  • cruasan

    The problem is not Nepomuk, is Strigi!

  • Ivan

    The title is a bit incorrect, Nepomuk doesn’t index files, Strigi does.

    • afiestas

      Well, is nepomuk who has the nepomukfilewatch, right?

      • Staphannie

        . It is just confusing to not see anntyihg after configuring amarok to search the right folders and waiting patiently for a hour or so for it to finish scanning.You know, if I had the time, I’d be throwing something together right now to do that but maybe not in amarok. Possibly adding collection management, media devices, lyrics support, and replaygain support to easytag. Or picking one of the collection managers out there and adding media tags and all the rest to it. But please don’t tell me to use nepomuk I don’t want to fill my netbook SDD with the database for a collection that is on a portable HD. And I want to be able to open that collection in all my netbooks, laptops, pcs, without having to rescan it every time.As a final clarification, I used amarok 1.4 firstly as a collection manager (and yes, to help me find more music that I might like based on what I had in my collection), and secondly as a music player, as you probably guessed by now. The second part might work well in 2.x, but I found that I now don’t listen to much music on my netbook any more. One of the reasons is that I stopped using amarok with 2.x, and never found another player that satisfied me as 1.4 did; but also because I already listened to a lot of music on my mp4 player, managing it with amarok 1.4 (and just copying dirs when I switched to kde 4.x /amarok 2.x), and I now almost exclusively use my android or my mp4 player, and at home I use my xbmc media centre.So, I really am out of your use cases by now. I do miss a lot amarok 1.4, and still haven’t found a decent music collection manager that will also play my tracks on my pc when I feel like it, so I still take the time to write about the bugs I can reproduce or what I still miss/dislike in 2.x.; but I am no longer a active user as I was in 1.4 times.

  • Dave

    Nice to know it works for someone. Unfortunately with openSUSE 11.3 and KDE 4.5.3 the creation of new files is not instantly indexed, at least not on my system. I get better results if I tag every file I create. I will wait for KDE 4.6 and hopefully be more impressed, as I was by your video. It’s nice to see how it’s supposed to be working. Thanks for the info on sysctl.

  • adam

    the problem is the backend… it takes so much ram and cpu that sometimes the system (dual core + 4 gb of ram under ubuntu) became unusable… i had to stop both strigi and nepokum because of this

    xorg+nvidia have the same problem, sometime xorg use 50% of the cpu and it’s not so normal..

  • Aleix

    no, strigi is just the filters to get the info now, AFAIK.

    • Ches

      1. The context view is uslsees for me : no album cover, no lyrics working. for me it’s a waste of space. It could have been a tab, it should hev been disabled by default.2. look lately at : songbird ? windows media player ? itunes ? Xmms is another beast for 20th century. i’m talking about 21th century3. Rediscover my music ? rediscover what ? lyrics are not working. It at least it was showing useful stuff like miro ( concert, ), or like proposing related songs on the library or in internet, or allowing to buy albums/goodies from stores on internet, or showing a keyword tag for artist/titles, or details stats about my tastes, ok I could understand. Presently current track is just showing what I have in the playlist but taking more space.4. just expand at the first level. I need to discover there’s music by double-clicking : again this is discovering. I’m fine with this, not my grandma.5. Why scanning $HOME first ? because most people don’t put their music in $XDG_MUSIC_DIR. But only $XDG_MUSIC_DIR should be monitored by default. Windows and Picasa do it this way : show everything available, but only monitor a few directories6. indeed, most people don’t have tag at all7. glad to hear this

  • Andrea

    nice tip, thank you!!!

    Dion Moult :
    If a system setting like that makes such a huge difference, (yes, mine was 8192) why hasn’t it already be built into as a check in Nepomuk? If it isn’t technically possible to change their /etc/sysctl.conf (it does sound a little dodgy securitywise if apps freely changed it), at least it should say it somewhere.

    I totally agree… it’s important to put this tip somewhere in the nepomuk kcm

    • afiestas

      Well is something that the distribution of choise has to setup… I’m not sure if is nepomuks work :/

  • Fri13

    $ fs.inotify.max_user_watches = 524288
    bash: fs.inotify.max_user_watches: command not found

    # sysctl “fs.inotify.max_user_watches=524288″
    error: ““fs.inotify.max_user_watches” is an unknown key

    On ArchLinux (up to date)

    So need to wait that 4.6 hits the road.

  • Blackpaw

    That Dolphin serach bar is way overdue, for users nepomuk has been near useless due to a lack of usable ways to search.

    The text content search is good. I’d be impressed if it could search rich content such as ODF, DOC fand PDF.

  • Hoee

    [quote]So need to wait that 4.6 hits the road.[/quote]
    [code]sysctl “fs.inotify.max_user_watches=524288″[/code]Works just fine in Arch and it’s not KDE related issue.

  • Andrea

    i made the change in fs.inotify.max_user_watches
    rebooted and just tried the same passages of the video…
    but it’s not working for me.
    Nepomuk does’nt notice the creation of a new file isntantly as the video.

  • JaKi

    @ Fri13
    Try: sysctl fs.inotify.max_user_watches=524288

  • Laerte

    This is the most useful Nepomuk post ever! I used to run with both Nepomuk and Strigi disabled, but after setting the sysctl fs.inotify.max_user_watches the searche just blazes. Thanks afiestas.

  • Arne Babenhauserheide

    @ Fri13
    Just remove the “” (fancy quotes) or replace them with “”

  • Anders

    @ Fri13 The problem is the quotes, the line inserted into sysctl.conf reads


    – just remove the quotes and do sysctl -p (using uptodate arch here too)

  • Andrea

    not working for me :-(

  • sylvainsjc


    Great video. I Use Nepomuk / Strigi since 1 year and it never crap my system

    The next version will be great

    I also look forward to the latest version of kamoso packaged in RPM or DEB

  • aaa

    This is the best part of the screencast:

    Go fix it! Plasma is completely broken though. For example, notifications. That’s the WORST part. I know you’re not responsible for that, probably notmart or aseigo are. They said they would fix it in 4.4. They didn’t. Then they said they would fix it in 4.5. They didn’t. Then they say they will fix it in 4.6. They won’t.

    • afiestas

      I’ve fixed the notifications (together with ereslibre) for 4.6, give me feedback please!

  • Siva

    Is there a way in nepomuk+strigi combination to just index filenames and tags (not contents.. just like fsrunner..) which just gives instant results with filename search..
    Without strigi indexing on nepomuk does the same, but takes too long to give the results, and does not support simple searching (fsrunner has always been my choice, but lost in KDE 4.6)

    • afiestas

      No idea :/

  • aaa

    It’s ok, afiestas. Let’s make this game fair: I’ll prove that notifications don’t work, or, at least, they don’t work as they should.

    I’m using 4.5.90 (4.6 RC1) here.

    = 1 =
    Three notifications. They all fit in the box. But there’s a scroll bar. Why? I closed them all. Then the notifications box closed, and I couldn’t get it back, as expected.

    = 2 =
    Then, some Kopete notifications appeared. I clicked the notifications icon. Why does that ‘Multimedia System’ tab appear, if there are no notifications for it?

    = 3 =
    A Kopete notification appeared while I was in that Multimedia box. The box changed its size (?!), confusing the user, and then a ‘Kopete Messenger’ notification header appeared. Yes, in the Multimedia tab. At least, it is no longer empty…

    = 4 =
    I clicked the Kopete tab. Now, the notification headers are all mixed up with the real notifications. PS: the box changed its size again. And the scroll bar is not where it should.

    = 5 =
    I started playing with the mouse wheel. You know that ‘kinetic’ behaviour when you move the wheel up or down? Seems that I changed the tab while I was moving the entire UI down, so it got stuck there. Sigh. I closed the entire notifications box.

    = 6 =
    I opened it again. Now I got this. The notifications and their ghosts. See: now the notifications box is not attached to the right side of the screen, the ‘Chat’ button has different sizes for the two users (priorities? undocumented feature? :) ) and there’s some unused space at the bottom.

    = 7 =
    I closed some ‘ghosts’. The ‘Chat’ button size is still not ok, but everything looks fine. Well, not everything. The scroll bar is too tall, it’s on the ‘Notifications’ header, which should be static. And now the notifications box is attached again to the right side.

    = 8 =
    I closed some more notifications. Now the box is not attached to the right side (!!!), and there’s some unused space at the bottom. Again.

    = 9 =
    I closed the ghosts, and now this is what I get: a completely wrong place for the scroll bar. Oh, and unused space.

    = 10 =
    The same as the previous screenshot.

    So, what to say? I know that “something” may be broken at “some time” of the development. I didn’t have to deep-study the plasma behaviour to provoke these bugs. I just TRIED TO USE the notifications system.
    – This is NOT normal, notifications are not working well since KDE SC 4.0 release at early 2008.

    Thank you for your time, and long live KDE :)

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