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Baloo is a utility included in the KDE/Plasma software suite that indexes and searches files for metadata.



  • /etc/xdg/autostart/baloo_file.desktop - The XDG autostart file will cause the baloo utility to automatically run upon user login unless modified by the system administrator. If this behavior is not desired, then modify the file to remove the auto start line for the appropriate desktop environment.



On systemd systems, the Baloo utility can be controlled as user service and configured to automatically run in the background. Operational status can be disabled using:

user $systemctl --user disable --now kde-baloo.service



Baloo includes a userspace utility to manage its functionality:

user $balooctl --help
Usage: balooctl [options] command status enable disable purge suspend resume check index clear config monitor indexSize failed

  -f, --format <format>  Output format <multiline|json|simple>.
                         The default format is "multiline".
                         Only applies to "balooctl status <file>"
  -v, --version          Displays version information.
  -h, --help             Displays help on commandline options.
  --help-all             Displays help including Qt specific options.

  command                The command to execute
  status                 Print the status of the indexer
  enable                 Enable the file indexer
  disable                Disable the file indexer
  purge                  Remove the index database
  suspend                Suspend the file indexer
  resume                 Resume the file indexer
  check                  Check for any unindexed files and index them
  index                  Index the specified files
  clear                  Forget the specified files
  config                 Modify the Baloo configuration
  monitor                Monitor the file indexer
  indexSize              Display the disk space used by index
  failed                 Display files which could not be indexed

Check index size

Disk space consumed by index can be displayed using:

user $balooctl indexSize
File Size: 6.27 GiB
Used:      3.66 GiB

           PostingDB:     978.16 MiB    26.124 %
          PositionDB:       1.46 GiB    39.929 %
            DocTerms:     875.02 MiB    23.369 %
    DocFilenameTerms:     116.66 MiB     3.116 %
       DocXattrTerms:            0 B     0.000 %
              IdTree:      31.55 MiB     0.843 %
          IdFileName:     133.30 MiB     3.560 %
             DocTime:      81.82 MiB     2.185 %
             DocData:      27.00 MiB     0.721 %
   ContentIndexingDB:            0 B     0.000 %
         FailedIdsDB:       4.00 KiB     0.000 %
             MTimeDB:       5.71 MiB     0.153 %

Purge index

To free up disk space consumed by the index, issue:

user $balooctl purge
Stopping the File Indexer .... - done
Deleted the index database
Restarting the File Indexer

Check indexing status

user $balooctl status
Baloo File Indexer is running
Indexer state: Indexing file content

Disable indexing

user $balooctl disable


Baloo is using 100% of one CPU core

When Baloo is running it will use 100% of one CPU core. To disable indexing (which will impact the ability to search for files) see the disable section above.

See also

  • Plasma — a free software community, producing a wide range of applications including the popular Plasma desktop environment.