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D-Bus interface providing a log of activities


zeitgeist-daemon [OPTION]

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export XDG_CACHE_HOME="${TMP_PATH}/cache"
zeitgeist-daemon --replace --no-datahub >/dev/null 2>&1 &
echo "Creating files to be used by the tests..."
# --task zeitgeist-daemon \
# --parameter --no-datahub \
# --parameter --log-level=DEBUG \
# --task gtester \


zeitgeist-daemon is daemon providing an activity log. That is, it consists of a central database for events such as file usage, browser history, calendar entries, etc.

All this information is made available to external applications which communicate with zeitgeist-daemon over D-Bus. Interested applications can request information, insert new events or delete existing events.

Zeitgeist is also capable of establishing relationships between activities. Its purpose is enabling an activity-aware desktop with adaptive user interfaces.

By default, zeitgeist-daemon will also start the bundled logging application zeitgeist-datahub.


The program follows the usual GNU command line syntax, with options starting with two dashes (’--’). A summary of options is included below.

Do not start zeitgeist-datahub together with this daemon.

-r, --replace

Replace any existing Zeitgeist instance if there is one already running. If this option isn’t used, zeitgeist-daemon will refuse to start if another running instance is found.


Specifies how much information should be printed to the standard output. Possible values are: DEBUG, INFO, WARNING, ERROR, CRITICAL.


Specifies a file to which log output will be appended.

-q, --quit

Stop a currently running Zeitgeist instance and exit. This lets Zeitgeist finish any operation it may currently be doing.

-v, --version

Shows which version of Zeitgeist is being executed.

-h, --help

Shows a short help message listing all supported options.

environment variables


Overrides the directory where user data files are placed. The default value is that of XDG’s data dir (usually ~/.local/share/zeitgeist).


This variable lets you specify an override for the filename of the main database. The default value is $ZEITGEIST_DATA_PATH/activity.sqlite.


This variable lets you specify an override for the filename of a possible database backup. The default value is $ZEITGEIST_DATA_PATH/activity.sqlite.bck.


This variable lets you specify comma separated list of extension names which shouldn’t be loaded. The names are extracted from type names of the extensions, so to disable extension with type name ZeitgeistDataSourceRegistry, value of the variable should be DataSourceRegistry.

exit codes


Zeitgeist terminated normally.


An unspecified error occurred.


There is already a running Zeitgeist instance.


Could not access the database file.


The database file is locked.


This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 2.1 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Lesser General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License along with this program. If not, see <>.


SIGHUP: zeitgeist-daemon will shut itself down in a clean way.

It is recommended that system updates of Zeitgeist send this signal to all running instances of zeitgeist-daemon. DBus activation will make sure the updated software is automatically restarted when needed.


Please report any bugs on

see also

zeitgeist-datahub, gnome-activity-journal


Please see the AUTHORS file bundled with this application for a complete list of contributors.

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