Are there any serious cons to disabling baloo entirely?

I’ve been noticing some periods of temporary stutter/freezing (~5 seconds) while playing ESO in groups… and I suspect it’s somewhat related to addons that I have installed that capture group loot as the stutter seems to be perfectly aligned with when one or more group members loot (i.e. data written out by addon(s) every time each party member loots).

I didn’t do any group content yet today, but I noticed something very curious when I launched ESO and Van Helsing FC…

  1. Prior to game launch CPU Load ~2%, CPU Temp mid/high 30C
  2. During/post game launch, game takes ~8% CPU and increases CPU temp between high 40C to low/mid 50C (per conky)
  3. very soon after game launch, balooctl pops in as either 1st or 2nd highest CPU utilizer @ ~8-10% CPU and ~1% RAM according to conky… and pushes CPU temps to ~65C (once this process stops temps/utilization returns to #2)

If I open a terminal to do a balooctl status while its process is still running, it slams balooctl memory usage up to 30% (per conky), and eventually my command times out… and will not successfully run until after the original balooctl process completes; after ~2 minutes.

I’m not sure if the game’s loading data from the disk is triggering balooctl initially, or if it’s something Steam/Proton inspires each execution, but I have a sneaky suspicion baloo may be behind my group content addon writes creating game “stutters”/freezes (writing out data from multiple LUA addons) as well… I envision a little tug of war on the addon data files as baloo wants to access them for it’s update and the addon wants to keep writing out more data and needs to wait its turn.

I use Steam exclusively, so there are many layers in play… Steam, proton, bits of wine used by proton, the game itself, addons (LUA scripts), baloo, being relatively new to GNU/Linux, etc… so it’s been hard to tease out the root cause… potentially until now.

But taking what I’ve experienced today and recalling the many times when balooctl status indicated an index size of 11GB (normally ~180 MB while indexing hidden files/folders included; ~17MB with hidden excluded) that was resolved by balooctl purge… I’m just starting to think that baloo is not very “compatible” with my gaming in general.

I know balooctl is owned by baloo

$ pacman -Qo balooctl
/usr/bin/balooctl is owned by baloo 5.88.0-1

… and that baloo appears to be a requirement of a few apps (notably plasma-desktop)…

$ pacman -Qi baloo
Name            : baloo
Version         : 5.88.0-1
Description     : A framework for searching and managing metadata
Architecture    : x86_64
URL             :
Licenses        : LGPL
Groups          : kf5
Provides        : None
Depends On      : kfilemetadata  kidletime  kio  lmdb
Optional Deps   : qt5-declarative: QML bindings [installed]
Required By     : baloo-widgets  elisa  gwenview  plasma-desktop
Optional For    : plasma-workspace
Conflicts With  : None
Replaces        : None
Installed Size  : 2.27 MiB
Packager        : Antonio Rojas <>
Build Date      : Sat 06 Nov 2021 02:36:32 PM
Install Date    : Fri 19 Nov 2021 10:51:09 AM
Install Reason  : Installed as a dependency for another package
Install Script  : No
Validated By    : Signature

… so I will abort any/all thoughts about uninstalling it… but are there any cons to leaving it disabled while gaming (or always)? I mean, it appears only 4 apps are using it, and I don’t yet see how I’d miss it.

I just skipped all of that to get at the title question …

Are there any serious cons to disabling baloo entirely?

And the answer is … not really. Whatever indexing/search stuff that you expect to use that relies on it will be obviously kaput … but in many cases, that also doesnt matter unless you live in some sort of ‘searchlight’ existence on your desktop and cant imagine using it any other way.

…on the old forum some of us used to say ‘kill the bear’ from time to time.


Thank you for the sanity check @cscs , “the bear” has been karate chopped here too by King Louie :wink:

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Just a quick update to say that I ran some group content in ESO today with baloo disabled… and all I can say is WOW; confirmed this one simple change has eliminated ALL the stuttering/freezing I was experiencing.

EDIT: Okay, I celebrated a little bit early… but learned a bit more as I eventually found the co-conspirator.

I celebrated after doing a couple group content dungeons on my “alts”, which I normally do very rarely… assuming it would be a good/similar experience when I switch to my “main”.

Well, that ended up not being exactly true; definitely improved/lessened stuttering, but it still crept in while on my “main”. So I dug in deeper and found an addon I thought was not in use with a “save file” (flat file db) that was ~8Mb… eek! I disabled the addon, entered a group dungeon with my main, and finally 100% smoothness!

So, while baloo played a role (improvements found after disabling it), it was not 100% responsible for the stutter/freeze issues alone; an 8MB “flat file db” was the accomplice… and offending addon/data has also been sacked :wink:

baloo, like kmail (akonadi), is a bit rubbish; I use recoll and just re-index once an hour

Thank you for the feedback @wes33… I’ll keep that in mind if I find I miss having an index.

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