Ubuntu 11.04 Unity Dash Privacy

UPDATE: For Ubuntu 12.04 it has become much easier to hide a folder and in general keep things private – just go to “System Settings” and find the “Privacy” button at the “Personal” tab. If you have Ubuntu 12.04 or newer, then I will strongly recommend you to use the built-in Privacy system. However, if you are stuck with Ubuntu less than 12.04, then you can read the following guide:

GUIDE UPDATED FOR UBUNTU 11.10: Unity Dash Privacy at Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

Ubuntu 11.04 stores history in a component called zeitgeist. This history is also displayed when using the Unity Dashboard, which may show many irrelevant files or private files. Currently, the only way to avoid this is to install the gnome-activity-journal PPA, open it and add entries to its blacklist. Here comes the details:
Install the gnome-activity-journal PPA (the default in the 11.04 repository does NOT work):
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:zeitgeist/ppa
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install zeitgeist gnome-activity-journal

Open gnome-activity-journal PPA -> Open “Preferences” -> go to the “Blacklist” tab and add entries such as:

Later a much better GUI called zeitgeist-global-privacy should makes this much easier.

Published by Anders Aaberg

IT-development consultant at Nine A/S MSc. Advanced Computer Science @ University of Leeds, UK

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