Fix Gnome Nautilus Superslow


I had been fighting for quite a while with an annoying bug in Nautilus, the Gnome file browser. Nautilus performed ok when just launched, but its performances steadily degraded up to the point of making the app unusable. Killing and reopening it solved the issue… well, at least for a little while.

I tried disabling search, wiping the cache, disabling thumbnails generation and any other preference, like calculations performed on directories (number of files, sizes, etc), to no avail. I carefully added .trackerignore files to avoid indexing directories with repositories and many files, which tracker does not like.

It turns out the problem was the content of the Templates directory, which contained a copy of the Git repository of Reveal.js. Apparently Nautilus does not like to have many files in the Templates directory for reasons which are not fully clear to me.

Anyhow, I cleaned the Templates directory and everything started working fine.

I found the solution here: slow down, after looking with journalctl for error messages generated by Nautilus.

The revealing messages were a bunch of:

Duplicate child name in GtkStack: ...

DuckDuckGo-ing for the message pointed to the page above, with the solution.