Resolve slow loading of large directories in Nemo

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Resolve slow loading of large directories in Nemo

Post by recluce »

I have observed that loading a directory with many thumbnails is extremely slow in Nemon on Mint 17 or 17.1, while it was much faster in Mint 13.

Apparently, the culprit is the thumbnailer used. This is now the totemthumbnailer, as ffmpeg seems to be deprecated by the Mint developers, for whatever reason. In Mint 13, ffmpegthumbnailer was used (IIRC).

I should add that I like to see my thumbnails where possible, so the maximum filesize in Nemo to display thumbnails is set to 4 GB (I have found no way so far to set it higher).

Problem now: opening a directory with about 100 movies in it takes 30 seconds and longer on Mint 17.1 (on a blazing fast core i7-5820k hex-core machine). On Mint 13, this took less than 5 seconds on a much slower machine.

Here is how I solved this: replace the call to totemthumbnailer with a call to ffmpegthumbnailer.

First, install ffmpegthumbnailer, it is still in the repos. There is no need to install ffmpeg.

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sudo aptitude install ffmpegthumbnailer
Next, let us edit the totem.thumbnailer configuration in /usr/share/thumbnailers to call ffmpegthumbnailer:

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cd /usr/share/thumbnailers
sudo cp totem.thumbnailer totem.thumbnailer.old
sudo gedit totem.thumbnailer
In the editor, change the first two lines to:

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Exec=/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -s %s -i %i -o %o -c png -f
Save the file and stop Nemo:

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nemo -q
Restart Nemo by opening any folder, i.e. by clicking on the folder icon in the panel

You should now see a much more responsive Nemo wherever there are many thumbnails to display (in the example, down from almost 30 seconds to 2 seconds).

Caveat: You may need to repeat these steps if an update to totem.thumbnailer should overwrite the configuration

If you want to roll the change back, simply remove the modified config file and restore the old one.

Credits: I adapted the procedure from a 2012 article located here: ... -cinnamon/

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