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How does Linux store thumbnails ?

Link to this post 06 Feb 10

I recently noticed that KDE creates a .diretory file to probably store info about thumbnails and other stuff and Gnome does store thumbnails in a centralised directory.

Can anyone elaborate this difference in more detail and compare the benefits and drawbacks of each approach?

Link to this post 06 Feb 10

Both KDE and Gnome save thumbnails in hidden home directory files. I don't really see any big difference between the two. Maybe you can elaborate why you think there is a difference and explain in what context you think doing it a different way could have benefits.

Link to this post 06 Feb 10

Well for one I thought that KDE will save a single hidden file to every directory that has thumbnails, as compared to Gnome that has a global .thumbnails directory that stores all the thumbnail files.

I'd personally like the Gnome approach better as when you need to delete the thumbnail files you can just delete one directory an you're done. I also wonder ,if KDE creates only .directory files does it recreate thumbnails every time I enter a directory or does it have a similar global directory like Gnome?

Link to this post 07 Feb 10

KDE does have a global thumbnails directory, it is {HOME}/.thumbnails. The .directory file you see in your picture directories contains the file browser preferences for that directory, The extract for a .directory file is below.

[Dolphin]
ShowPreview=true
Timestamp=2010,2,6,10,35,10

Link to this post 07 Feb 10

I realised that Doplhin creates a .directory file, I'm just surprised that Nautilus does not create any file. Was wondering how does Nautilus know which thumbnails are created and which aren't and how does it know the preference for each directory (where and how does it store it's thumbnail setting database).

Link to this post 07 Feb 10

Ok, I got an answer, but not the complete answer.

The thumbnail function is the same for both kde and gnome, the thumbnail image is created and named based upon a hash of the original file or file path or something (I haven't quite found yet). But the hash of some value is used to generate the thumbnail name for each file.

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