Thursday, May 1, 2008

Problems with Picasa 2 in Ubuntu

I've upgraded my Ubuntu installation to Hardy Heron.

I had some new photos to check, so after installing the system the 1st thing I did was get Picasa. I ran the software, it started scanning my hard drive, and it just didn't go past the 5th photo folder on my hard drive (I've got about 400 photo folders).

I immediately cursed the new Ubuntu release, because after my upgrade to Gutsy Gibbon I also had problems with Picasa.... but turns out that this time the problem wasn't in Ubuntu, it was in Picasa.

The symptoms of the problem are:
  • Hard disk always on
  • Computer stand still... even the mouse moves slow
  • No matter how long you wait (I left the computer working over night) nothing happens
The solution is a bit drastic, but it works. Basically Picasa is generating huge invalid Picasa.ini files, and those are messing the system. All you have to do is delete the invalid files. One easy way to spot them is by their size:

find . -size +512 -name Picasa.ini

To make Picasa get back on track, just delete them. You can use xargs to do this:

find . -size +512 -name Picasa.ini | xargs rm


or (if you have directory names with strange characters):

find . -size +512 -name Picasa.ini -print0 | xargs -0 rm

Note that this will not destroy any of your photos, but it will destroy any changes you made to the photos in Picasa, like crops, tunnings, ...
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