Final 8.0.0 release still very slow to start up with network filesystem and database

Jonathan Kamens jik at
Sun Apr 16 15:51:50 BST 2023

Thank for all the work that went into 8.0.0!

I wanted to share that the slow startup time issue I observed with an 
8.0.0 pre-release remains when launching digiKam on a laptop with a 
remote database and photos on a network filesystem. It takes about five 
minutes from when I launch digiKam until when the main window starts up, 
and most of that time is spent on the splash screen in "Loading tools".

digiKam starts up much faster when the database is local.

I don't remember it taking this long to start up on my laptops with 
previous digiKam releases. Is this expected?



On 3/28/23 09:22, Jonathan Kamens wrote:
> I decided to try out the 8.0.0 pre-release AppImage on the three 
> machines on which I use digiKam, because I was unable to run 7.9.0 or 
> 7.10.0 on these machines because it kept segfaulting.
> I eventually was able to get digiKam to launch on all three machines, 
> but there was some bumps and challenges along the way which I am 
> sharing here because this might be useful to the developers, and 
> because it would be interesting to hear if others have run into 
> similar issues.
> On laptop1, digiKam started, but it took several minutes to start up 
> each time, during most of which the splash screen was displaying 
> "Loading tools..." and the app appeared to be talking to the database 
> an awful lot. The first time seemed longer. Strace output from that 
> first invocation (access to thumbnails DB) seemed to suggest that 
> perhaps it was regenerating all thumbnails on startup.
> On laptop2, the first time I started it, it did nothing for several 
> minutes and then popped up a message which said, "You have 
> insufficient privileges on the database. Following privileges are not 
> assigned to you: [this is blank, no privileges are listed] Check your 
> privileges on the database and restart digiKam."
> The second time, it got to the splash screen, but got stuck there for 
> a very long time, like a half hour, much longer than on laptop1. 
> Judging by what showed up in top and strace, there were short bursts 
> where the digikam process was busy and talking to the database, 
> interspersed with longer periods during which it was idle while 
> waiting for something. The timestamp on my thumbnails-digikam.db file 
> kept getting updated, so I suspect that it was rebuilding the 
> thumbnail database, in which case the delays may have been lags 
> talking to the fileserver that the pictures are on. Having said that, 
> I'm not sure why the delays are so much longer on this machine than on 
> the other machine that was also doing this over WiFi to the same 
> fileserver, unless for some reason this particular laptop has slower 
> connectivity to the fileserver than the other one. This does seem 
> possible since I noticed when mounting the filesystem on this machine 
> that the mount took much longer.
> Also on laptop2, the splash screen is much smaller than it should be 
> and the fonts on the splash screen are so small that they are 
> virtually unreadable. I thought this might be an Xorg fractional 
> scaling issue since that's a new feature and I believe still 
> experimental, but I turned off fractional scaling and restarted 
> digiKam and saw the same issue, and then I logged out and logged back 
> in with Wayland and again saw the same issue.
> When it finally started up, it popped up the dialog telling me it 
> needed to download facial recognition files, but clicking the 
> "Download" button seemed to have no effect at least for a while, and 
> GNOME kept popping up its ""digikam" is not responding, Force Quit / 
> Wait" dialog window. The download finally happened and then the main 
> window interface was responsive.
> The third time I started up digiKam on laptop2, it still took a while 
> at "Loading tools..." but much less time and the timestamp on my 
> thumbnails DB wasn't being updated. Other things I noticed:
>   * After the splash screen went away there was like a 15-second delay
>     before the main window came up.
>   * After closing the main window there was like a 15-second delay
>     before the digikam process (which I launched by executing the
>     AppImage file) fully exited.
> Finally, on my primary desktop computer, which is connected to the 
> fileserver via cable rather than wifi and therefore has much faster 
> connectivity, digiKam started up fast without any apparent issue. 
> Since I've run digiKam here more recently than on the laptops, it's 
> possible that the thumbnail database didn't need to rebuild here, 
> i.e., my suspicion that there was something in the upgrade to 8.0.0 
> that caused the thumbnail DB to need rebuilding may be incorrect.
> Hope this is useful.
>   jik
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