119,627 files being "tracked" by Atom -- why?


#1

Greetings.

I’ve had Atom installed for 2 to 3 weeks now and up until recently it’s been working well. When I started using it today the lag was incredible, so I shut everything down and rebooted (my Mac). After that it seemed to work okay until I left it alone for about an hour at lunch time, when I got back the same horrible lag was back.

In looking around, I see that in the bottom right hand corner (just to the left of the git+ text) it indicates there are 119,627 files to do something with. This is new behavior, in the past it’s just shown the files I was working on.

I’ve added a few packages since I got Atom but this change doesn’t (seemingly) correlate with with the addition of a package since they’ve been installed for quite a few days and this problem just started.

When I click on the files and look at what they are, it appears that Atom is picking up most (if not all) the files in my user directory, which it wasn’t doing before. My files are in my user files --> github folder --> individual project file folders (there are only four small projects I’m using for practice).

I do not know how to correct this issue and haven’t really found an answer yet in my searches, which have been limited since don’t know what to search for really.

Thanks in advance for whatever help you can offer.

Les


#2

Atom’s latest version, 1.18.0, introduced the github package to help track changes on git repos. Since then, some users (all on Mac as far as I’ve seen) have reported ludicrous numbers of files being tracked, along with performance issues. The cause of this is a git repo in a high-level folder, and so far all the cases I’ve seen (there are several other threads on this forum) have had that repo as their user folder. There should be a .git folder in your user folder, and you can easily get rid of it with rm -r ~/.git.


#3

Hi DamnedScholar,

Thank you for your reply.

I’m going to ask for your help in understanding what you wrote. I’m new to Atom and Git, and the terminal is a new thing to me as well. I understand the concepts reasonably well but not the specifics.

I’m using a Mac and the application is in the application folder and to the best of my knowledge my installation of Atom is routine (I didn’t change its default installation).

The html and CSS files I’m working with in Atom are in the following path:

Mac HD > Users > lblampman > github > “the individual project folders”

I’m familiar with the git repo on github but I wasn’t aware that there’s a git repo on my computer. From your description I assume that’s the .git file you refer to? I’ve looked from my Mac HD directory down through the path I listed above and have not found a .git file in any of the directories. There are only 16 folders and 2 files in my User (lblampman) folder; one file is a .dat file, the other a .pid.

Is “rm -r ~/.git” a terminal command? If so, do I need to be in a specific directory in order to use it, or is it global? (Sorry, I’m at a bit of a loss as to what a .git file actually is, if it’s not necessary at all, or if it’s only supposed to be located in a specific place).

Thank you!

Les


#4

Hello again DamnedScholar,

I’ve been doing more research since I posted but I’ve found nothing specific yet. However, your identification of the github integration being the issue prompted me to look at the preferences in Atom where I discovered I could disable that integration. I did and – zoom! – Atom is back up to full speed (or even faster).

Thank you, thank you!

Les


#5

Okay, here’s a tiny Unix tutorial: files and folders that begin with a . are often used for configuration and are hidden by default in most window managers (which probably includes Finder). In your user folder (which has a shortcut of ~), you will have multiple files like this, including .atom (the folder where Atom stores all of its configs and packages) and .bashrc. One of these is probably .git. None of these are file extensions; that is the entire name of the file or folder.

Is “rm -r ~/.git” a terminal command? If so, do I need to be in a specific directory in order to use it, or is it global?

Yes, and it’s global. rm is the Unix utility for deleting things. -r tells it to delete everything in folders. ~/.git targets the file. Remember the shortcut ~? If the shell (bash, which you use via Terminal) reads ~ in the command string, it replaces that with your user folder. ~/.git thus becomes shorthand for /Users/lblampman/.git, which rm -r removes.

Sorry, I’m at a bit of a loss as to what a .git file actually is, if it’s not necessary at all, or if it’s only supposed to be located in a specific place).

.git is the folder that contains all the information a git repo needs to exist. That’s where git looks when it does basically anything, and deleting a repo is as simple as deleting .git. So no, your user folder should not be a repo. I don’t know how it got that way.


#6

Hi DamnedScholar,

Thank you yet again for your help.

It’s still over my head, I’m not certain where the reference to Unix fits in, so that’s a bit confusing but none-the-less your reply really helped. I researched how to look for hidden files on the Mac and then found the .git (name not extension, thank you for that) folder in my User folder and deleted that. I re-enabled the github integration and it seems all is well with Atom performing well.

I might add that I find the Atom experience be a bit of a Catch-22 situation in that it seems to anticipate a fairly technical knowledge on the part of the user to get it installed and running correctly; yet at the same time it’s recommended by quite a few blogs, videos, tutorials, and such as a very good editor to use when starting to learn various types of coding, which invites folks with not much technical knowledge to get involved with Atom.

I’m coming to Atom from a design perspective in order to learn and write HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and not from a programming background, so things like learning to use the Mac Terminal (that two or three weeks ago I didn’t even know existed in spite of having my Mac for years) with odd-looking commands, which I have no understanding of at all, is rather a lot to figure out just to get the tool (the editor) you’re going to use, to run. This is not a complaint, just an observation.

For me it’s a bit uncomfortable to need to ask a question I’m pretty certain is going to bring an answer that I won’t understand because I have much less knowledge than someone trying to help me might expect. That’s the situation I ended up in here but you persisted in helping me (and I learned a lot in the process) so many thanks for that.

Les


#7

In 2001, the tenth version of the Macintosh operating system was restructured from the ground up. Instead of being built on Apple’s previous operating systems, it used the open-source FreeBSD as its basis. FreeBSD, like Linux, is a fork of Unix. The ideas introduced in my previous post are topical to Unix itself and work just the same whether you’re using Mac or Linux.

I might add that I find the Atom experience be a bit of a Catch-22 situation in that it seems to anticipate a fairly technical knowledge on the part of the user to get it installed and running correctly

The ~/.git issue is not common, as far as I can tell, and it occurs because of something that already existed that the user didn’t know about until Atom freaks out a little at having so many files to track. But yes, Atom is not the sort of editor that holds people’s hands when they’re learning it.

yet at the same time it’s recommended by quite a few blogs, videos, tutorials, and such as a very good editor to use when starting to learn various types of coding, which invites folks with not much technical knowledge to get involved with Atom.

This is an issue with the authors not thinking through their recommendation fully. I happen to agree with them, but I also add a caveat every time I recommend Atom. It was great for me, but most people don’t dive in as deep as I do when learning something new.

I’m coming to Atom from a design perspective in order to learn and write HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and not from a programming background, so things like learning to use the Mac Terminal

I have a general belief that every single person who uses a computer should know how to find their command line and navigate around inside it, so take everything I say as coming from someone who found that feature on their own at a very young age and has never felt any apprehension about experimenting.

But seriously, even people focused on web sites can benefit a lot from learning the command line. If you’re administering a site and can navigate CLI functions, you can do so much, can control so much. A lot of the Node ecosystem involves the command line, a number of JavaScript frameworks make use of it, and if you make use of git, it’s pretty handy to have a terminal open much of the time. I am not an expert terminal monkey. I use documentation basically every time I do things because I don’t remember the commands or what order the arguments should be in. I screw things up and I prefer GUI applications when CLI would work just fine. Next to any dedicated Linux user, I know nothing. But I can get around and know where to find out what I don’t know.

rather a lot to figure out just to get the tool (the editor) you’re going to use, to run

Remember that the problem doesn’t seem to have been of Atom’s creation. At some point, your user folder became a git repo. I have no idea when or why. Only Mac users have had this problem, and then only a handful have posted about it. I happen to know that a large number of the devs use Mac and if this were a problem for every Mac user, I doubt it would have slipped through.

For me it’s a bit uncomfortable to need to ask a question I’m pretty certain is going to bring an answer that I won’t understand because I have much less knowledge than someone trying to help me might expect.

It’s the fact that you chose Atom as an editor and were using git with a dedicated github/ folder. Your initial post doesn’t really look like it’s from someone who has never used Terminal.