Evince-thumbnailer issues

evince-thumbnailer seems to have some issue:


I’ve also noticed that it may write the same line in some system
log like “/var/log/messages” again and again. The timestamp is always
the same, suggesting that some program is busy in an endless loop.
I don’t remember the message but it should be about not finding
some font. At some point the hard disk runs out of space.

When I ran the search, all except the one linking this message are old entries (8 years old the newest one in my search).

It could be caused by a particular document, for which reporting an issue in Issues · GNOME / evince · GitLab would be appropriate, attaching a test case of the document to reproduce the issue, the output of the log, versions of Evince and Poppler (the library used by evince to render PDF).

No test case. It happened (on Debian 10) when i browsed a repository after i downloaded it:

I don’t know which file triggered the issue. There are a few PDF files in some of its sub-modules, but i am not sure if i visited those folders.

I cloned the repository, and I visited every directory without problems. Additionally, I could not find any file that could be opened with Evince, hence, evince-thumbnailer should not have been called.

To ensure I did not miss anything, I also checked with:

finegui% find . -type f -exec file {} \;

You can try to get the PID of the evince-thumbnailer, and attach gdb to the process (gdb -p PID), break the process (Ctrl+c), and review the backtrace (thread apply all bt full). You might also see how the program was invoked. There is a possibility that some mime/type is associated with Evince, but Evince does not handle it or it was called wrongly.

I wouldn’t want to repeat that experience again. The mouse pointer was unresponsive most of the time. Evince instances kept on being spawned and if you reboot with the hard disk full, many services won’t start.

I don’t know if it’s Evince itself. Perhaps it’s the program that launches Evince that neglects the exit code and launches it again. More info here:


I think that throwing random links from Internet does not help.

For example, do you have any dvi file in that directory? if so, please open an issue and attach that file. Check with ls -lR in the directory that gives you problems. Evince handles PS, PDF, DVI, XPS, TIFF, and Comic books. If none of the files in your directory, then I wonder how would you blame Evince for this.

They are not random links: i said that the log messages reported some
missing font and those “links” report the name of the font(s). The issue
in the “links” is just like mine. I talked about Evince because
that’s what the process monitor reported as a “high load”. Also,
i have just said: “I don’t know if it’s Evince itself”, so you should
not say that i “blame Evince for this”. I’m just trying to understand
the cause, talking to someone who knows Evince more than i. I was
wondering if it’s Evince or its launcher that it’s trapped in an
“apparently” infinite loop. What if Evince was called with an invalid
file? Would it cause an infinite loop. If it won’t, then the cause
might be the launcher. But i guess i have said enough. Let’s stop it here,
a new day should rise again anyway, shouldn’t it?

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