gvfsd-metadata seems unnecessary?

Date: 11 Feb, 2014
Posted by: admin
In: linux, open source & software

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gvfsd-metadata seems to be hogging a lot of CPU time … why?

What is gvfsd-metadata

ps to the rescue?

$ ps aux | grep gvfs
pandfi    2315  0.0  0.0 192348   104 ?        Sl   Feb10   0:00 /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfsd
pandfi    5205  0.0  0.0 285952  2304 ?        Sl   Feb10   0:00 /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfs-udisks2-volume-monitor
pandfi    5210  0.0  0.0 281496   620 ?        Sl   Feb10   0:00 /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfs-afc-volume-monitor
pandfi    5215  0.0  0.0 199436   904 ?        Sl   Feb10   0:00 /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfs-gphoto2-volume-monitor
pandfi    5219  0.0  0.0 187272   720 ?        Sl   Feb10   0:00 /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfs-mtp-volume-monitor
pandfi    5236  4.8  0.0 126940   960 ?        Dl   Feb10  13:28 /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfsd-metadata

Right, so we know it’s a library. Which binary is calling it?

$ lsof | grep gvfsd-meta
gdbus      5236  5237     pandfi  txt       REG              252,0     77704 56230030 /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfsd-metadata

So, what’s gdbus? man tells us that gdbus is:

gdbus – Tool for working with D-Bus objects

Do we need to run gdbus?

So ultimately gdbus is responsible; “apt-file search gdbus | grep gdbus” tells us:

libglib2.0-bin: /usr/bin/gdbus

So we could try removing that package. Except lots of stuff depends on it, not least of which are software-center, ubuntu-settings, unity, lightdm, gdm, packagekit … Similarly for the gvsf-daemon packages. I found I was able to remove gvfs:amd64 and gvfs-backends, but not gvfs-daemons. In fact ia32-libs is one of the few things I have installed that really requires gvfs:i386 and gvfs-daemons.

An experiment, a suggestion

So, hum. Not wanting to get too bogged down I decided to “kill it with fire” and do

$ sudo chmod a-x /usr/bin/gdbus

Then kill all the gvfs based processes in your favourite way – I listed them using “ps aux | grep gvfs” and then did a “kill” with a list of the process numbers after it.

At first I thought this was preventing my file-manager, dolphin (KDE) from showing the file listings. But it was just slow to start. Nothing so far has broken, including Firefox. If there are problems then my next actions will be to reverse the above (“chmod a+x”) and then swap out gvfsd-metadata library for a blank file. I’ve read that deleting the gvfs metadata cache

$ rm -rf /home/user/.local/share/gvfs-metadata

is a fix for gvfs-metadata problems too.

Hope that helps. If it does, please comment to let others share the benefit of a working solution, thanks.

2 Responses to "gvfsd-metadata seems unnecessary?"

2 | Kevin Colyer

January 27th, 2015 at 1:47 pm

Works fine for me on Kubuntu 14.10. Stopped gvfsd from hammering away at the disk…


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