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I know that it is has bugs which cause it to 1) suck up 100% of CPU time 2) fill up large amounts of disk space 3) cause excessive disk thrashing. In fact I had setup a script which ran under cron on my Ubuntu 10.04 install to find and kill the process every few minutes.
Since moving to CentOS 6 I have not experienced issues nearly as frequently. Still, on occasion the process will go nuts. I emptied the directory and then did a chmod -x to ~/.local/share/gvfs-metadata so that the process could not write data to it. That stopped the instances of disk thrashing but I began to get Auto Bug Reporting Tool alerts when the process tried and failed to write.
My next step was to track down the executable /usr/libexec/gvfsd-metadata and remove execute permissions from it. So far, no ill effects that I can tell.
Which brings me to my question... What exactly is gvfsd-metadata? What does it do? I have read the man page which tells me next to nothing. I understand that gvfs has to do with gnome accessing remote file systems. However, without gvfsd-metadata running I am able to:
- access a USB flash drive automatically when inserted
- access a USB connected hard drive - always connected
- mount and access an nfs exported file system on my server (manually mounted)
- access a remote share on another computer using ssh via gnome-commander
- download a file from the web with ftp or http via Firefox
- access Samba shares on the host from a Windows virtual machine (VMWare)
Other than causing trouble, what is fcgfs-metadata for???
It would also have helped if you had read my post. I know how to fix the issues by killing and/or driving a stake through the heart of of the thing. The google search you recommend brings back a whole page of complaints about gvfs-metadata and the man page to which I have already referred. What is
gvfsd-metadata is a daemon acting as a write serialiser to the internal gvfs metadata storage
(from the man page). Is it something I need to care about?
I don't know what gvfsd-metadata does either, but it started writing masses of data for no apparent reason (nothing in lsof -p ) I did read the man page before coming here. In Ubuntu/Lubuntu 13.10 (saucy), the nautilus and brasero packages depend on it, but I don't depend on them, so killing and disabling it seems perfectly reasonable if I lose ability to access CD tracks as .wav files, for instance.
To recap, there appears to be a design flaw leading to a rare race condition described at <https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=561904> mostly causing problems for NFS, but also sometimes locally <https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=624507#58>. There are various patches to apply at <https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=637095>, but I'm still seeing it in 1.18.2-0ubuntu1.