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I know there are related issues, but none of them seem to apply to my case. Below is iotop output. jbd2 is constantly above 90% usage. It's been grinding away for 2 days. It stops for a while after a reboot, but then starts again after some time. I'm using 32bit Ubuntu 13.04. 200GB WD disk. Smart disabled in bios. No raid configs.

 Total DISK READ:       0.00 B/s | Total DISK WRITE:    1997.25 K/s
  TID  PRIO  USER     DISK READ  DISK WRITE  SWAPIN     IO>    COMMAND                                                             
  307 be/3 root        0.00 B/s  811.58 B/s  0.00 % 93.68 % [jbd2/sda1-8]
15454 be/4 curvv       0.00 B/s 1623.16 B/s  0.00 %  0.88 % firefox
 4305 be/4 curvv       0.00 B/s  721.23 K/s  0.00 %  0.70 % gvfsd-metadata
 2048 be/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % console-kit-daemon --no-daemon
    1 be/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % init
    2 be/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [kthreadd]
    3 be/4 root        0.00 B/s    0.00 B/s  0.00 %  0.00 % [ksoftirqd/0]
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So this started again, grinding, grinding. I noticed gvfsd-metadata, pkilled it and jbd2 process went back to 0.00% usage and grinding stopped immediately. Trying to figure out what it actually does. From gvfsd-metadata man page: gvfsd-metadata is a daemon acting as a write serialiser to the internal gvfs metadata storage. It is autostarted by GIO clients when they make metadata changes. Read operations are done by client-side GIO code directly, and don't require the daemon to be running. The gvfs metadata capabilities are used by the nautilus file manager, for example. –  Curvian Vynes Jun 26 '13 at 18:41
unix.stackexchange.com/questions/108254/… has the same solution. I'm using kde, but nautilus started the other day, and left my disk spinning. This fixed the problem –  naught101 Apr 8 at 4:10
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I also ran the following commands to kill the process and remove the stored metadata.

pkill gvfsd-metadata 
rm -rf .local/share/gvfs-metadata
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