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A little Googling tells me that it often hogs CPU, and writes a lot of (worthless?) data to disc. In my own experience it simply consumes about 15%-20% CPU and offers me no benefits I can see. I've been killing the process whenever I see it come up, and I don't notice any negative effects.

What is gvfsd-metadata? What does it do? Do I need it, or can I disable it? Can I prevent it from becoming a CPU/memory/disc space hog?

I did see someone mention gvfsd-metadata along with Nautilus. If this becomes an issue, should I just change my file manager?

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3 Answers 3

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There are more than one way to mount different filesystems in linux.

Over /etc/fstab (works mount in background during boot) can mount filesystems on harddrives also network devices like samba, nfs for example.

Another possibility is gvfs(abbreviation for GNOME Virtual file system) is GNOME's userspace virtual filesystem designed to work with the I/O abstraction of GIO (Gnome Input/Output). is a little overview for gio

gvfs comes with "modules/backends" for trash support, SFTP, FTP, WebDAV, SMB, and local data via Udev integration, OBEX, MTP and others.

  • gvfsd is the main daemon

  • gvfsd-trash # is for trash://

  • gvfs-mtp-volume-monitor for mtp devices

  • gvfsd-metadata

    I got this bit from the manpage (man gvfsd-metadata):

    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 GNOME Files file manager, and others. You can disable it.

    systemctl --user mask gvfs-metadata.service To revert it use

systemctl --user unmask gvfs-metadata.service

If you are unsure stop only for test purpose first

systemctl --user stop gvfs-metadata.service

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    @clearimura expand my answer, but I do not know how to fix consuming mutch cpu/memory.
    – nobody
    Dec 13, 2019 at 9:24
  • @clearkimura This service belongs to package gvfs-daemons
    – nobody
    Dec 13, 2019 at 16:00
  • Hm... looks like my checking method is wrong? Redoing check on live systems...
    – user37165
    Dec 18, 2019 at 15:12
  • Post-bounty note: This answer was the more complete one, although the commands to disable the service may not be applicable to all flavours and releases of Ubuntu.
    – user37165
    Dec 20, 2019 at 15:39
  • @clearkimura thank you.
    – nobody
    Dec 23, 2019 at 11:20
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gvfsd-metadata is used by nautilus and other gnome utilities. What is happening to you could be this problem:

The solution:

pkill gvfsd-metadata 
rm -rf .local/share/gvfs-metadata
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    @clearkimura Sorry I've been using the word "bug" since before I even knew "bug reports" existed. I changed the word to "problem". Dec 13, 2019 at 11:33
  • Post-bounty note: This answer is more likely applicable to any flavours and releases of Ubuntu that actually use gvfsd-metadata; however, the content of this answer has nothing new to qualify for the bounty. Still useful for some users.
    – user37165
    Dec 20, 2019 at 15:47
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Useful Question! AFAIK gvfsd is a process ,that collects mata data when we use Nautilus. Metadata might get stuck on an infinite loop,we will kill that process by using gvfsd.

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    The suggestion to use rm -rf ~/.local/share/gvfs-metadata, from the comment above is a much better idea. Aug 12, 2017 at 11:42

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