How to restart the whole gvfs "subsystem", when I've e.g. killed a frozen gvfs-sftp process and want to use it again?

GVFS is the subsystem that takes care about mounting/unmounting drives when you click them in Nautilus, including network drives.

The problem is that sometimes the transfer freezes and I need to kill the frozen "provider" (e.g. the gvfs-sftp). But then I can no longer connect to any network drives in Nautilus using SFTP. Restarting the whole computer helps, but there probably is a better way.

I searched the whole /etc in my computer to find out how is this gvfs system started, but I didn't succeed.

  • This is a note to myself, because I keep forgetting (and needing) it occasionally. Jan 17, 2018 at 11:40
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  • @derHugo Then why is there the possibility to answer your own question? I thought it is exactly for this kind of things - you start solving an issue, find the answer, and think somebody else could also be interested. That's my case here. Jan 17, 2018 at 16:30
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  • @derHugo Ok, I've made both the question and the answer more verbose. Jan 18, 2018 at 14:19

1 Answer 1


It shows that gvfs is automatically started with the first Nautilus instance (I still don't know how, but it does).

So to restart gvfs, just kill all the remaining process (killing the "master" gvfsd daemon is enough), make sure all instances of nautilus are closed, and then open a new one.

killall gvfsd
nautilus -q  # Close all Nautilus windows/instances
  • 1
    Did not work for me just now. The mount point remains unattached: $ ls /run/user/1000/gvfs ls: cannot access /run/user/1000/gvfs: Transport endpoint is not connected Jun 6, 2019 at 22:33
  • Also works on XFCE: thunar -q
    – too
    Feb 28, 2021 at 8:18

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