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What does gvfs do for me on my Kubuntu machine and why is /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfs-gdu-volume-monitor eating so much CPU time?

BTW: I read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GVFS and still don't know what's in it for me, especially on KDE / Kubuntu.

lsof shows me that thunderbird, firefox and pidgin have gvfs libraries open, but for what functionality?

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Today after work, one of my cores was again at 100% for gvfs-gdu-volume-monitor, having burned 24hrs cpu time in 4 days (which is a lot in my opinion for a process nobody seems to know what it does). So I sudo apt-get purge gvfs gvfs:i386 gvfs-common gvfs-daemons gvfs-libs gvfs-libs'ed it –  jippie May 8 '12 at 18:30

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

GVFS provides a layer just below the user applications you use like firefox. This layer is called a virtual filesystem and basically presents to firefox, thunderbird and pidgin a common layer that allows them to see local file resource and remote file resource as a single set of resources. Meaning your access to the resource whether on your local machine or the remote machine would be transparent to the user.

Although this layer is mostly there to make it easier for application developers to code to a single set of interfaces and not have to distinguish between local and remote file system and their low-level code.

For the user this could mean that the same file manager you use to browse your local files, could also be used to browse files on a remote server. As a simplified contrast, on Windows I can browse my local files with Explorer, but to browse files on an FTP server I would need a separate application.

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In other words, it is a hack that lets people see all your local files as remote files or at least provides the layer needed to easily access everything. all your base belongs to me.

Firefox opens it everytime you open the browser and if you leave it open it will start opening more and more layers of your file system to the public as you get further hacked and cracked.

Several other gvfs-like daemons will open on their own as you browse.

Solution: use process manager to end gvfs process everytime you open Firefox. Results: more secure while browsing, no side effects.

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2  
-1: do you have proof for those outrageous claims? –  Renan Jan 4 '13 at 21:37

It's a virtual file system, not a real one, but is made to look real.

I just ran into it myself it shows 170G being used on it. But if I check with du -hc it shows 0G. So in truth there is 170G being used, but on another networked hard drive in my house not on the system I was looking on and with.

This was likely samba mounts that I copied files from or to and it shows the size from the remote location, but find /disk files shows 170G being used. Really some is being used in buffers, but only while using the files. When you drop the samba (or whatever) connection it will all disappear.

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