[xubuntu-users] EU Regulation and gvfs

Ralf Mardorf ralf.mardorf at alice-dsl.net
Tue Mar 19 10:11:57 UTC 2013


there's an issue with gvfs.

Regarding to an EU Regulation external drives must spin down after a
while, but gvfs make external drives spin up and down again and again so
they don't stay asleep.

I own a new WD Elements and within one week it aged by years.

I marked a thread about this issue as solved, but it isn't, it's just a
workaround. For some drives it's possible to disable it, but for drives
where you can't open the case it can be impossible to do it.

One way to safe lifetime then is to touch the drive in short intervals,
to avoid a spin down and the other way is to remove gvfs and to mount
block devices, not only USB devices, by a workaround.

Other USB gear, but block devices, don't need gvfs, such as WiFi

Since I'm short in time at the moment, I only tested Arch Linux and
Ubuntu Linux intensively [1].

I'm cross-posting this information, hopefully you understand why I'm
doing this.


From: Ralf Mardorf
To: linux-audio-user
Subject: [solved] External USB 2 HD for real-time recording
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2013 08:43:57 +0100

On Mon, 2013-03-18 at 18:12 +0100, Ralf Mardorf wrote:
> The issue that the drive will spin up and down again and again can be
> avoided.
> I removed
> - thunar-volman
> - tumbler
> - gvfs
> on Arch Linux. No packages depend on those packages for my Arch Linux.
> The drive keeps asleep, even with still one partition mounted.
> Later I'll add one package after the other, to find out what does cause
> the access and I also will take a look at Ubuntu.

Arch Linux:

Only gvfs needs to be removed, no need to remove thunar-volman and
tumbler. However, thunar-volman without gvfs seems to be useless.
Tumbler doesn't cause issues, but I don't know what it's good for. To
see thumbnails with Thunar it isn't needed.

I keep thunar-volman and tumbler on Arch and only removed gvfs. For my
Arch nothing depends on gvfs, so it was the only package I had to remove.

Ubuntu Quantal:

root at q:~# apt-get purge gvfs
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  brasero* gvfs* gvfs-backends* gvfs-fuse* nautilus* nautilus-sendto*

Who cares about the packages that depend on it? I anyway use Thunar
instead of Nautilus and K3b instead of Brasero.


So who is to blame?

By EU Regulation external drives must spin down.

I even didn't completely read the German blah blah blah,
and I won't search for links in English.

Xfce doesn't depend on gvfs, neither the Arch, nor the Ubuntu packages.
Until now it seems to be, that without gvfs, partitions can't be mounted
with a file browser, they have to be mounted by CLI. It's not only an
issue for the USB drive, but also for USB sticks.

It takes 30 minutes, then the WD Elements spins down and stays asleep.
If you don't like this,than blame the EU.
If you like it, then blame gvfs.

Does VirtualBox still see my iPad 2 connected by USB when gvfs is

No problem, even an USB stick and even the
external USB hard disk are available by VirtualBox.

Is my KORG nanoKONTROL still accessible after removing gvfs?

It still does show up in QjackCtl's ALSA tab.

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