Sunday, September 11, 2016

no gvfs

To me, gvfs is a kludge that invariably causes permission problems by itself or with undue dependencies. But Thunar, an xfce file manager, works with gvfs. I don't need or like a trash bin, but I do like usb sticks to auto-mount in Thunar, which seems to be an app that thunar-volman (relies upon gvfs) needs to operate.


The answer is udiskie. Udiskie is large, about xxx MB, but it's better than having gvfs IMHO.

undoing gvfs

Which still leaves a problem. Nearly anything in gnome (for example thunar-volman) will install gvfs as a dependency, even if the app doesn't technically rely on gvfs. I assume the reason for this is gvfs is considered benign by most developers, or they want to use some of its hooks. The problem is of course that gvfs is not benign (noted above). To see all of the gvfs stuff that's running...
$ psaux |grep gvfs
Amazing number of things, right. Uninstall gvfs, and any others on the list, but also manually rid yourself of its stuff in your home directory, such as its cpu-hogging kludge of metadata. However, a person can't just eliminate gvfs, because nautilus will complain.That's apparnetly because nautilus depends on gvfs-disk-utility and gvfs-disk-utility depends on gvfs. So the order is:
#pacman -Rsn nautilus
# pacman -Rsn gvfs gvfs-mtp
$ pkill gvfsd-metadata
$ rm -rf ~/.local/share/gvfsd-metadata
Reboot to check that things is a-workin'. Should be no trash can in Thunar.

Secondly, when gvfs installs, it routinely installs additional feature apps. Many of these, eg PAM, also cause permission conflicts. PAM is particularly hard to get off of one's system once it's been harkened. The real question then becomes not the alternative to gvfs, but what to do about gvfs and its friends once some application has inevitably and unfortunately installed and/or activated gvfs and company.
  1. get rid of .bashrc. Put all its regular commands for the terminal cursors and paths into .xinitrc
  2. thanks to this page:
    nano .xinitrc

more thorough

The above is enough for most, but on older machines, it won't be. Both gvfs and polkit are immense permission kludges. And you can do without polkit in favor of simply using sudo when needed. Polkit works through, I believe, the wheel group to address userspace priviliges. The Arch page on it. Invariably its one of the top users of memory if you run htop.