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What is /run/user/1000/gvfs/
May 12, 2018
Edited: June 12, 2020
November 24, 2022
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All roads lead to Gnome
Ubuntu is based upon many things plus home grown programming from Canonical (the owners of Ubuntu). Most people know it is based on Linux kernel and provides a “GNOME” Desktop environment. But it is also based on Debian and perhaps just as important Gnome Internals. It is so intrinsic I dare to say in Ubuntu that: “All roads lead to Gnome”.
What is GIO / gvfs?
In your question
gvfs component stands for “Gnome Virtual File System”. Your camera and Android phones are mounted in this “User Space” outside of “Kernel Space” where a normal “mount” occurs.
To learn more about GIO (Gnome Input Output I surmise) see here and here. Ubuntu has a page about using GIO to mount devices using the gvfs-mount command.
The other component in your question
/run/user/1000/gvfs/ is the
/run/user component. This was created by
systemd to circumvent using the
/tmp directory which was common practice for such devices because it side-stepped network “rules”. See here.
The other part of your question is how is it different from
/media directory is where removable storage is located. The removable storage is in a familiar file format such as
ntfs. The device names and mount names are static.
Your Android phone is not just removable storage but a removable foreign operating system that has storage. The storage is generally accessed with MTP. However, there is a host of programs to communicate with the phone. That is why it goes into
/run/user/1000/gvfs. Samba also goes into the same directory chain but I haven’t researched that one yet.
/run/user/1000 directory structure the mount names are dynamic and change with every connection. For example my phone currently is:
$ ll /run/user/1000/gvfs/mtp:host=%5Busb%3A001%2C013%5D total 0 dr-x------ 1 rick rick 0 Dec 31 1969 ./ dr-x------ 3 rick rick 0 May 9 18:20 ../ drwx------ 1 rick rick 0 Dec 31 1969 Internal storage/ drwx------ 1 rick rick 0 Dec 31 1969 SD card/
The USB enumeration is notorious for changing so you can be assured the directory name will be different next time.
/media “stuff” on the other hand is static.
Notice the dates shown by Ubuntu 16.04 under Kernel 4.14.34. I haven’t had this Android Smartphone since the year 1969. I guess we can call this a bug.