I’ve noticed over the past few weeks that occasionally there was a gvfs-gphoto2-volume-monitor process taking an unreasonable amount of memory. Since my computer just ran out of memory, I was prompted to investigate why, and here’s what I found.
I’m not sure how much of this is relevant, but I’m running the awesome window manager with a partial GNOME desktop setup. The particular problem seems to be that when my Samsung Galaxy S3 is plugged in as a MTP device, if I have rhythmbox running with the MTP plugin, it will load the device in rhythmbox but (for some unknown reason) disconnect it again. Then, a moment later, it will load the device again, and disconnect again, and so on.
I have no idea what gvfs-gphoto2-volume-monitor is doing, but at a guess, each time it loads the device, it causes that process to do some work, reading stuff into memory, and then not freeing it again when the devices gets reloaded.
Since I’m not using it regularly, my solution was simply to disable the MTP plugin in Rhythmbox. Hopefully this information will help someone else figure out why they have no memory, and maybe follow up the full story and fix it.