Bug 142637

Summary: gam_server prevents removal of CF card
Product: [Fedora] Fedora Reporter: Andrew D. Stadler <stadler>
Component: gaminAssignee: Daniel Veillard <veillard>
Status: CLOSED RAWHIDE QA Contact:
Severity: medium Docs Contact:
Priority: medium    
Version: 3CC: ben, liste, orion, walovaton
Target Milestone: ---   
Target Release: ---   
Hardware: i686   
OS: Linux   
Fixed In Version: Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
Story Points: ---
Clone Of: Environment:
Last Closed: 2005-03-01 22:07:13 UTC Type: ---
Regression: --- Mount Type: ---
Documentation: --- CRM:
Verified Versions: Category: ---
oVirt Team: --- RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
Cloudforms Team: ---

Description Andrew D. Stadler 2004-12-11 08:02:27 UTC
From Bugzilla Helper:
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7.5)
Gecko/20041111 Firefox/1.0

Description of problem:
I have a 512mb CF card which I have partioned & formatted successfully
(1 large ext2 and 1 small FAT32 segment).  For the most part, I can
insert and remove it and it appears / disappears immediately from the

However, annoyingly often, it refuses to unmount.

$ umount /dev/hde1
umount: /media/idedisk: device is busy
umount: /media/idedisk: device is busy

(Usually, one part will unmount, but the other won't.)

I have not been able to determine any pattern - it just gets stuck

A little digging shows that the problem is gam_server:

$ lsof | grep ide
gam_serve 3569 stadler   38r      DIR       33,1     1024     76609

Sure enough, killing gam_server releases the volume.

$ sudo kill 3569
$ umount /dev/hde1

I'm running FC3, mostly latest up2date, on a Thinkpad T30.

Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):

How reproducible:

Steps to Reproduce:
1.  Mount CF card
2.  Unmount CF card
3.  Repeat until error occurs

Additional info:

Comment 1 J.B. Nicholson-Owens 2004-12-16 02:47:57 UTC
I'm having exactly the same problem on FC3 (up to date as of the
time/date stamp on this post).

I can't unmount a USB disk which has the title "NO_NAME" (an old
Microsoft Windows 98SE system disk, judging by the contents).  I can't
unmount it from Nautilus, when I lsof I get:

# lsof |grep -i NO_NAME
gam_serve 16998      jbn   60r      DIR       8,33    12288          1

So it appears that gamin keeps the drive from being unmountable. 
Killing gamin confirms this:

# kill 16998
# lsof |grep -i NO_NAME

And the drive is easily unmounted.

Ironically, I had exactly the same problem with fam in previous
versions of Fedora Core.

I'm running FC3 on an Asus P2B-D with 2 500MHz Pentium III chips
(Katmai core) and I'm using the on-board USB (USB1.1, I believe).

Comment 2 William Lovaton 2004-12-21 15:00:17 UTC
I have the same problem.

It happens not only with removable media but with hard disk partitions
too.  I usually have a CD-ROM, a USB pen drive and a Windows
filesystem in my disk.  This problem show up often specially when you
browse those filesystems for a while in nautilus.

Comment 3 Daniel Veillard 2004-12-21 16:08:06 UTC
gam_server will have to do that open if it uses dnotify kernel 
interface to watch the given directory:
  1/ you need a client (nautilus) asking to watch that directory
  2/ gam_server should not use dnotify for anything under /mnt/ or
     /media/ subtrees this was added in 0.0.9

  So if the media are mounted at the wrong place or if nautilus
failed to release the watch for the directory, the behaviour you are
seeing is normal and cannot be avoided. The kernel does *not* tell
the gamin server that an umount was requested.
  Triple check:
    - your media mounting points
    - the version of gamin used


Comment 4 Andrew D. Stadler 2004-12-21 17:43:47 UTC
Mr. Veillard, it wasn't clear if your comment #3 was directed at the
bug reporters or various module authors.  However, from my perspective
(original reporter) I can answer the two things you asked to triple-check:
    - your media mounting points
I have not modified anything to do with these - it is using the
default FC3 behavior of mounting the CF card at /media/idedisk and

    - the version of gamin used

When you say "the behavior you are seeing is normal" can you
elaborate?  Stuck/unmountable filesystems doesn't seem very normal. 
Please let me know if I need to submit a bug against some other
component (e.g. nautilus).

Comment 5 Daniel Veillard 2004-12-21 18:06:24 UTC
Okay, gamin should not use dnotify to monitor anything under /media
so I don't understand why this happens. Can you test the 0.0.19
update available in the test update channel.


Comment 6 Andrew D. Stadler 2004-12-22 20:48:24 UTC
OK, now testing with 0.0.19.

I haven't gotten it to hang, as originally reported, but still definitely seeing some odd 
behavior.  Here is a log of a session, as I try it:

insert CF card with two partitions.  Nothing shows up on desktop.
cat /etc/mtab:  both partitions are shown.
umount /dev/hde1
umount /dev/hde2
mount /dev/hde1
mount /dev/hde2
both partitions mounted, but don't show on desktop
manually eject the card 
cat /etc/mtab - both partitions still showing
umount /dev/hde1 - "umount: /dev/hde1: not mounted"
umount /dev/hde2 - no error

So as you can see, the behavior of inserting/removing a CF card is still somewhat flaky.  I 
will monitor it and update with any specific reproducible cases.

Comment 7 Ben Roe 2005-02-19 11:42:41 UTC
I see exactly this behaviour after updating to 0.0.24 with a card reader and an
SD-Card. The only way to unmount the partition is to kill gam_server - if I just
pull out the SD-card, gam-server stops responding to insert/remove events on the
card reader until restarted.

/proc/bus/usb/devices info:

T: Bus=03 Lev=01 Prnt=01 Port=00 Cnt=01 Dev#=  2 Spd=12  MxCh= 0
D:  Ver= 1.10 Cls=00(>ifc ) Sub=00 Prot=00 MxPS= 8 #Cfgs=  1
P:  Vendor=55aa ProdID=b004 Rev=10.00
S:  Manufacturer= 
S:  Product=USB MMC/SD
S:  SerialNumber=02F671D7F6
C:* #Ifs= 1 Cfg#= 1 Atr=80 MxPwr=100mA
I:  If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=08(stor.) Sub=06 Prot=50 Driver=usb-storage
E:  Ad=01(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS=  64 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=82(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS=  64 Ivl=0ms

Comment 8 Daniel Veillard 2005-02-19 11:58:28 UTC
Make sure you read http://www.gnome.org/~veillard/gamin/config.html
Make sure your device is mounted under /mnt/ or /media/ subtree.
If it is not the case, nautilus/gnome-vfs is supposed to stop the FAM
monitoring when umounting the device. If you eject the device while the
monitoring is active you are in trouble yes.


Comment 9 Ben Roe 2005-02-19 12:11:27 UTC
I'm using the completely default configuration, the SD-card is being mounted as
/media/THESISWORK. Creating a .gaminrc with "poll /media/*" makes no difference.

In fact, it only seems to happen on the second time I insert/unmount the card:
it works fine the first time, then fails the second time. I've tested that with
two cards, both read-write and read-only. I was using 0.0.20 previously, which
worked most of the time.

>If you eject the device while the
>monitoring is active you are in trouble yes.

Isn't that a bit of a design flaw? So if a user accidentaly pulls a card out,
they have to log in/log out in order to make auto-detection work again. Wouldn't
some sort of timeout be a better idea? I know the user's not meant to do that,
but it would be best to at least minimise the damage done, wouldn't it?

Comment 10 Daniel Veillard 2005-02-19 12:19:14 UTC
> Isn't that a bit of a design flaw?

  yes, induced by the dnotify kernel API. The kernel API requires to
open() a file descriptor to the monitored directory. So You have an open
descriptor on the mounted device. Which also mean that if you eject without
unmounting first at the nautilus level, nautilus doesn't stop the monitoring,
the file descriptor stay open, so umounting also  fails. A new kernel interface
based on the inotify is being tested for inclusion in kernel-2.6 . Until this
goes into the mainstream kernel we are stuck trying to cope with a kernel
design flaw at the API level.


Comment 11 Daniel Veillard 2005-02-19 12:20:47 UTC
However there is a problem with gamin-0.0.24 if this is mounted under /media/...
since it should not use dnotify in that case, I will need to investigate.


Comment 12 Remi COLLET 2005-02-19 13:05:42 UTC
Same problem for me using kernel-2.6.10-1.766 and new gamin-0.0.24
with my USB memory stick.
No problem with the previous version (gamin-0.0.17).

Comment 13 Vincenzo Ciancia 2005-02-22 21:55:00 UTC
I have this problem with devices mounted _in_ /media and gamin-0.0.24 

Comment 14 Ivan Ganev 2005-02-27 22:32:25 UTC
I have the same problem with my USB flash drive (mounts under

I use completely default settings for everything. Kernel is
2.6.10-1.766_FC3smp and gamin is gamin-0.0.24-1.FC3. The machine is
kept always up to date with all updates.

Comment 15 Luca Sangemi 2005-02-28 15:52:12 UTC
Same problem, with LACIE 160 gb USB hard disk. The kernel is 2.6.10-
1.766_FC3 and gamin is 0.0.24-1.FC3.

Comment 16 Conor 2005-03-01 18:51:50 UTC
Same as original problem. Umount will not work, "device busy". On
repeated attempts gamin will not remain down long enough after kill to
umount. A new process starts almost instantly. 

60gB external USB hard disk mounted in /media/EXTERNAL1. The kernel is
same as above "2.6.10-1.766_FC3" and gamin version 0.0.24.

Comment 17 Aad Rijnberg 2005-03-01 20:42:39 UTC
I have the same problem with unmounting of the CDROM (/media/cdrecorder). 

When I mount and unmount for the first time, there is no problem, but
the second (, third, etcetera) CD I mount does not want to be
unmounted (device busy). Killing the gam_server does not help because
a new gam_server is spawned.

I have selected KDE as window manager. I must say that it sounds
strange to me that nautilus is operational while I am using KDE; I
thought it was a GNOME program?!

Comment 18 Daniel Veillard 2005-03-01 22:07:13 UTC
This was a regression in 0.0.24, this should be fixed in 0.0.25
which is in Rawhide or at


Comment 19 Ben Roe 2005-03-02 16:11:42 UTC
Confirmed fixed for me with 0.0.25. Thank you.