gst-plugin-scanner hangs, eating CPU time

Rüdiger Kupper kup at
Thu Nov 10 16:57:49 PST 2011

Dear gstreamer developers,

we run Linux Terminal Servers (LTSP) at a German school, for approx. 800
users. The servers run standard Edubuntu, but are located behind a
firewall that requires authentication for outgoing traffic.

I frequently see a lot of "gst-plugin-scanner" processes running on our
servers, without ever terminating, and eating up CPU time. Since many
users log into the same server, this easily pulls up the load to 10 or
above, basically killing the servers and frustrating the users (and
admin ;-) ).

I have not been able to determine, what "gst-plugin-scanner" actually
does. I can reproduce that it starts when users try to open sound files
using banshee or totem.

From its name I suspect that "gst-plugin-scanner" may try to contact an
external web site in order to check for plugins, but this is just my
wild guess. If so, it certainly gets rejected by our proxy.

Could you clarify for me what "gst-plugin-scanner" actually does? If it
does web traffic, which site is it trying to reach? (If I knew the
address I could configure our proxy to let it pass.)

Or is there any other reason why "gst-plugin-scanner" should fail so
badly in an LTSP-environment?

I'd strongly appreciate your help, since this is really a critical
problem in our setup.

As a workaround, I have removed execute permissions on the
"gst-plugin-scanner" binary, but I do not feel well with that, not
knowing what it does.

Thank you in advance for any comments,

Dr. Rüdiger Kupper <kup at>
Kepler-Gymnasium Freundenstadt

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