VFS is short for virtual file system, an extension used with a type of file format that creates an abstract layer for working with files, most commonly used with GnomeVFS and the Nautilus file manager.
VFS files are used to facilitate the usage of files between different programs and/or operating systems, and to create uniformity to allow those programs to access those files.
VFS files contain an index of other directories and files, and as they are used as an interface to improve efficiency and speed up the searching and reading of those files from various programs, the .vfs files are not ones that can be opened as regular files.
VFS files, and the flexibility and standardization they provide to their accompanying files, improve computer performance by enabling the computer to concentrate more on essential operations and the programs in use.
VFS files are used primarily by Nautilus, which is the file manager for GNOME, a free software desktop program. It evolved through different versions of GNOME up to its GnomeVFS incarnation.
In April 2008, GNOME released a newer update known as GVFS and requested developers not use the outdated GnomeVFS files in newer programs and applications.
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Carsten Lorentzen
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