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15.2. Back Ends for GVFS

There is a number of back ends in GVFS, which provide access to a specific type of resource. The following is a list of available GVFS back ends and their specifications:

Table 15.1. Available Back Ends

Back endDescription
afcSimilar to MTP (Media Transfer Protocol), exposes files on your Apple iDevice (connected through USB).
afpApple Filing Protocol (AFP) client to access file services of Mac operation system X and original Mac operation system.
archiveHandles various archiving files (ZIP, TAR) in read-only way.
burnA virtual back end used by burning applications as a temporary storage for new CD/DVD/BD medium contents.
cddaExposes Audio CD through separate Waveform Audio File Format (WAV) files.
computerVirtual back end consolidating active mounts and physical volumes. Acts similarly to a signpost. Previously used by Nautilus for its Computer view.
dav, davsWebDAV client, including secure variant. Authentication is possible only during mount, does not support later re-authentication on per-folder basis.
dns-sdDNS Service Discovery – Avahi client, used during network browsing, forms persistent URIs to discovered services.
ftpA fully featured FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client, without FTPS support for the time being. Supports passive transfers by default.
gphoto2A Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) client to access your camera attached by USB or FireWire.
httpHandles all HTTP requests; useful for easy downloading files from web in client applications.
locatestSimple testing back end proxying file:/// URI.; with error injection support.
mtpMedia Transfer Protocol back end for accessing media player and smart phones memory.
networkFor browsing the network, showing nearby Avahi and Samba servers.
obexftpA Bluetooth client.
recentA back end used in GtkFileChooser to list recent files used by GNOME applications.
sftpA fully-featured SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) client.
smbAccess Samba and Windows shares.
trashA trash back end which allows to restore deleted files.


Some back ends are packaged separately and not installed by default. For installing additional back ends, use the yum package manager.
To use services of a back end, an URI string must be formed. This string is a basic identifier used in GVFS, which carries all necessary information needed for unique identification, such as type of service (back end ID), absolute path and user name if needed. You can see this information in the Nautilus address bar and GTK+ open or save file dialogs.
The example below is a very basic form of the URI string and points to a root directory (/) of the FTP (File Transfer Protocol) server running at domain:

Example 15.1. URI String Pointing to the Root Directory
The following example points to a text file in a specified path using authentication:

Example 15.2. URI String Pointing to a Text File