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15.8. GVFS Tools and xdg-utils in GNOME

GVFS ships with several commands that may come useful for scripting or testing. A set of POSIX commands counterparts is offered:
  • gvfs-cat
  • gvfs-less
  • gvfs-mkdir
  • gvfs-mount
  • gvfs-rename
  • gvfs-set-attribute
  • gvfs-copy
  • gvfs-ls
  • gvfs-move
  • gvfs-rm
  • gvfs-trash
  • gvfs-info
  • gvfs-save
  • gvfs-tree
Some more additional commands are provided for more control of GVFS specifics:
  • gvfs-monitor-dir
  • gvfs-monitor-file
  • gvfs-mime
  • gvfs-open
All these commands are native GIO clients, there is no need for the fallback FUSE daemon to be running. Their purpose is not to be drop-in replacements for POSIX commands, in fact, a very little range of switches is supported. In their basic form, an URI string (instead of a local path) is taken as an argument.
This all allows GNOME to be well-supported within xdg-tools (a interoperability project). For example, the commonly used xdg-open actually calls gvfs-open when a running GNOME session is detected, reading file type associations from the correct location.
The following are a few examples of the GVFS commands usage:
  • To lists all files in /tmp on a local file system, execute:
      $ gvfs-ls file:///tmp
  • The command below lists contents of a text file from a remote machine:
      $ gvfs-cat ssh://
  • To copy the referenced text file to a local /tmp directory, run:
      $ gvfs-copy ssh:// /tmp/


For user convenience, bash completion is provided as a part of the package.