GnomeVFS is short for GNOME Virtual File System. It provides an abstraction layer for the reading, writing and execution of files. It was primarily used by the Nautilus file manager and other GNOME applications before GNOME 2.22.
A cause of confusion is the fact that the file system abstraction used by the Linux kernel is also called the virtual file system (VFS) layer. This is however at a lower level.
A replacement called GVFS is currently in development which also allows partitions to be mounted through FUSE.
As of April 2008deprecated in favour of GVFS and GIO, requesting that developers do not use it in new applications.
, the GNOME project has declared GnomeVFS