GIO provides APIs for asynchronously reading and writing files and other streams. Files are referenced by URIs (uniform resource locators), and backends can provide access to more than just local files. When running under the GNOME desktop, GIO uses GVFS to allow access to files over SFTP, FTP, WebDAV, SMB, and other popular protocols. This transparent network file access is free to all applications using GIO.
The GIO file APIs were designed to be used in event-driven graphical interfaces. The non-blocking, asynchronous design means your user interface doesn't hang while waiting for a file. There are also synchronous versions of the APIs available, which are sometimes more convenient for worker threads or processes.
GIO also provides routines for managing drives and volumes, querying file types and icons, and finding applications to open files.
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