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Just go over the VFS interface of linux. It is said that

There is one VFS structure per mounted filesystem in the kernel and one vnode structure for each active node.

Then what's the difference between a mounted file system and an active file system? Is there some case where a mounted file system is not active?

Thanks and Best regards!

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You appear to be reading a paper on Sun's NFS filesystem, which has little to do with Linux's Virtual Filesystem Switch layer.

The Linux VFS is an internal API that abstracts access to different filesystem types (e.g. ext4, fat32, ntfs, etc.) IBM has a great explanation of VFS that you should consider reading.

The benefit of VFS is that applications don't need to know what type of filesystem the file is on; they can use the same system calls (read, write, etc.) regardless of filesystem.

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