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In my simplified understanding of a filesystem cache, files that are to be written to a disk mounted with the async option might not be immediately be written to disk, and can instead get smushed into a filesystem cache. Because the exact behaviour probably differs between configurations, my question is simply whether the following statement is true, false, or some combination thereof.

Small files, such as temporary files, might never even be physically written to disk, especially if they are used and deleted quickly and before the next filesystem flush/sync occurs.

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Yes, this is possible, although for any individual file a little unlikely. It would depend on the filesystem, caching algorithm and other system activity.

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