Component manifests

Note: This document describes manifests for the new Component Manager. If your component launches with appmgr, indicated for instance by your manifest file ending in a .cmx extension, then please refer to legacy documentation.

A component manifest is a file that defines a component by encoding a component declaration. This document gives an overview of the concepts used by component declarations, and presents the syntax for writing component manifest source. Component declarations contain:

Manifests and declarations

This section explains the distinction between component manifests, component manifest sources, and component declarations.

Component manifest

A component manifest is a file that encodes a component declaration, usually distributed as part of a package. The binary format is a JSON file mapping one-to-one onto the component declaration, typically ending in a .cm extension.

A fuchsia-pkg URL with a component manifest fragment identifies a component in a package.

Component manifest source

A component manifest source is a file that encodes part of a component manifest. Component manifest sources are written in CML (component manifest language), which is the developer-facing source format for component manifests. CML files are JSON5 files that end with a .cml extension. Descriptions and examples of the CML syntax are contained in this document: see Syntax.

Component manifest sources are compiled to component manifests by the cmc tool.

Component declaration

The ComponentDecl FIDL table is a component declaration. Component declarations are used by the component framework APIs to represent components and may be provided to components at runtime.

Concepts

Runtime

The component framework doesn't dictate a particular format for programs, but instead requires components to specify which runtime they need by specifying a runner. The component framework provides a built-in ELF runner, while other runtimes are implemented as components within the framework.

The program section of a component manifest declares to the runner how the component is run, such as the program location and any arguments. Components using the ELF runner should specify the binary name and arguments, as documented in the ELF runner page. Other runners may have other runner-specific details, documented by that runner.

A component may also have no runtime at all by omitting the program section. In this case, the component may still route capabilities and host children, but no code will be executed for the component.

See also: ELF Runner, Component Runners.

Capability routing

Component manifests provide a syntax for routing capabilities between components. For a detailed walkthrough about what happens during capability routing, see Life of a service open

Capability types

The following capabilities can be routed:

  • service_protocol: A filesystem service node that can be used to open a channel to a FIDL protocol.
  • directory: A filesystem directory.
  • storage: A filesystem directory that is isolated to the component using it.
  • runner: A capability that allows a component to use a particular runner.

Routing terminology

Component manifests declare how capabilities are routed between components. The language of capability routing consists of the following three keywords:

  • use: When a component uses a capability, the capability is installed in the component's namespace. A component may use any capability that has been offered to it.
  • offer: A component may offer a capability to a target, which is either a child or collection. When a capability is offered to a child, the child instance may use the capability or offer it to one of its own targets. Likewise, when a capability is offered to a collection, any instance in the collection may use the capability or offer it.
  • expose: When a component exposes a capability to its containing realm, the parent may offer the capability to one of its other children. A component may expose any capability that it provides, or that one of its children exposes.

When you use these keywords together, they express how a capability is routed from a component instance's outgoing directory to another component instance's namespace:

  • use describes the capabilities that populate a component instance's namespace.
  • expose and offer describe how capabilities are passed between component instances. Aside from their directionality, there is one significant difference between offer and expose. While a component may use a capability that was offered to it, a component is not allowed to use a capability that was exposed to it by its child. This restriction exists to prevent dependency cycles between parent and child.

Framework services

A framework service is a service protocol provided by the component framework. Because the component framework itself provides the service protocol, any component may use it without an explicit offer. Fuchsia supports the following framework service protocols:

  • fuchsia.sys2.Realm: Allows a component to manage and bind to its children. Scoped to the component's realm.

Framework directories

A framework directory is a directory provided by the component framework. Because the component framework itself is the provider of the directory, any component may use it without an explicit offer. Fuchsia supports the following framework directories:

  • /hub: Allows a component to perform runtime introspection of itself and its children.

Capability paths

Service and directory capabilities are identified by paths. A path consists of a sequence of path components, starting with and separated by /, where each path component consists one or more non-/ characters.

A path may either be a source path or target path, whose meaning depends on context:

  • A source path is either a path in the component's outgoing directory (for offer or expose from self), or the path by which the capability was offered or exposed to this component.
  • A target path is either a path in the component's namespace (for use), or the path by which the capability is being offered or exposed to another component.

Capability names

Runner capabilities are identified by a capability name. A capability name consists of a string containing the characters a to z, A to Z, 0 to 9, underscore (_), hyphen (-), or the full stop character (.).

Directory Rights

Directory rights define how a directory may be accessed in the component framework. You must specify directory rights on use declarations and on expose and offer declarations from self. On expose and offer declarations not from self, they are optional.

A rights field can be defined by the combination of any of the following rights tokens:

"rights": ["connect", "enumerate", "read_bytes", "write_bytes", "execute_bytes",
            "update_attributes", "get_attributes", "traverse", "modify_directory"]

See fuchsia.io2.Rights for the equivalent FIDL definitions.

However rights aliases should be prefered where possible for clarity.

"rights": ["r*", "w*", "x*", "rw*", "rx*"]

Except in special circumstances you will almost always want either ["r*"] or ["rw*"]. Only one alias can be provided to a rights field and it must not conflict with any longform rights.

Right aliases are simply expanded into their longform counterparts:

"r*" -> ["connect", "enumerate", "traverse", "read_bytes", "get_attributes"]
"w*" -> ["connect", "enumerate", "traverse", "write_bytes", "update_attributes", "modify_directory"]
"x*" -> ["connect", "enumerate", "traverse", "execute_bytes"]

Merged aliases line rw* are simply r* and w* merged without duplicates.

This example shows usage of a directory use declaration annotated with rights:

"use": [
  {
    "directory": "/test",
    "from": "realm",
    "rights": ["rw*", "admin"],
  },
],

Storage capabilities

Storage capabilities are not directly provided from a component instance's outgoing directory, but are created from preexisting directory capabilities that are declared in storage in a component manifest. This declaration describes the source for a directory capability and can then be listed as a source for offering storage capabilities.

Storage capabilities cannot be exposed.

Storage types

Storage capabilities are identified by types. Valid storage types are data, cache, and meta, each having different semantics:

  • data: A mutable directory the component may store its state in. This directory is guaranteed to be unique and non-overlapping with directories provided to other components.
  • cache: Identical to the data storage type, but the framework may delete items from this directory to reclaim space.
  • meta: A directory where the framework can store metadata for the component instance. Features such as persistent collections must use this capability as they require component manager to store data on the component's behalf. The component cannot directly access this directory.

Examples

For an example of how these keywords interact, consider the following component instance tree:

Capability routing example

In this example, the echo component instance provides an /svc/echo service protocol in its outgoing directory. This protocol is routed to the echo_tool component instance, which uses it. It is necessary for each component instance in the routing path to propagate /svc/echo to the next component instance.

The routing sequence is:

  • echo hosts the /svc/echo service protocol in its outgoing directory. Also, it exposes /svc/echo from self so the protocol is visible to its parent, services.
  • services exposes /svc/echo from its child echo to its parent, shell.
  • system offers /svc/echo from its child services to its other child tools.
  • tools offers /svc/echo from realm (i.e., its parent) to its child echo_tool.
  • echo_tool uses /svc/echo. When echo_tool runs, it will find /svc/echo in its namespace.

A working example of capability routing can be found at //examples/components/routing.

Facet metadata

Facets are metadata that is ignored by the component framework itself, but may be interpreted by interested components. For example, a module component might contain module facets declaring intents the module subscribes to.

Syntax

This section explains the syntax for each section of the component manifest, in CML format. For the full schema, see cml_schema.json.

References

A reference is a string of the form #<reference-name>, where <reference-name> is a string of one or more of the following characters: a-z, 0-9, _, ., -.

A reference may refer to:

program

If the component contains executable code, the content of the program section is determined by the runner the component uses. Some components don't have executable code; the declarations for those components lack a program section.

ELF runners

If the component uses the ELF runner, program is an object with the following properties:

  • binary: Package-relative path to the executable binary
  • args (optional): List of arguments
"program": {
    "binary": "bin/hippo",
    "args": [ "Hello", "hippos!" ],
},
"use": [
    { "runner": "elf" },
],

See also: ELF Runner

Other runners

If a component uses a custom runner, values inside the program stanza are specific to the runner. The runner receives the arguments as a dictionary of key and value pairs. Refer to the specific runner being used to determine what keys it expects to receive, and how it interprets them.

children

The children section declares child component instances as described in Child component instances

children is an array of objects with the following properties:

  • name: The name of the child component instance, which is a string of one or more of the following characters: a-z, 0-9, _, ., -.
  • url: The component URL for the child component instance.
  • startup (optional): The component instance's startup mode.
    • lazy (default): Start the component instance only if another component instance binds to it.
    • eager: Start the component instance as soon as its parent starts.

Example:

"children": [
    {
        "name": "logger",
        "url": "fuchsia-pkg://fuchsia.com/logger#logger.cm",
    },
    {
        "name": "pkg_cache",
        "url": "fuchsia-pkg://fuchsia.com/pkg_cache#meta/pkg_cache.cm",
        "startup": "eager",
    },
],

collections

The collections section declares collections as described in Component collections.

collections is an array of objects with the following properties:

  • name: The name of the component collection, which is a string of one or more of the following characters: a-z, 0-9, _, ., -.
  • durability: The duration of child component instances in the collection.
    • transient: The instance exists until its containing realm is stopped or it is explicitly destroyed.
    • persistent: The instance exists until it is explicitly destroyed. This mode is not yet supported.

Example:

"collections": [
    {
        "name": "tests",
        "durability": "transient",
    },
],

use

The use section contains use declarations of child component instances as explained in Routing terminology.

use is an array of objects with the following properties:

  • A capability declaration, one of:
    • service_protocol: The source path of a service capability, or an array of source paths of service capabilities.
    • directory: The source path of a directory capability.
    • storage: The type of a storage capability. A manifest can only declare one use for each storage type.
    • runner: The name of a runner capability. A manifest can declare at most one runner.
  • as (optional): The explicit target path for the capability. If omitted, defaults to the source path for service and directory capabilities, and one of /data or /cache for storage capabilities. This property cannot be used:
    • For meta storage capabilities.
    • When service_protocol is an array of multiple items.

Example:

"use": [
    {
        "service_protocol": "/svc/fuchsia.logger.LogSink2",
        "as": "/svc/fuchsia.logger.LogSink",
    },
    {
        "service_protocol": [
            "/svc/fuchsia.ui.scenic.Scenic",
            "/svc/fuchsia.accessibility.Manager",
        ]
    },
    {
        "directory": "/data/themes",
        "as": "/themes",
    },
    {
        "storage": "data",
        "as": "/my_data",
    },
    {
        "runner": "web",
    },
],

expose

The expose section declares capabilities exposed by this component, as explained in Routing terminology.

expose is an array of objects with the following properties:

  • A capability declaration, one of:
    • service_protocol: The source path of a service capability, or an array of source paths to service capabilities.
    • directory: The source path of a directory capability.
    • runner: The source name of a runner capability.
  • from: The source of the capability, one of:
    • self: This component.
    • #<child-name>: A reference to a child component instance.
  • as (optional): The explicit target path for the capability. If omitted, defaults to the source path. This property cannot be used when service_protocol is an array of multiple items.

Example:

"expose": [
    {
        "directory": "/data/themes",
        "from": "self",
    },
    {
        "service_protocol": "/svc/pkg_cache",
        "from": "#pkg_cache",
        "as": "/svc/fuchsia.pkg.PackageCache",
    },
    {
        "service_protocol": [
            "/svc/fuchsia.ui.app.ViewProvider",
            "/svc/fuchsia.fonts.Provider",
        ],
        "from": "self",
    },
    {
        "runner": "web-chromium",
        "from": "#web_runner",
        "as": "web",
    },
],

offer

The offer section declares capabilities offered by this component, as explained in Routing terminology.

offer is an array of objects with the following properties:

  • A capability declaration, one of:
    • service_protocol: The source path of a service capability, or an array of source paths of service capabilities.
    • directory: The source path of a directory capability.
    • storage: The type of a storage capability.
    • runner: The source name of a runner capability.
  • from: The source of the capability, one of:
    • realm: The component's containing realm (parent). This source can be used for all capability types.
    • self: This component. This source can only be used when offering service, directory, or runner capabilities.
    • #<child-name>: A reference to a child component instance. This source can only be used when offering service, directory, or runner capabilities.
    • #<storage-name> A reference to a storage declaration. This source can only be used when offering storage capabilities.
    • to: An array of capability targets, each of which is a reference to the child or collection to which the capability is being offered, of the form #<target-name>.
    • as (optional): The explicit target path for the capability. If omitted, defaults to the source path. as cannot be used:
      • For storage capabilities.
      • When service_protocol is an array of multiple items.

Example:

"offer": [
    {
        "service_protocol": "/svc/fuchsia.logger.LogSink",
        "from": "#logger",
        "to": [ "#fshost", "#pkg_cache" ],
    },
    {
        "service_protocol": [
            "/svc/fuchsia.ui.app.ViewProvider",
            "/svc/fuchsia.fonts.Provider",
        ],
        "from": "#session",
        "to": [ "#ui_shell" ],
    },
    {
        "directory": "/data/blobfs",
        "from": "self",
        "to": [ "#pkg_cache" ],
        "as": "/blobfs",
    },
    {
        "directory": "/data",
        "from": "realm",
        "to": [ "#fshost" ],
    },
    {
        "storage": "meta",
        "from": "realm",
        "to": [ "#logger" ],
    },
    {
        "runner": "web",
        "from": "realm",
        "to": [ "#user-shell" ],
    }
],

storage

A storage declaration creates three storage capabilities, for "data", "cache", and "meta" storage. These storage capabilities are backed by a preexisting directory capability, as explained in Storage capabilities.

storage is an array of objects with the following properties:

  • name: A name for this storage section which can be used by an offer.
  • from: The source of the directory capability backing the new storage capabilities, one of:
    • realm: The component's containing realm (parent).
    • self: This component.
    • #<child-name>: A reference to a child component instance.
  • path: The source path of a directory capability.

facets

The facets section is a JSON object containing facets, chunks of metadata which components may interpret for their own purposes. The component framework enforces no schema for this section, but third parties may expect their facets to adhere to a particular schema.

This section may be omitted.