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Sandboxing

This document describes how sandboxing works for a process in Fuchsia.

A new process has nothing

In Fuchsia, a newly created process is empty. It cannot access any kernel objects, allocate memory, or execute code. Because of this, processes are usually created with some initial resources and capabilities.

Most commonly, a process starts executing some code with an initial stack, some command line arguments, some environment variables, and a set of initial handles. Zircon program loading and dynamic linking describes the resources provided to programs when starting.

Namespaces are the gateway to the world

Some of the initial handles given to a process are directories that the process mounts into its namespace. These handles let the process discover and communicate with other processes running on the system, including file systems and other servers. See Namespaces for more details.

The namespace given to a process strongly influences how much of the system the process can influence. Therefore, configuring the sandbox in which a process runs amounts to configuring the process's namespace.

Package namespace

A component run from a package is given access to /pkg, which is a read-only view of the package containing the component. To access these resources at runtime, a process can use the /pkg namespace. For example, the root_presenter can access cursor32.png using the absolute path /pkg/data/cursor32.png.

Services

Processes that are components receive an /svc directory in their namespace. The services available through /svc are a subset of the services provided by the component's environment. This subset is determined by the sandbox.services allowlist in the component's manifest file.

A typical component will interact with a number of services from /svc in order to play some useful role in the system. For example, the service fuchsia.sys.Launcher is required if a component wishes to launch other components.

Processes that are not components may or may not have /svc. These processes receive whatever /svc their creator provided to them.

Configuring additional namespaces

If a component requires access to additional resources (for example, device drivers), the package can request access to additional names by including the sandbox property in its Component Manifest for the package. For example, to request direct access to the input drive, include the following dev array in your sandbox:

{
    "dev": [ "class/input" ]
}