Static vs dynamic indexing
Static indexing is used for base packages. At
pkgfs startup, base packages are
/pkgfs/packages based on the
static_packages index located in
/system/data/static_packages. These static packages are then used to bootstrap
the system, so that core components like
sysmgr can be started.
pkgfs doesn't maintain state across reboots but the base package set is
guaranteed to always be present. Base packages cannot be deleted.
The dynamic index stores a mapping of all ephemerally fetched packages.
will pre-populate the dynamic index with any present packages (i.e.
BLOBs resolved) listed in
/system/data/cache_packages. In memory, the dynamic
index has the most recently resolved version of a package with the same name
by keying on the
$name/$variant of the package.
pkgfs then "forgets" about
the old version of the package. The old version of the package is still present
in the system but no longer referenced. The dynamic index is then used to implement
How to garbage collect
There is no notion of installing a package in fuchsia and likewise no notion of
deleting a package. Rather, garbage collection can be thought of as a means to
reclaim space. Garbage collection can be triggered manually by running
or it can be triggered by the
system-updater. The implementation of garbage
collection uses the
fuchsia.space/Manager protocol. The
happens twice; once before a system update and once after fetching the update package.
pkgfs garbage collector currently uses set differences to determine which
packages are live packages. A package is considered live if any of the following
- A package is a base package in the static index.
- A package is in the process of being updated (by tracking the
meta.farmerkle root and any missing
BLOBs until they’ve been fully resolved).
- A package is the most recently resolved version of an ephemeral package according to its
packagein the dynamic index.
When garbage collection runs, it deletes every
blobfs that is not referenced
by a live package.
Existing garbage collection implementation is suboptimal.
An old version of an ephemeral package that is open can be garbage collected. This may lead the garbage collector to erase a package out from under a component.
system-updaterfails to download a new package, the garbage collector protects both the base package and the most recent package version, which leads to duplicate copies of every package. If this happens, you should reboot the Fuchsia device to clear the list of activated packages.