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Product-specific configuration with config_data()

Sometimes a component is defined in one repository but its data is defined in another repository. For instance fuchsia.git defines a font provider service, but the workstation_eng product configuration (defined in a different repository) defines which fonts are available to the font provider.

The config_data() template allows developers to make files available to components in a different package without having to directly change the contents of that package.


config_data("workstation_fonts") {
  for_pkg = "fonts"
  sources = [
  outputs = [ "fonts/{{source_file_part}}" ]

Using config_data() in your component

Include the following in your component manifest (.cml) file:

    use: [
            directory: "config-data",
            rights: [ "r*" ],
            path: "/config/data",

At runtime your component will be able to read the config files at the path /config/data.

For the above to work, "config-data" must be offered to your component. For instance your parent may have a declaration that looks like this:

    children: [
            name: "font-provider",
            url: "fuchsia-pkg://",
    offer: [
            directory: "config-data",
            from: "parent",
            to: [ "#font-provider" ],
            subdir: "fonts",

Note that both for_pkg = ... and subdir: ... above are coordinated in that they set the same value "fonts".

Testing config_data()

A component under test in a test realm can have a "config-data" directory routed to it in much the same way as a production component would.

If you would like to offer a component under test different configuration data, simply use the appropriate value for for_pkg and subdir that would route your test data to your test component.

How config_data() works

All config_data() targets that are defined in your build configuration collect their files into a single package called config-data. This package is defined in the system assembly as part of the base package set. The contents of this package replicate the parameters in config_data() definitions, so that they can be routed as subdirectories to components that expect them.

Known issues

  • The config-data package that collects all files from config_data() definitions is part of the base set of packages. As a result its contents do not update in the fx serve developer workflow. To update data files you must repave or OTA your device, or if using an emulator rebuild the system image and restart the emulator.

  • Defining config_data() also requires making changes to component manifest files as shown above. Some of the strings used are repeated in multiple places, which is error-prone. When mistakes are made they can be difficult to troubleshoot.

  • config_data() target definitions know about the name of the package(s) of components that are expected to use this data. This promotes brittle contracts that are difficult and perilous to evolve. For instance in order for the platform to offer ICU data to out-of-tree components and their tests, there exists a hard-coded list of out-of-tree package names in the Fuchsia source tree.

Due to the above issues, prefer using a different configuration mechanism if possible.