Storage capabilities

Storage capabilities are a way for components to define, offer, and use directories, but they have different semantics than directory capabilities.

Directories provided by storage capabilities are guaranteed to be unique and non-overlapping for each component instance, preventing any component instances from accessing files belonging to any other component instance (including their own children).

Directory vs storage capabilities

As an example, if component instance a receives a directory capability from its realm and both uses it and offers it to b, which also uses the directory, both component instances can see and interact with the same directory.

<a's realm>
    |
    a
    |
    b

a.cml:
{
    "use": [ {"directory": "/example_dir" } ],
    "offer": [
        {
            "directory": "/example_dir",
            "from": "realm",
            "to": [ { "dest": "#b" } ],
        },
    ],
}

b.cml:
{
    "use": [ {"directory": "/example_dir" } ],
}

In this example if component instance a creates a file named hippos inside /example_dir then b will be able to see and read this file.

If the component instances use storage capabilities instead of directory capabilities, then component instance b cannot see and read the hippos file.

<a's realm>
    |
    a
    |
    b

a.cml:
{
    "use": [ { "storage": "data", "as": "/example_dir" } ],
    "offer": [
        {
            "storage": "data",
            "from": "realm",
            "to": [ { "dest": "#b" } ],
        },
    ],
}

b.cml:
{
    "use": [ { "storage": "data", "as": "/example_dir" } ],
}

In this example any files that a creates are not be visible to b, as storage capabilities provide unique non-overlapping directories to each component instance.

Creating storage capabilities

Storage capabilities can be created with a storage declaration in a component manifest. Once storage capabilities have been declared, they can then be offered to other component instances by referencing the declaration by name.

A storage declaration must include a reference to a directory capability, which is the directory from which the component manager will create isolated directories for each component instance using the storage capability.

For example, the following manifest describes new storage capabilities backed by the /memfs directory exposed by the child named memfs. From this storage declaration a data storage capability is offered to the child named storage_user.


{
    "storage": [
        {
            "name": "mystorage",
            "from": "#memfs",
            "path": "/memfs",
        },
    ],
    "offer": [
        {
            "storage": "data",
            "from": "#mystorage",
            "to": [ { "dest": "#storage_user" } ],
        },
    ],
    "children": [
        { "name": "memfs", "url": "fuchsia-pkg://..." },
        { "name": "storage_user", "url": "fuchsia-pkg://...", },
    ],
}

Storage capability semantics

A directory capability that backs storage capabilities can be used to access the files of any component that uses the resulting storage capabilities. This type of directory capability should be routed carefully to avoid exposing this capability to too many component instances.

When a component instance attempts to access the directory provided to it through a storage capability, the framework binds to and generates sub-directories in the component instance that provides the backing directory capability. Then, the framework provides the component instance access to a unique sub-directory.

The sub-directory to which a component instance is provided access is determined by the type of storage and its location in the component topology. This means that if a component instance is renamed in its parent manifest or moved to a different parent then it will receive a different sub-directory than it did before the change.