Sharing Storage Folders and Access Control

You may need to share the contents of storage folders with other users or group members to collaborate. For this purpose, Backend.AI provides flexible folder sharing feature.

Share storage folders with other users

Let’s learn how to share your personal Storage folder with other users. First, log in to User A’s account and go to the Data & Storage page. There are several folders, and we want to share a folder named test to User B.

../_images/list_of_vfolders_A.png

Inside the test folder you can see files and directories like hello.txt and myfolder.

../_images/test_vfolder_explorer_A.png

Confirm that the test folder is not listed when logging in with User B’s account.

Warning

If a folder named test already exists in User B’s account, User A’s test folder cannot be shared with User B.

../_images/no_test_vfolder_in_B.png

Back to User A’s account and click the share icon (third icon) in the Control panel on the right of the test folder. Enter User B’s email in the email input field and click the SHARE button to send a sharing invitation. No actual email is sent, and invitations are generated through the Backend.AI database. In the case of Permissions, if you check View, it is shared as read-only, and if you check Edit together, even writing is allowed to User B. If you want to share with multiple users, you can also click the + button to enter additional emails.

../_images/send_vfolder_invitation.png

Back to User B’s account and go to the Summary page. At the bottom of the page, you can see the invitation arrived. Click the ACCEPT button to accept the invitation. If you don’t see the invitation, go to another page once and then come back to the Summary page again.

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Go to the Data & Storage page and check that the test folder is displayed in the list. If you don’t see it on the list, try refreshing your browser page. Since you have accepted the invitation, you can now view the contents of User A’s test folder in User B account. Compared to the other folders created by User B, the test folder has no management icon in the Control panel. You can also see only the R (read-only) mark displayed in the Permission panel.

../_images/test_vfolder_listed_in_B.png

Let’s navigate inside the test folder by clicking the folder icon in the Control panel of test. You can check the hello.txt and myfolder that you checked in the User A’s account again. Let’s create a compute session by mounting this storge folder with the User B’s account.

../_images/launch_session_with_test_mounted_B.png

After creating a session, open the web terminal and check that the test folder is mounted in the home folder. The contents of the test folder are displayed, but attempts to create or delete files are not allowed. This is because User A shared it as read-only. User B can create a file in the test folder if it has been shared including write access.

../_images/file_operations_on_shared_test_folder.png

If you click the folder icon in the Control panel, you may notice that UPLOAD FILES button and NEW FOLDER button disappears and READ-ONLY FOLDER message is shown on that spot. Also modify icon and delete icon in the Action panel are also disabled since the folder is read-only. User B can create a file in the test folder if it has been shared including write access.

../_images/test_vfolder_explorer_B.png

This way, you can share your personal storage folders with other users based on your Backend.AI email account.

Note

Backend.AI also provides sharing group folder to group members. To See the detail, go to sharing a group storage folder with group members.

Adjust permission for shared folders

If you click the fourth person icon in the Control panel, you can see a list of users who have shared the folder. Click Select permission to set the sharing permission.

  • View: The invited user has read-only access to the folder.
  • Edit: The invited user has read and write access to the folder. The user cannot delete folders or files.
  • Edit+Delete: The invited user has full access to the folder and can delete files or folders.
  • Kick out user: Retrieves the user’s invitation. The user cannot view or use the folder any more.
../_images/modify_perm.png

Note

Renaming folder itself is available only for the owner, even if the user has granted Edit or Edit+Delete permission. Please note that Edit permission does not provide renaming folder.