Data Sharing and Access Control by Shared Storage Folder

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

Sharing user’s 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.


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


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


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


Back to User A’s account and click the third icon in the Control column 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 write operation is allowed to User B. If you want to share with multiple users, you can also click the + button to enter additional emails.


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


Visit 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 column. You can also see only the R (read-only) mark displayed in the Permission column.


Let’s navigate inside the test folder by clicking the folder icon in the Control column 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.


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.


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

Sharing a group storage folder with group members

In addition to user’s storage folders, Backend.AI provides storage folders for groups. A group storage folder is a folder belonging to a specific group, not a specific user, and can be accessed by all users belonging to that group.


Group folders can only be created by administrators. Normal users can only access the contents of the group folder created by the administrator. Also, there may be cases where group folder is not allowed depending on the system settings.

First, log in with an administrator account and create a group folder. After moving to the Data & Storage page, click NEW FOLDER to open the folder creation dialog. Enter the folder name, set the Type to Group, and select the target group. The target group should be set to the group to which User B belongs for this example to work. Permission is set to Read-Only again.


After confirming that the folder has been created, log in with the user B’s account and check that the group folder just created on the Data & Storage page is displayed without an invitation procedure! You can see that R (Read Only) is also displayed in the Permission column.


In this way, Backend.AI provides invitation for user’s folders and group folders to help you share data and models in a flexible way.