Security Rules

Security Rules

Firebase Storage

Firebase Storage exposes quite a bit of functionality to the public, so you'll need to write some security rules.

Like Firestore, Firebase Storage uses Firebase's new security rules syntax.

Review Firestore security rules

The best way to understand Firebase Storage security rules is to read up on Firestore security rules. They're basically the same.

The basics

The basic rules look something like this:

// Only authenticated users can read or write to the bucket
service {
  match /b/{bucket}/o {
    match /{allPaths=**} {
      allow read, write: if request.auth != null;

Let's break these rules down line-by-line.

service - defines the service, in this case it's

match /b/{bucket}/o - defines the bucket; the {bucket} clause indicates that these rules apply to all Cloud Storage buckets on the project

match /{allPaths=**} - creates a new rules block to apply to all paths

allow read, write: if requests.auth != true ; - allows read/write access for all authenticated sessions

Match blocks

Match blocks are identical to those of Firestore.

Of course, instead of matching collections and documents, you're matching folders and storage objects. But that's the only difference.

Let's write a match block for a folder structure like this: /user/{userId}/path/to/file.txt

service {
  match /b/{bucket}/o {
    match /user/{userId}/{allPaths=**} {
      allow read, write: if request.auth.uid == userId;

And, like Firestore, match blocks can be nested... if you need it.

Firebase Storage security rules tend to be a bit simpler than Firestore's.

Rule types

Firebase Storage supports read and write. That's it. This is a break from Cloud Firestore which supports other sub-types. In this case you're either reading or writing.

Wildcard variables

Wildcards work just like those in Firestore. You can place them at will and override them as needed. You'll also want to be careful to use the {someWildcard=**} syntax when you want your rules to cascade; otherwise, they won't apply to nested folders.

The following example secures a dropbox-style pattern where users can upload to an uploads folder at /user/uploads/{userId}/uploaded-file.jpg but can only read from /user/thumbnails/{userId}/thumbnail.jpg.

service {
  match /b/{bucket}/o {
    match /user/ {
      match /thumbnails/{userId}/{thumbnail} {
        allow read: if request.auth.uid == userId;
      match /uploads/{userId}/{upload} {
        allow write: if request.auth.uid == userId;

Request variables

Rule conditions have access to a request object that represents that incoming request. You'll be using the request object for most rule conditions.

The fields of most interest are request.auth.uid and request.auth.token, which contains the user's JWT.

Resource variables

Rule conditions also have access to a resource object. In Firestore this object refers to the pre-write state of the document, but in Firebase Storage this is the object being uploaded, downloaded, modified or deleted.

Here's a sample resource object that you may find handy:

  "name": "howtofirebase/uploads/locked-mode.png",
  "bucket": "",
  "generation": "1517664154693678",
  "metageneration": "1",
  "size": "138099",
  "timeCreated": "2018-02-03T13:22:34.676Z",
  "updated": "2018-02-03T13:22:34.676Z",
  "md5Hash": "Yzg3ZGNlZDVjODZiYzAyNGU4NTljYTU2MDdlZDMwMjk=",
  "crc32c": "QK5Kyw==",
  "etag": "CK7g0MbridkCEAE=",
  "contentDisposition": "inline; filename*=utf-8''locked-mode.png",
  "contentEncoding": "gzip",
  "contentLanguage": "en",
  "contentType": "image/png",
  "metadata": {
    "firebaseStorageDownloadTokens": "c7dfc4c3-0d91-4e1a-b6a1-d4e03a320ef1"

Read the docs

It's been said before and we'll say it again. Read the docs.

The highlights:

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