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Child Pages overview

The Child Pages (experimental)

Child Pages is a navigation model for managing a list of components (pages) with one selected (active) component. The list can be empty.


This navigation model is experimental, the API is subject to change.

Similarly to Child Stack, each component has its own Lifecycle. By default, the currently selected page is ACTIVE, its two neighbours are INACTIVE, and the rest are DESTROYED. You can implement your own logic, for example with circular behaviour.

It is possible to have more than one Child Pages navigation model in a component, nested navigation is also supported.

The Child Pages navigation model consists of two main entities:

  • Pages - represents a state of the Child Pages navigation model. The navigation is performed by creating a new navigation state from the previous one.
    • Pages#items - the list of child configurations, must be unique, can be empty.
    • Pages#selectedIndex - index of the selected child configuration.
  • ChildPages - a simple data class that stores a list of components and their configurations, as well as the currently selected index.
    • ChildPages#items - the list of child component, can be empty.
    • ChildPages#selectedIndex - the index of the currently selected child component. Must be within the range of items indices if items is not empty, otherwise can be any number.
  • PagesNavigation - an interface that accepts navigation commands and forwards them to all subscribed observers.

Component Configurations

Similarly to Child Stack, each component created and managed by the Child Pages has a configuration, please read the documentation about child configurations.

Child Pages adds one additional requirement for child configurations:

  • Configurations must be unique (by equality) within Child Pages.

Initializing Child Pages

There are three steps to initialize Child Pages:

  • Create a new instance of PagesNavigation and assign it to a variable or a property.
  • Initialize the Child Pages navigation model using the ComponentContext#childPages extension function and pass PagesNavigation into it along with other arguments.
  • The childPages function returns Value<ChildPages> that can be observed in the UI. Assign the returned Value to another property or a variable.

Displaying pages with Compose

Child Pages state can be observed and displayed in Compose by using the Pager Composable function from the Compose extensions module provided by Decompose. Please see the related documentation for more information.


Here is a very basic example of a pager-like navigation:

import com.arkivanov.decompose.ComponentContext

interface PageComponent {
    val data: String

class DefaultPageComponent(
    componentContext: ComponentContext,
    override val data: String,
) : PageComponent, ComponentContext by componentContext
import com.arkivanov.decompose.ComponentContext
import com.arkivanov.decompose.router.pages.ChildPages
import com.arkivanov.decompose.router.pages.Pages
import com.arkivanov.decompose.router.pages.PagesNavigation
import com.arkivanov.decompose.router.pages.childPages
import com.arkivanov.decompose.value.Value
import kotlinx.serialization.Serializable

interface PagesComponent {
    val pages: Value<ChildPages<*, PageComponent>>

    fun selectPage(index: Int)

class DefaultPagesComponent(
    componentContext: ComponentContext,
) : PagesComponent, ComponentContext by componentContext {

    private val navigation = PagesNavigation<Config>()

    override val pages: Value<ChildPages<*, PageComponent>> =
            source = navigation,
            serializer = Config.serializer(), // Or null to disable navigation state saving
            initialPages = {
                    items = List(10) { index -> Config(data = "Item $index") },
                    selectedIndex = 0,
        ) { config, childComponentContext ->
                componentContext = childComponentContext,
                data =,

    override fun selectPage(index: Int) { = index)

    @Serializable // kotlinx-serialization plugin must be applied
    private data class Config(val data: String)

Screen recreation and process death on (not only) Android

Child Pages automatically preserves the state when a configuration change or process death occurs. To disable state preservation completely, pass serializer = null argument. When navigation state saving is disabled, the state is reset to the initial value when recreated.

Components are created in their order. E.g. the first component in the list is created first, then the next component in the list is created, and so on. Components are destroyed in reverse order.

Multiple Child Pages in a component

When multiple Child Pages are used in one component, each such Child Pages must have a unique key argument associated. The keys are required to be unique only within the hosting component, so it is ok for different components to have Child Pages with same keys. An exception will be thrown if multiple Child Pages with the same key are detected in a component.