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Child Slot overview

The Child Slot

Child Slot is a navigation model that allows only one child component at a time, or none. In other words, each Child Slot allows to activate a child component, replace with another child component, or dismiss when not needed. It is possible to have more than one Child Slot in a component, nested slots are also supported.

The most common use cases include but not limited to displaying dialogs, drawers, bottom sheets, and just changing the visibility of some views. It's not necessarily something that overlays the parent component.

The Child Slot navigation consists of two main entities:

  • ChildSlot - a simple data class that holds the currently active child, if any.
  • SlotNavigation - an interface that accepts navigation commands and forwards them to all subscribed observers.

Component Configurations

Each component created and managed by the Child Slot has a configuration, please read the documentation about child configurations.

Initializing the Child Slot

There are three steps to initialize the Child Slot:

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


Here is a very basic example of a child slot:

Dialog component
import com.arkivanov.decompose.ComponentContext

interface DialogComponent {

    fun onDismissClicked()

class DefaultDialogComponent(
    private val componentContext: ComponentContext,
    private val message: String,
    private val onDismissed: () -> Unit,
) : DialogComponent, ComponentContext by componentContext {

    override fun onDismissClicked() {
Root component
import com.arkivanov.decompose.ComponentContext
import com.arkivanov.decompose.router.slot.ChildSlot
import com.arkivanov.decompose.router.slot.SlotNavigation
import com.arkivanov.decompose.router.slot.activate
import com.arkivanov.decompose.router.slot.childSlot
import com.arkivanov.decompose.router.slot.dismiss
import com.arkivanov.decompose.value.Value
import kotlinx.serialization.Serializable

interface RootComponent {

    val dialog: Value<ChildSlot<*, DialogComponent>>

class DefaultRootComponent(
    componentContext: ComponentContext,
) : RootComponent, ComponentContext by componentContext {

    private val dialogNavigation = SlotNavigation<DialogConfig>()

    override val dialog: Value<ChildSlot<*, DialogComponent>> =
            source = dialogNavigation,
            serializer = DialogConfig.serializer(), // Or null to disable navigation state saving
            handleBackButton = true, // Close the dialog on back button press
        ) { config, childComponentContext ->
                componentContext = childComponentContext,
                message = config.message,
                onDismissed = dialogNavigation::dismiss,

    private fun showDialog(message: String) {
        dialogNavigation.activate(DialogConfig(message = message))

    @Serializable // kotlinx-serialization plugin must be applied
    private data class DialogConfig(
        val message: String,

Multiple Child Slots in a component

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

Two Child Slots in one component
import com.arkivanov.decompose.ComponentContext
import com.arkivanov.decompose.router.slot.SlotNavigation
import com.arkivanov.decompose.router.slot.childSlot

class Root(
    componentContext: ComponentContext
) : ComponentContext by componentContext {

    private val topNavigation = SlotNavigation<TopConfig>()

    private val topSlot =
        childSlot<TopConfig, TopChild>(
            source = topNavigation,
            key = "TopSlot",
            // Omitted code

    private val bottomNavigation = SlotNavigation<BottomConfig>()

    private val bottomSlot =
        childSlot<BottomConfig, BottomChild>(
            source = bottomNavigation,
            key = "BottomSlot",
            // Omitted code