Assertions are digitally signed documents that express a fact or policy by a particular authority about a particular object in the snap universe. An assertion consists of a set of structured headers, which vary based on the type of assertion, an optional body (variable format, depends on type of assertion) and the signature.

Assertions are intended to be understandable by human inspection, although full validation requires the use of provided tooling.

The typical format of an assertion, with common headers, is as follows:

type:          <type>       # For example, “account” or “model”
authority-id:  <account id> # On whose authority this assertion is made
<key field 1>: <value>      # Fields identifying the object of the assertion
<key field N>: <value>
<other field>: <value>
revision: <int>             # Assertions can be updated with a higher revision
body-length: <int>          # Present if a body is provided with this assertion
sign-key-sha3-384: <key id> # Encoded key id of signing key

<body>                      # Optional type-dependent body of length `body-length` bytes

<signature>                 # Encoded signature

Every assertion will have a type and sign-key-sha3-384, as well as a signature, and most will have an authority-id. Values may be scalars (strings, integers, booleans), lists, or maps. Some of the headers play the role of an index, which uniquely specifies the context of this assertion given the type. Most assertions will also have a revision which enables a particular assertion to be updated by issuing another assertion of the same type and index with a higher revision. Given a particular type and index, there is only one “latest” valid assertion that properly determines policy for a system - the one with the highest revision. For a given assertion the index headers must all be defined.

Supported assertions

The following assertions are currently supported:


The account assertion ties a name for an account in the snap universe to its identifier and provides the authority’s confidence in the name’s validity.


The account-key assertion holds a public key belonging to the account.


The model assertion is a statement by a brand about the properties of a device model.


The serial assertion is a statement binding a device identity with the device public key.


The snap-declaration assertion defines some of the properties of the snap, such as the snap-id, the official name, the publisher, and so on.


The snap-build assertion defines the basic properties of a snap at the time it was built by the developer.


The snap-revision assertion is a statement by the store acknowledging the receipt of a build of a snap and labeling it with a snap revision.


The system-user assertion is a permit by the brand for local system users to be created on its specified devices.


The validation assertion defines that a combination of (snap-id, approved-snap-id, approved-revision) has been validated for a given series, meaning refreshing to that revision of approved-snap-id has been approved by the owner of the gating snap with snap-id.