Virtual File System

  Edit on GitHub

LittleKt comes with an abstraction over reading and writing to filesystems. The class that handles this is the Vfs class. This handles reading files into bytes. The VfsFile class compliments the Vfs by allowing to create correct paths easily to files/assets and also able to read those files into certain formats / objects.

Data buffers

By default, Kotlin multiplatform projects don’t offer any data buffer type objects to allow reading and writing data. This makes it hard when needing to target multiple platforms. LittleKt offers implementation, with the API very similar to the Buffer types on the JVM, which makes it easy to use.

  • ByteBuffer: a buffer object for reading bytes. It is also possible to read bytes as an Short, Int, and Float.
  • ShortBuffer: a buffer object for reading and writing only shorts.
  • IntBuffer: a buffer object for reading and writing only integers.
  • FloatBuffer: a buffer object for reading and writing only floats.


The Vfs offers a few methods for both reading files and key-value storage.

  • readBytes(): reads a file with the given paths and returns it as a ByteBuffer
  • readStream(): opens a stream to a file and which allows buffered reading of data from the stream
  • store(): store data as with the specified key.
  • load(): reads from the key-store storage as a ByteBuffer.
  • loadString(): read from the key-store storage as a String.

Vfs also supports coroutines for reading data. The Vfs itself is a CoroutineScope which can be used to launch coroutines when reading files.

fun loadData() {
    vfs.launch { // launches a coroutine within the vfs context
        val data = vfs.readBytes("my/path/to/file")


The thing that makes using a Vfs magical is using a VfsFile. The VfsFile, which contains a reference to a PathInfo, handles all the hard work on creating paths, normalizing the specified path, and much more. PathInfo offers a TON of utility extensions for transforming, creating, and reading paths. A VfsFile contains a reference to a Vfs that it belongs to.

Creating paths and reading/writing

Creating a new VfsFile based off an existing VfsFile. Usually the root of a Vfs. This only creates a path to the file. It does not actually do any I/O on it.

val root: VfsFile = vfs.root // assuming we already have a root VfsFile created
val myFile: VfsFile = root["/path/to/file"]

Reading data from the VfsFile: // reads as a ByteBuffer
myFile.readStream() // opens a stream for buffered reading
myFile.readBytes() // reads as a ByteArray
myFile.readString() // reads as a String
myFile.readLines() // reads as a list of strings

Reading data from a JSON string:

val myJsonFile: VfsFile = root["/path/to/json/file"]

Writing to key-value storage:

val data = "My data!!"
val file: VfsFile = root["/path/to/file"]
file.writeKeystore(data) // uses the paths basename as the key

val result: String = file.readKeystore() // uses the paths basename as the key

Usage with Vfs and Context

A Vfs instance contains a property called root which is a VfsFile. A Vfs requires a the path to the base directory when constructing. The root VfsFile is constructed based off that path.

A Context creates two VfsFile instances. One is a resourcesVfs which points to the projects resources directory. The second is the storageVfs which points to the storage directory for storing key-value data.

val context: Context

Vfs loaders

LittleKt provides a bunch of extension utility methods to for reading VfsFile paths into different types of formats and objects. The are located in the VfsLoaders file.

Reading a texture

readTexture(): reads the and creates a Texture and prepares it. Accepts parameters for setting the Texture.minFilter, Texture.magFilter, and whether to use mipmaps.

val texture: Texture = resourcesVfs["my_texture.png"].readTexture()

Reading an image as Pixmap

readPixmap(): reads the file as a Pixmap. This does not create a Texture.

val pixmap: Pixmap = resourcesVfs["my_image.png"].readPixmap()

Reading a TextureAtlas

readAtlas(): reads a file as an atlas. Currently supports only JSON format.

val atlas: TextureAtlas = resourcesVfs["tiles.atlas.json"].readAtlas()

Reading a BitmapFont

readBitmapFont(): reads file as a BitmapFont. Aaccepts parameters for setting the Texture.magFilter and whether to use mipmaps.

val font: BitmapFont = resourcesVfs["arial_32.fnt"].readBitmapFont()

Reading a TTfFont

readTtfFont(): reads file as a TtfFont. Accepts a string for loading the specified glyphs in the string.

val font: TtfFont = resourcesVfs["arial.ttf"].readTtfFont() // defaults to base latin characters

Reading an LDtk Map

readLDtkMapLoader(): reads file as an LDtkMapLoader. Accepts parameters for an optional TextureAtlas and a tilesetBorder thickness when slicing any corresponding tile textures to prevent atlas bleeding. Loading a LDtk file will have the loaders created to read and parse the data to prevent loading and rebinding textures that are shared across levels.

val mapLoader = resourcesVfs["my_world.ldtk"].readLDtkMapLoader()
val world: LDtkWorld = mapLoader.loadMap()

If we aren’t loading all the levels of a LDtk file at once, we can load other levels later with loadLevel().

val mapLoader = resourcesVfs["my_world.ldtk"].readLDtkMapLoader()
val level: LDtkLevel = mapLoader.loadLevel(levelIdx = 1) // loads the 2nd level

Reading a Tiled Map

readTiledMap(): read the file as a TiledMap.

val tiledMap = resourcesVfs["my_tiled_map.tmj"].readTiledMap()

Reading an AudioClip

readAudioClip(): read the file as an AudioClip.

val audioClip: AudioClip = resourcesVfs["my_audio.wav"].readAudioClip()

Reading an AudioStream

readAudioStream(): read the file as an AudioStream.

val audioStream: AudioStream = resourcesVfs["my_music.mp3"].readAudioStream()