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Addon.xml

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Contents

1 Introduction

Every skin, script, or plugin in XBMC contains an addon.xml file which describes the add-on, providing credits, version information and dependencies. Below, we will explain how this file is structured and which elements must be used to create an add-on for XBMC. You can also consult the examples at the end to see how this file is laid out depending on if you are developing a skin or script/plugin.

Every addon.xml file has the same basic structure:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<addon id="your.addon.id" name="Your Add-on" version="1.2.3" provider-name="You">
  <requires>
    <import addon="xbmc.python" version="2.1.0"/>
  </requires>
  <extension point="xbmc.python.pluginsource" library="addon.py">
    <provides>video</provides>
  </extension>
  <extension point="xbmc.addon.metadata">
    <summary lang="en">Your add-on's summary</summary>
    <description lang="en">Your add-on's description</description>
    <disclaimer lang="en"></disclaimer>
    <language></language>
    <platform>all</platform>
    <license></license>
    <forum></forum>
    <website></website>
    <email></email>
    <source></source>
  </extension>
</addon>

There are a few important things to note in the above sample:

  • The <addon> element must be present, and be the root node. It presents data about the add-on package as a whole.
  • Inside the <addon> element is a <requires> element, listing all the dependencies that this add-on needs in order to function.
  • Then there are one or more <extension> elements, each of which describes a part of XBMC that the add-on extends.
  • Finally, there is a specific <extension> element that extends "xbmc.addon.metadata". This describes the add-on to the user.

2 Elements

2.1 <addon>

The <addon> element has 4 attributes, all required: id, version, name, and provider-name. For example:

<addon id="script.hello.world" name="Hello World" version="0.0.1" provider-name="Dev1, Dev2">

2.1.1 id attribute

The id attribute is the unique identifier used for this add-on. It must be unique, and must use only lowercase characters, periods, underscores, dashes and numbers. This identifier is also used as the name of the folder that contains the add-on, so for ease of searching, we suggest you use something like <type>.<uniquename>.

2.1.2 version attribute

The version attribute is used by XBMC to determine whether updates are available. This should be use a version scheme like x.y.z (major.minor.patch). For example: version="0.0.1". Generally, you'll start with a version of 0.y.z for test releases and once you feel it is ready for a full release, you'd bump the version to 1.0.0.

2.1.2.1 How versioning works

  • 2.2.9 is newer than 2.2.1
  • 2.2.10 is newer than 2.2.1
  • 2.3.0 is newer than 2.2.9
  • 2.2.1 is newer than 2.2.1~alpha
  • 2.2.1 is newer than 2.2.1~beta
  • 2.2.1~beta is newer than 2.2.1~alpha
  • 2.2.1~beta3 is newer than 2.2.1~beta2
  • 2.2.1~beta10 is newer than 2.2.1~beta1

Text should only be added for a beta version. In other cases version number should only contain numbers.

2.1.3 name attribute

The name attribute is the name of the add-on as it appears in the UI. This should be in English where it makes sense for it to be so, and is not translatable.

2.1.4 provider-name attribute

The provider-name attribute is used as the author field. This could be a team of authors or a single author. If the add-on is maintained by multiple people please separate them with a comma (,).

2.2 <requires>

The <requires> element contains one or more <import> elements which specify which other add-ons this particular add-on requires, and which version of those add-ons it requires. These add-ons may be part of XBMC itself, or may be parts of other third-party add-ons.

XBMC will only allow the add-on to be run if suitable versions of the (non-optional) add-ons on which this add-on depends are installed. When a user installs your add-on from an online repository via XBMC's add-on manager, XBMC attempts to resolve these dependencies, and install anything that your add-on relies on first. The dependency must be provided with the minimum version number your script/skin requires.

2.2.1 Examples

Here is a sample <requires> block that imports two required modules and one optional one:

<requires>
  <import addon="xbmc.python"                 version="2.1.0"/>
  <import addon="script.module.elementtree"   version="1.2.7"/>
  <import addon="script.module.simplejson"    version="2.0.10" optional="true"/>
</requires>

Here's another example, which will only install on OpenELEC:

<requires>
  <import addon="os.openelec.tv" version="2.0" optional="false"/>
</requires>

2.3 <import>

Each <import> element describes one dependency for an add-on, with two required attributes: addon and version. There is also an optional attribute called, fittingly, optional.

If your add-on relies on other third-party add-ons, XBMC will automatically install them as well, provided they are available on an existing add-on repository. If they aren't available on any existing repository, the user must install the other add-ons themselves. Note that you need to include any Python libraries you need directly in your add-on; these can't be loaded with an <import> element, since XBMC wouldn't know what to do with them.

2.3.1 addon attribute

The addon attribute specifies the id of the required add-on, e.g. script.module.elementtree.

2.3.2 version attribute

The version attribute specifies the minimum version of the required add-on to be installed.

2.3.2.1 Dependency versions

Each different XBMC version might require you to use a higher version of the xbmc.* add-on dependencies to control on which version of XBMC the add-on can be installed.

Current versions
XBMC version xbmc.python xbmc.gui xbmc.json xbmc.metadata xbmc.addon
Dharma 10.1 Deprecated 1.0 2.11 2.0 1.0 0.1
Eden 11.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 1.0 11.0
Frodo 12.0 & 12.1 & 12.2 2.1.0 4.0.0 6.0.0 2.1.0 12.0.0
Gotham 13.0 2.14.0 5.0.1 6.6.0 2.1.0 12.0.0

2.3.3 optional attribute

The dependency may be made optional by setting the optional attribute to true. This will only install the dependency when the add-on actually needs it. Even if this dependency is missing, the add-on can still be installed.

2.4 <extension>

The <extension> element describes the technical aspects of this add-on. It will have at least a point attribute which will give the part of XBMC that the add-on extends. For instance, the addon.xml file for the Confluence skin extends the xbmc.gui.skin part of XBMC. All available extension points are given below.

The various extension points that XBMC provides are given in the list below.

Extension point Add-on Category
xbmc.gui.skin Skin
xbmc.gui.webinterface Web interface
xbmc.addon.repository None
xbmc.service Services
xbmc.metadata.scraper.albums Album information
xbmc.metadata.scraper.artists Artist information
xbmc.metadata.scraper.movies Movie information
xbmc.metadata.scraper.musicvideos Music video information
xbmc.metadata.scraper.tvshows TV information
xbmc.metadata.scraper.library None
xbmc.ui.screensaver Screensaver
xbmc.player.musicviz Visualization
xbmc.python.pluginsource Music Add-ons (audio) / Picture Add-ons (image) / Program Add-ons (executable) / Video Add-ons (video)
xbmc.python.script Music Add-ons (audio) / Picture Add-ons (image) / Program Add-ons (executable) / Video Add-ons (video)
xbmc.python.weather Weather
xbmc.python.subtitles (Future Gotham removal) Subtitles
xbmc.subtitle.module (Future Gotham addition) Subtitle service module
xbmc.python.lyrics Lyrics
xbmc.python.library None
xbmc.python.module These don't show up in the addon browser and are purely as support for other scripts.
xbmc.addon.video Video Add-ons (video)
xbmc.addon.audio Music Add-ons (audio)
xbmc.addon.image Picture Add-ons (image)

Add-ons that don't correspond to a specific add-on category can not be installed by users. These are usually supporting or shared add-ons that are installed automatically by the add-ons that require them.

2.4.1 xbmc.python.pluginsource

The most common extension point that will be used by plugin addon developers is xbmc.python.pluginsource.

2.4.1.1 library attribute

The <extension point="xbmc.python.pluginsource"> element has an extra attribute: library. This is the name of the Python script (startup script) that will be run when the add-on is activated. This file must exist in the root of your add-on directory.

2.4.1.2 <provides> element

The extension has an additional child element named <provides>, which contains a whitespace separated list of image, video, audio, and/or executable. This determines in what area (or context) of the XBMC system your addon will make itself visible in:

Provides Appears in
image Pictures
audio Music
video Video
executable Programs
(blank) Not visible

2.4.1.3 Example

<extension point="xbmc.python.pluginsource" library="gpodderxbmc.py">
  <provides>audio video</provides>
</extension>

2.4.2 xbmc.addon.metadata

This special extension point must be provided by all add-ons, and is the way that your add-on is described to users of the XBMC add-on manager.

2.4.2.1 Required elements

There are several elements that this should contain and all are compulsory (except the broken tag). Each of the elements below must always be present in English as a minimum.

Many of these elements can be translated into multiple languages and should be added once for each supported language. See the List of language codes (ISO-639:1988) for possible language strings. If there's no lang attribute for a translatable element, it defaults to English. However, even for English, adding the lang attribute is recommended.

2.4.2.1.1 <summary>

One or more <summary> elements provide a short summary of what the add-on does. This should be a single sentence. It may be translated into multiple languages.

<summary lang="en">Hello World script provides some basic examples on how to create your first script.</summary>
2.4.2.1.2 <description>

One or more <description> elements provide a more detailed summary of what the add-on does. It may be translated into multiple languages.

<description lang="en">Hello World script provides some basic examples on how to create your first script
 and hopefully will increase the number of {{subst:Name}} users to start creating their own addons.</description>
2.4.2.1.3 <platform>

The <platform> tag specifies which platforms (operating systems, hardware) this add-on runs on. Many add-ons will run on all platforms, so all is an option. If the platform tag is missing, we assume the add-on runs on all platforms. A combination of these is also possible. Currently available options are:

  • all
  • linux
  • osx
  • osx64
  • osx32
  • ios
  • windx
  • android
<platform>all</platform>
2.4.2.1.4 <language>

The <language> elements indicate the language(s) of the content provided by your add-on. It applies to plugins, scripts, scrapers etc. This allows browsing the add-on list by language. When there is no specific language provided in your content, leave it blank.

<language>en de fr</language>
    or
<language></language>
2.4.2.1.5 <license>

The <license> element indicates what license is used for this add-on.

<license>GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE. Version 2, June 1991</license>
2.4.2.1.6 <forum>

The <forum> element provides the forum thread URL for this specific add-on. Leave this blank if there is no forum thread.

<forum>http://www.myaddonwebsite.com/forum.php?thread=12345</forum>
2.4.2.1.7 <website>

The <website> element provides the website URL for this specific add-on.

<website>http://www.myaddonwebsite.com/</website>
2.4.2.1.8 <source>

The <source> element provides the URL for the source code for this specific add-on.

<source>http://github.com/someone/myaddon</source>
2.4.2.1.9 <email>

The <email> element provides the email address of the author if he wishes to do so for this specific add-on. Here are two examples of how you can make it look (the second one it harder for spambots to use). This can be left blank if you do not want to make your email address public.

<email>foo@bar.com</email>
    or
<email>foo at bar dot com</email>


2.4.2.1.10 <disclaimer>

One or more <disclaimer> elements that indicate what (if any) things the user should know about the add-on. There is no need to have a disclaimer if you don't want one, though if something requires settings, or only works in a particular country then you may want to state this here. It may be translated into multiple languages.

<disclaimer lang="en">Feel free to use this script. For information visit the wiki.</disclaimer>
2.4.2.1.11 <broken>

The <broken> tag will mark the add-on as broken in the XBMC repo and provide the reason why. You don't need to do a version bump for this to work. However a bump is recommended as you could also add this to the changelog.

<broken>deprecated</broken>

2.5 Skin specific elements

2.5.1 Overview

defaultresolution Default resolution folder for this skin. This is the base directory that all window xml file requests will fall back to.
defaultresolutionwide Default widescreen resolution folder for this skin. This is the directory that all window xml file requests from widescreen resolutions (1080i, 720p, 480p 16x9, NTSC 16x9 and PAL 16x9) will fallback to. If the file isn't found in this window, then it'll fall back to the <defaultresolution> folder.
defaultthemename Default theme name. Currently set to: Default.
effectslowdown A multiplier that is applied to all <animation> effect lengths in the skin. Useful to slow down all animations globally so that you can better configure timings and see interactions between animating controls.
debugging When set to true, it'll display onscreen debug information (xml filename, mouse position and focused control type and name) in the skin.
res Support for arbitrary skin resolutions.

2.5.2 How window xml files are found

XBMC can run in many differing resolutions, and a skin should try and cater to all these resolutions. The easiest way is to develop for one specific resolution and make sure that all controls contain <width> and <height> tags. That way, XBMC can scale the controls to the new screen resolution.

However, you may choose to develop alternative window xml files for differing resolutions (such as for HDTV resolutions, or for widescreen versus 4x3 resolutions).

The order that XBMC looks for it's skin files are as follows:

  1. It first looks in the current screenmode folder (one of 1080i, 720p, NTSC16x9, NTSC, PAL16x9 or PAL)
  2. If the current screenmode is 1080i, it then looks in the 720p folder.
  3. If the current screenmode is a widescreen mode (1080i, 720p, NTSC16x9, PAL16x9) then it looks in the <defaultresolutionwide> folder.
  4. Finally, it looks in the <defaultresolution> folder.

This allows you to just put any window files that do not require special treatment for 16x9 resolutions etc. in the <defaultresolution> folder, preventing needless repetition.

3 Examples

3.1 addon.xml for skins

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<addon
 id="skin.confluence"
 version="2.1.3"
 name="Confluence"
 provider-name="Jezz_X, Team XBMC">
  <requires>
    <import addon="xbmc.gui" version="4.0.0"/>
  </requires>
  <extension
   point="xbmc.gui.skin"
   defaultthemename="textures.xbt"
   debugging="false"
   effectslowdown="0.75">
    <res width="1280" height="720" aspect="16:9" default="true" folder="720p" />
  </extension>
  <extension point="xbmc.addon.metadata">
    <summary lang="en">Confluence skin by Jezz_X. (XBMC's default skin)</summary>
    <description lang="en">Confluence is the default skin for {{subst:Name}} 9.11 and above. It is a combination of concepts from many popular skins, and attempts to embrace and integrate their good ideas into a skin that should be easy for first time {{subst:Name}} users to understand and use.</description>
    <disclaimer lang="en">Confluence is the default skin for XBMC, removing it may cause issues</disclaimer>
    <platform>all</platform>
    <license>GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE. Version 2, June 1991</license>
    <forum></forum>
    <website></website>
    <email></email>
    <source></source>
  </extension>
</addon>

One thing to note is that all tag names are lower case. XML tag names are case sensitive!

3.2 addon.xml for scripts/plugins

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<addon
   id="script.artwork.downloader"
   name="Artwork Downloader"
   version="12.0.12"
   provider-name="Martijn">
  <requires>
    <import addon="xbmc.python"                 version="2.1.0"/>
    <import addon="xbmc.json"                   version="6.0.0"/>
    <import addon="xbmc.addon"                  version="12.0.0"/>
    <import addon="script.module.elementtree"   version="1.2.7"/>
    <import addon="script.module.simplejson"    version="2.0.10" optional="true"/>
    <import addon="script.common.plugin.cache"  version="1.3.0"/>
  </requires>
  <extension point="xbmc.python.script"         library="default.py">
    <provides>executable</provides>
  </extension>
  <extension point="xbmc.service" library="service.py" start="login"/>
  <extension point="xbmc.addon.metadata">
    <summary lang="en">Downloads Artwork for TV shows, Movies and Musicvideos in your library</summary>
    <description lang="en">Downloads all available artwork for TV shows, Movies and Musicvideos in your library. Check the options for supported artwork[CR]Artwork sources:[CR]www.fanart.tv[CR]www.thetvdb.com[CR]www.themoviedb.org[CR]Remark:[CR]Check your skin to see what type of artwork is supported![CR]Each TV Show/Movie must have its own folder![CR]Skin integration:[CR]See readme file</description>
    <disclaimer lang="en">For bugs, requests or general questions visit the Artwork Downloader thread on the {{subst:Name}} forum.</disclaimer>
    <language></language>
    <platform>all</platform>
    <license>GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE. Version 2, June 1991</license>
    <forum></forum>
    <website></website>
    <email></email>
    <source></source>
  </extension>
</addon>

4 Schema Definition

The XML schema definition for addon.xml is located here.

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