One of the most convenient functions of XBMC is its ability to stream media from any networked PC (personal-computer). On this page is a list of file sharing related pages/topics on the XBMC wiki.
To learn how to access these remote shares in XBMC, please look at XBMC media sources.
1 Supported file sharing protocols
XBMC has AFP (Apple Filing Protocol) client support for media on all platforms. We don't recommend using it, as AFP support in XBMC is very buggy right now.
If you have media-files on a computer and you want to share them to an XBMC device, an FTP server is one option you can use. By default XBMC (namely XBMCbuntu) does not have any FTP server software installed, that does not mean you cannot add a FTP server to the installation and use it. Here we defer to vsftpd as a example.
XBMC contains an HTTP-client with which you can add sources in all sections in the XBMC interface.
Network File System, or NFS, is a way to share folders over a network, and was added to XBMC in v11 (Eden). The main benefits of using NFS instead of SMB are its low protocol overhead (which allows it to send data across a network more quickly) and its use of simple UID's to authenticate users rather than username/password combinations. This part bears repeating, as many people are confused on this point and try to create usernames and passwords to get XBMC to work with NFS: NFS does not use usernames or passwords as logins; it uses a UNIX-based "userID" (UID) alone.
1.5 RSS media source
RSS Feed sources allow you to add and list and view/listen to online video/audio/picture streams directly from XBMC.
Samba the Linux and Unix implementation SMB/CIFS (aka, Windows File Sharing). If it is not included in a given OS distro, it can be installed easily to share files to XBMC (among other uses). Samba/SMB is often a good choice due to it being highly compatible with other computers, regardless of the OS.
XBMC ships with SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) (not to be confused with FTP) client support for accessing file shares.
Beginning with v11, XBMC can function as a Slingbox client.
Windows File Sharing, (also known as Common Internet File System [CIFS] or Server Message Block [SMB]), is probably the most flexible of all of the options for sharing media between your computer or a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device and XBMC.
XBMC has several built-in UPnP A/V features, including the ability to receive UPnP and DLNA content pushed to XBMC, browse UPnP and DLNA media sources, sharing an XBMC library with other UPnP and DLNA devices, and even controlling UPnP and DLNA devices. UPnP is also the easiest way to share a library from one XBMC device to another.
As of XBMC v10 (Dharma), XBMC has WebDAV client support for media.
2 Other file sharing topics
2.1 Media sources
Media Sources are virtual links to the content you wish XBMC to use. When you enter any of the Videos, Music, Pictures or the Filemanager, you will see an entry for "Add Sources". When you first start with XBMC you should at least add one source, like a drive or directory on your XBMC device to get you started.
If you select "Add sources" a dialog appears, where you may manually input a path, or browse to a source that contains media that you would like XBMC to use and display. As an example, if you enter the Music section, you could tell XBMC where it should look for your music. This can be as simple as selecting a folder on your computer or you can also choose to browse your home network for media. These two options would be the most widely used places for sources.
2.2 Avahi Zeroconf
Avahi is a system which facilitates service discovery on a local network via the mDNS/DNS-SD protocol suite. This enables XBMC to recognize media sources inside your local network without knowing where the sources are located and what protocol is used. Compatible technology is found in Apple MacOS X (branded Bonjour and sometimes Zeroconf). Avahi is available for linux and derivates (BSD) afaik.
XBMC has a built-in filemanager which lets you transfer/copy/move/delete/rename/create files or folders on your local hard drive, or any of XBMC's supported file sharing protocols as long as you have correct permission on remote shares to read/write to all files. You also would need to setup XBMC to Allow rename and file deletion see Settings/Appearance#File lists if you wish to perform rename/delete operations.
A NAS (Network Attached Storage) is a stand-alone file-level computer data storage device into which you can install one or more hard drives (either internally or externally), and then connect the NAS device directly to your network. The NAS device is given its own IP address and can be configured to share the hard drives and their data contents on the network to multiple client devices, such as XBMC and other computers. With a NAS you do not have to have your computer(s) powered on permanently and your data will still always be available on your network and accessible from multiple devices. It is also possible to 'convert' a modest computer into a dedicated NAS device, and this is often the cheapest way to obtain your own NAS (potential downsides of using a computer as a NAS device are relatively large device size, increased noise levels and electricity consumption).
2.5 Auto wake on lan
XBMC can automatically issue a 'wake-on-lan' packet to MySQL or a file sharing server right before it needs to contact them (if so configured).
3 Library sharing
UPnP sharing between two XBMC devices is the easiest way to share a library. You can also share multiple libraries, one from each XBMC device, to all the other XBMC devices on the same network. UPnP also takes care of file sharing, so you do not need to do anything extra even if your files are added locally to XBMC.
3.2 HOW-TO:Sync multiple libraries
If you have more than one XBMC device on your local network then you might want to synchronize them using a MySQL library. Using a MySQL library allows you to store information about your whole video library in a central database, so that multiple XBMC devices can access the same information at the same time.
- For advanced configuration instructions about shares/bookmarks, (by editing sources.xml), see the Adding Media Sources and Types of Media Sources articles.
5 See also