Archive:Create a repository for add-ons

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Home icon grey.png   ▶ Development ▶ Add-on development ▶ Add-on repositories ▶ Create a repository for add-ons

When you have created your repository, feel free to add it to the 3rd party add-on repositories list.

1 Things you will require

  • Any HTTP server. A popular method is to use the svn or git source code servers of googlecode, gitorious and github.
 - In your code project page, make sure you set up the correct version control system (source tab). Most skins use SVN.
 - This will get you the right checkout address (link) and folder structure.
  • A folder containing one or more add-on.
 - Start by installing an svn program (like Tortoisesvn).
 - Right click the empty folder, choose 'SVN Checkout' to let it build a folder structure inside.
 - Make sure you get asked for authentication (!), the folders look like your source code server.
 - If you don't get asked for authentication check your server settings and http vs https links.
 - Make a test.txt file in the trunk, right click to mark it as 'add' and use and use 'SVN Commit' on top folder.
  • Make the following two files using the python code below. These 2 files are made from the addon.xml files in the folders below (from the addons). Where you can have your addon unzipped (or zipped as long as there is an addon.xml file next to it, that is always up to date with the one in the zip).
 - A master addons.xml file. This file contains metadata about all available add-ons.
 - A checksum of the above file (this file only contains a hash of addons.xml).
  • A zipped repository add-on for distribution. This allows you to share your repository with others.
 - Easiest way is to have a look at another repository file and change the name, info and links.
 - You can also have a look at how other repos set up their folder structure.

You can use[1] to generate the master xml and the MD5. Put it in the folder with all your add-ons (it needs to see addon.xml files in a folder below) and run it from your Python interpreter. If using a source code server, you can now upload your add-on folder via svn or git to your repository. Every time you update an add-on run the before uploading the add-ons folder.

  • For Windows users. Install the latest version of Python.msi (from their website) in it's default directory. Python (.py) files should now be associated with python.exe and can be run like a program.
  • Make a new text file and name it Open it with Notepad++ (or equivalent) and paste the following code inside.

#!/usr/bin/env python
# *
# *  Copyright (C) 2014-2015 Roman Miroshnychenko
# *  Copyright (C) 2012-2013 Garrett Brown
# *  Copyright (C) 2010      j48antialias
# *
# *  This Program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
# *  it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
# *  the Free Software Foundation; either version 2, or (at your option)
# *  any later version.
# *
# *  This Program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
# *  but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
# *  GNU General Public License for more details.
# *
# *  You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
# *  along with XBMC; see the file COPYING.  If not, write to
# *  the Free Software Foundation, 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
# *
# *
# *  Based on code by j48antialias:
# *

from __future__ import print_function
import os
import sys
from traceback import print_exc

# Compatibility with 3.0, 3.1 and 3.2 not supporting u"" literals
if sys.version < '3':
    import codecs
    open =

    def u(x):
        return codecs.unicode_escape_decode(x)[0]
    def u(x):
        return x

class Generator:
    Generates a new addons.xml file from each addons addon.xml file
    and a new addons.xml.md5 hash file. Must be run from the root of
    the checked-out repo. Only handles single depth folder structure.
    def __init__(self):
        # generate files
        # notify user
        print("Finished updating addons xml and md5 files")

    def _generate_addons_file(self):
        # addon list
        addons = os.listdir(".")
        # final addons text
        addons_xml = u("<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"UTF-8\" standalone=\"yes\"?>\n<addons>\n")
        # loop thru and add each addons addon.xml file
        for addon in addons:
                # skip any file or .svn folder or .git folder
                if not os.path.isdir(addon) or addon == ".svn" or addon == ".git":
                # create path
                _path = os.path.join(addon, "addon.xml")
                # split lines for stripping
                xml_lines = open(_path, "r", encoding="UTF-8").read().splitlines()
                # new addon
                addon_xml = ""
                # loop thru cleaning each line
                for line in xml_lines:
                    # skip encoding format line
                    if (line.find("<?xml") >= 0):
                    # add line
                    if sys.version < '3':
                        addon_xml += unicode(line.rstrip() + "\n")
                        addon_xml += line.rstrip() + "\n"
                # we succeeded so add to our final addons.xml text
                addons_xml += addon_xml.rstrip() + "\n\n"
            except Exception as e:
                # missing or poorly formatted addon.xml
                print("Excluding %s for %s" % (_path, e))
        # clean and add closing tag
        addons_xml = addons_xml.strip() + u("\n</addons>\n")
        # save file
        self._save_file(addons_xml.encode("UTF-8"), file="addons.xml")

    def _generate_md5_file(self):
        # create a new md5 hash
            import md5
            m ="addons.xml", "r").read()).hexdigest()
        except ImportError:
            import hashlib
            m = hashlib.md5(open("addons.xml", "r", encoding="UTF-8").read().encode("UTF-8")).hexdigest()

        # save file
            self._save_file(m.encode("UTF-8"), file="addons.xml.md5")
            # oops
            print("An error occurred creating addons.xml.md5 file!")

    def _save_file(self, data, file):
            # write data to the file (use b for Python 3)
            open(file, "wb").write(data)
            # oops
            print("An error occurred saving %s file!" % file)

if __name__ == "__main__":
    # start

2 Repository Files

Repositories are distributed just like any other add-on. In order for you to browse one in XBMC, you'll need to create an add-on and install it. The repository addon extends the xbmc.addon.repository extension point, so in addition to the general XML structure and icons required for an icon, you'll need an <extension> block specfically pointing to your repository. Use the addon.xml of any of the 3rd party add-on repositories as a template. Online repositories should always have zip set to true, both for efficiency of download and for the protection that .zip offers by way of verifying the download (i.e. can we unzip it).

3 Tips

3.1 Using your repo to host images

You may as a developer need to host images from time to time. Something like photobucket or flickr may work, but you can also use your repo. Commit an image to it, and then form the url to it as you would if you were accessing the image via git or svn (like below):

This can then be accessed easily from python code, or even embedded on the XBMC forums.

3.2 How to make an add-on self-updating without distributing a repository file

This is optional. You still need a repository for this, you just distribute the actual zipped plugin or script, as opposed to the repository file. First you need to have a working repository file. Copy the equivalent of this code from the addon.xml of your repository file:

<extension point="xbmc.addon.repository"
              name="Official Add-on Repository">
    <info compressed="true"></info>
    <datadir zip="true"></datadir>

Then simply add it under the other <extension point> entries of your add-on's addon.xml The name= part of this repository extension must never be the same as your add-on.

4 More Video Tutorials

4.1 Update Your Repository

Video's Description.

4.2 Add more Add-ons to your Repository

Video's Description.

5 See also