Log file/Advanced

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Home icon grey.png   ▶ Troubleshooting ▶ HOW-TO:Submit a bug report ▶ Log file ▶ Advanced
Not sure what to do, but someone just asked you for a "log file", "debug log", "kodi.log", or "xbmc.log"? Click here.

At some point during your foray into Kodi, you will likely come up against a problem that isn't made 100% clear from errors in the GUI. This is where the log file comes into play. Kodi writes all sorts of useful stuff to its log, which is why it should be included with every bug/problem report. Don't be afraid of its contents! Often a quick glance through the log will turn up a simple typo or missing file which you can easily fix on your own.

1 Enable debugging

If someone asks for a debug log then debugging needs to be enabled. There are three ways to do this:

  1. Select the enable debug options in the GUI settings
  2. Use an advancedsettings.xml file
  3. Toggle debug logging with a keyboard or remote shortcut

1.1 GUI settings

Most users only need to enable debug logging in the GUI.

In Settings -> System -> Logging toggle the Enable debug logging setting.

1.2 Turn on debugging using a file (advancedsettings.xml)

You can manually enable debug logging directly using an advancedsettings.xml file. This is especially useful if Kodi is crashing during start-up and you are unable to turn debugging on via the GUI. The advancedsettings.xml file is simply a plain text document that is saved in the userdata folder and read when Kodi first starts up. You can use the following examples to enable debug logging:

Note: Be sure to format this as a plain text document, and make sure it is titled advancedsettings.xml and make sure the extension is just .xml and not something like ".xml.txt" or ".xml.doc".

1.2.1 advancedsettings.xml for normal debugging

If you want basic debug logging then use this. This the same as enabling logging in the GUI without enabling component-specific logging. Start with this one first if you are not sure which mode to use:

    <loglevel>2</loglevel> <!-- Change this to "1" to hide the on-screen debug log text -->

1.2.2 advancedsettings.xml for input devices

Useful as you cannot enable debug logging in the GUI if your input devices don't work.

If you only want debug logging with verbose components for input devices (JSON-RPC, CEC, HTTP, for remotes, smart phone remotes, web remotes, etc) then use this:

    <loglevel>2</loglevel> <!-- Change this to "1" to hide the on-screen debug log text -->
        <setextraloglevel>64,1024, 16384</setextraloglevel>
        <showloginfo>true</showloginfo> <!-- Change this to "false" to hide the on-screen debug log text -->

1.2.3 advancedsettings.xml for everything

If you want debug logging with all verbose components enabled use this.

Note: Normally, you don't want to use this one unless specifically asked for it, as it will create a very hard-to-read debug log.

    <loglevel>2</loglevel> <!-- Change this to "1" to hide the on-screen debug log text -->

1.2.4 Technical notes

1.3 Password warning

Template:Log file password warning

1.4 Keyboard or remote shortcut

By plugging in a keyboard, debug mode can be toggled by pressing  Shift+ctrl+D

Other keys, or buttons on remotes, can be used to toggle debug mode. Just use the action ID toggledebug along with a custom keymap.

1.5 Component-specific logging

For more extensive logging, several system components can be selected to put in more detailed debug messages in Kodi's log file. Multiple components can be selected for extending the debugging of the Kodi application.

Component logging selection window

First, you need to enable this feature via toggling

Settings -> System -> Logging -> Enable component-specific logging.

Then specifiy which components you want logged into the Kodi log file.

Settings -> System -> Logging -> - Specify component-specific logging....

One or more components can be selected for further investigating the debugging on your Kodi device, subject to your Kodi hardware capabilities.

  • The SMB library
  • The libcURL library (HTTP(S), DAV)
  • The FFmpeg libraries
  • The Audio component
  • The Video component
  • D-Bus calls
  • JSON-RPC requests
  • The Webserver component
  • The Airtunes library
  • The UPnP components
  • The libCEC library
  • The Database component
  • Audio/video timing information

2 So what do I do with this thing?

Whatever you do, please DO NOT paste it directly into IRC, a forum post or ticket on the bug tracker. This not only clutters said text, but the log is nearly impossible to read like this. If your log file is too big for the following methods, please restart Kodi to start a clean log file file, recreate the problem in as few steps as possible, then stop Kodi and try again. If it is still too large, try disabling features such as "scan library on startup", which spam's a lot of info to the log (unless of course this is where the problem is).

Note: Always include the whole debug log. Don't assume which portions of the log are relevant or not.
Note: Make sure you have enabled "debug logging". The normal log file, without debugging enabled, is almost always useless when it comes to troubleshooting!

2.1 In the forums and IRC

Use a pastesite such as http://pastebin.com , or http://paste.ubuntu.com on when posting on the forums. Simply visit one of these sites, paste or upload your log and hit submit. After a few seconds you'll have a nice short URL to paste in your post. Be sure to select an appropriate time to keep your paste around when submitting!

2.2 On the bug tracker

Just upload the log to your ticket as an attachment. DO NOT archive (zip,rar,tar,etc) it in anyway! Trac will let us view it right on the site without downloading.

2.3 Watch it locally, perhaps spotting errors you can fix or report

Using 'tail -f {location}' you can watch the log from a cmd/console (better with 2 displays), or better, via ssh (won't distract the gui).

3 Log files

  • kodi.log or xbmc.log - This is the log file of most recent (or currently running) Kodi session.
  • kodi.old.log or xbmc.old.log - This is the log file from the last Kodi session. If Kodi crashes AND you have restarted it before viewing the log, this is the one you want.

3.1 Location

kodi.log (or xbmc.log) and kodi.old.log (or xbmc.old.log) are located here, depending on your platform:

Operative system File/Folder Paths
Directories and files named kodi were called xbmc in versions before v14.
Android Note: The first folder might be different on various devices:
  • /data/org.xbmc.kodi/cache/temp/kodi.log
  • /sdcard/Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/temp/kodi.log
  • /storage/emulated/0/Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/temp/kodi.log
iOS/ATV2 /private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences/kodi.log
Linux $HOME/.kodi/temp/kodi.log
macOS /Users/<username>/Library/Logs/kodi.log
Windows desktop %APPDATA%\Kodi\kodi.log
Windows store (UWP) %LOCALAPPDATA%\Packages\XBMCFoundation.Kodi_4n2hpmxwrvr6p\LocalCache\Roaming\Kodi\kodi.log
Special protocol special://logpath (this can be used by scripts)

See Log file/File manager access for how to copy the debug log file using the File manager.

4 Easy ways to get and post the log file

4.1 Debug log add-on

You can use the Kodi Logfile Uploader to make the process of getting your debug log easier.

4.2 Automatic pastebin log in Linux via command line

You can generate a debug.log Pastebin link automatically quickly to post anywhere that requires a debug.log.

See also: Accessing Kodi via SSH e.g. Putty
Note: Don't forget to enable debugging
sudo apt-get install pastebinit -y

cat $HOME/.kodi/temp/kodi.log | pastebinit

(or cat $HOME/.Kodi/temp/kodi.log | pastebinit)

Submit the link you get in any forums discussion where you post about any problem.

5 Technical details about log files

Editor note: This section might be outdated now that Kodi has component-level logging. Some of it should still be true, but just keep in mind that this section hasn't been totally cleaned up for v13 and v14 yet.

5.1 Layout

Each event is logged to one line of the Kodi log file which is formatted as follows...

  • TIMESTAMP - The wall time at which the event occurred.
  • THREADID - The thread identification number of the thread in which the event occurred.
  • FREEMEM - The amount of memory (in bytes) free at the time of the event.
  • LEVEL - The severity of the event.
  • MESSAGE - A brief description and/or important information about the event.

5.2 Log levels

There are two different types levels when talking about the Kodi log. The first is the severity of event that has occurred. The second controls which severity levels are actually printed out to the log.

Severity levels

In order from least to most severe...

  • DEBUG - In depth information about the status of Kodi. This information can pretty much only be deciphered by a developer or long time Kodi power user.
  • INFO - Something has happened. It's not a problem, we just thought you might want to know. Fairly excessive output that most people won't care about.
  • NOTICE - Similar to INFO but the average Joe might want to know about these events. This level and above are logged by default.
  • WARNING - Something potentially bad has happened. If Kodi did something you didn't expect, this is probably why. Watch for errors to follow.
  • ERROR - This event is bad. Something has failed. You likely noticed problems with the application be it skin artifacts, failure of playback a crash, etc.
  • FATAL - We're screwed. Kodi is about to crash.
Log file control levels

In order from least to most information provided...

  • None - No logging will occur. kodi.log will likely be created but should remain empty.
  • Normal - The default loglevel. Events with a severity of NOTICE or greater will be logged.
  • Debug - All events are logged. This level (or higher) is all that you should bother someone else with.
  • Debug w/ Visuals - Same printed log as Debug, but free memory and CPU usage are rendered on the screen as well.
  • SMB Debug - Same as Debug w/ Visuals with the addition of ridiculous amounts of Samba debugging info. Use this only if asked.

6 See also