File sharing

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Home icon grey.png   ▶ Video library
▶ Music library
▶ Media sources ▶ File sharing

One of the most convenient functions of Kodi 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 Kodi wiki.

To learn how to access these remote shares in Kodi, please look at Kodi media sources.

1 Supported file sharing protocols

1.1 FTP

If you have media-files on a computer and you want to share them to a Kodi device, an FTP server is one option you can use. By default Kodi (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.

1.2 HTTP

Kodi contains an HTTP-client with which you can add sources in all sections in the Kodi interface.

1.3 NFS

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 Kodi to work with NFS: NFS does not use usernames or passwords as logins; it uses a UNIX-based "userID" (UID) alone.

1.4 RSS media source

Kodi supports RSS feeds as video and audio sources. Adding an RSS source in Kodi will make the individual RSS entries browsable in the Kodi interface, along with thumbnails and other metadata if available. RSS feeds cannot be scanned into the video or music library, so they are only accessible from the files view..

1.5 Samba

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 Kodi (among other uses). Samba/SMB is often a good choice due to it being highly compatible with other computers, regardless of the OS.

1.6 SFTP

Kodi ships with SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) (not to be confused with FTP) client support for accessing file shares.

1.7 SMB

Windows File Sharing, (also known as Common Internet File System [CIFS] or Server Message Block [SMB]), is probably the most common of all of the options for sharing media between your computer or a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device and Kodi.

1.8 UPnP

Kodi has several built-in UPnP A/V (Universal Plug and Play Audio Visual) features, including the ability to receive UPnP and DLNA content pushed to Kodi, browse UPnP and DLNA media sources, sharing a Kodi 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 Kodi device to another.

1.9 WebDAV

No content

2 Other file sharing topics

2.1 Media sources

Media Sources are virtual links to the content you wish Kodi to use. When you enter any of the Video library, Music library, Pictures or the File manager, you will see an entry for "Add Sources". When you first start with Kodi you should at least add one source, like a drive or directory on your Kodi device to get you started.

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 Kodi 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.

2.3 Filemanager

The File Manager allows the maintenace of files from within Kodi on platforms that have no underlying and easily accessible operating system. It will allow you to perform functions such as Move, Copy and Delete to name a few.

2.4 NAS

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 Kodi 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.

2.5 Auto wake on lan

Starting in v13, Kodi can automatically issue a 'wake-on-lan' packet to MySQL or a file sharing server right before it needs to connect to it.

3 Library sharing

HOW-TO:Share libraries using UPnP
UPnP sharing between two Kodi devices is the easiest way to share a library. You can also share multiple libraries, one from each Kodi device, to all the other 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 Kodi.

If you have more than one Kodi device on your local network then you might want to synchronize them by sharing the Kodi library databases via the MySQL protocol. Using shared library databases allows you to store information for either your video or music library in a central database, so that multiple devices can access the same information at the same time.

4 Advanced configuration of shares/sources (editing sources.xml)

For advanced configuration instructions about shares/bookmarks, (by editing sources.xml), see the Media_sources and Types of Media Sources articles.