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Linux build guide

This is the general Linux build guide. Please read it in full before you proceed to familiarize yourself with the build procedure.

Several distribution specific build guides are available.

Table of Contents

  1. Document conventions
  2. Get the source code
  3. Install the required packages
    3.1. Build missing dependencies
    3.2. Enable internal dependencies
  4. Build Kodi
    4.1. Configure build
    4.2. Build
  5. Build binary add-ons
    5.1. In-tree building of binary add-ons
    5.2. Out-of-tree building of binary add-ons
  6. Run Kodi
  7. Uninstall Kodi
  8. Test suite

1. Document conventions

This guide assumes you are using terminal, also known as console, command-line or simply cli. Commands need to be run at the terminal, one at a time and in the provided order.

This is a comment that provides context:

this is a command
this is another command
and yet another one

Example: Clone Kodi's current master branch:

git clone https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc kodi

Commands that contain strings enclosed in angle brackets denote something you need to change to suit your needs.

git clone -b <branch-name> https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc kodi

Example: Clone Kodi's current Krypton branch:

git clone -b Krypton https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc kodi

Several different strategies are used to draw your attention to certain pieces of information. In order of how critical the information is, these items are marked as a note, tip, or warning. For example:

NOTE: Linux is user friendly... It's just very particular about who its friends are.
TIP: Algorithm is what developers call code they do not want to explain.
WARNING: Developers don't change light bulbs. It's a hardware problem.

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2. Get the source code

First install the git package provided by your distribution. How to do it can be found with a quick search in your favorite search engine.

Change to your home directory:

cd $HOME

Clone Kodi's current master branch:

git clone https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc kodi

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3. Install the required packages

The following is the list of packages that are used to build Kodi on Debian/Ubuntu (with all supported external libraries enabled).

NOTE: Kodi requires a compiler with C++14 support, i.e. gcc >= 4.9 or clang >= 3.4

  • autoconf, automake, autopoint, gettext, autotools-dev, cmake, curl, default-jre | openjdk-6-jre | openjdk-7-jre, gawk, gcc (>= 4.9) | gcc-4.9, g++ (>= 4.9) | g++-4.9, cpp (>= 4.9) | cpp-4.9, flatbuffers, gdc, gperf, libasound2-dev | libasound-dev, libass-dev (>= 0.9.8), libavahi-client-dev, libavahi-common-dev, libbluetooth-dev, libbluray-dev, libbz2-dev, libcdio-dev, libcec4-dev | libcec-dev, libp8-platform-dev, libcrossguid-dev, libcurl4-openssl-dev | libcurl4-gnutls-dev | libcurl-dev, libcwiid-dev, libdbus-1-dev, libegl1-mesa-dev, libenca-dev, libflac-dev, libfontconfig-dev, libfmt3-dev | libfmt-dev, libfreetype6-dev, libfribidi-dev, libfstrcmp-dev, libgcrypt-dev, libgif-dev (>= 5.0.5), libgles2-mesa-dev [armel] | libgl1-mesa-dev | libgl-dev, libglew-dev, libglu1-mesa-dev | libglu-dev, libgnutls-dev | libgnutls28-dev, libgpg-error-dev, libgtest-dev, libiso9660-dev, libjpeg-dev, liblcms2-dev, liblirc-dev, libltdl-dev, liblzo2-dev, libmicrohttpd-dev, libmysqlclient-dev, libnfs-dev, libogg-dev, libomxil-bellagio-dev [armel], libpcre3-dev, libplist-dev, libpng12-dev | libpng-dev, libpulse-dev, libshairplay-dev, libsmbclient-dev, libspdlog-dev, libsqlite3-dev, libssl-dev, libtag1-dev (>= 1.8) | libtag1x8, libtiff5-dev | libtiff-dev | libtiff4-dev, libtinyxml-dev, libtool, libudev-dev, libva-dev, libvdpau-dev, libvorbis-dev, libxkbcommon-dev, libxmu-dev, libxrandr-dev, libxslt1-dev | libxslt-dev, libxt-dev, waylandpp-dev | netcat, wayland-protocols | wipe, lsb-release, meson (>= 0.47.0), nasm (>= 2.14), ninja-build, python3-dev, python3-pil | python-imaging, python-support | python3-minimal, rapidjson-dev, swig, unzip, uuid-dev, yasm, zip, zlib1g-dev

3.1. Build missing dependencies

Some packages may be missing or outdated in older distributions. Notably crossguid, libfmt, libspdlog, waylandpp, wayland-protocols, etc. are known to be outdated or missing. Fortunately there is an easy way to build individual dependencies with Kodi's unified depends build system.

Change to Kodi's source code directory:

cd $HOME/kodi

Build and install crossguid:

sudo make -C tools/depends/target/crossguid PREFIX=/usr/local

Build and install flatbuffers:

sudo make -C tools/depends/target/flatbuffers PREFIX=/usr/local

Build and install libfmt:

sudo make -C tools/depends/target/libfmt PREFIX=/usr/local

Build and install libspdlog:

sudo make -C tools/depends/target/libspdlog PREFIX=/usr/local

Build and install wayland-protocols:

sudo make -C tools/depends/target/wayland-protocols PREFIX=/usr/local

Build and install waylandpp:

sudo make -C tools/depends/target/waylandpp PREFIX=/usr/local

WARNING: Building waylandpp has some dependencies of its own, namely scons, libwayland-dev (>= 1.11.0) and libwayland-egl1-mesa

TIP: Complete list of dependencies is available here.

3.2. Enable internal dependencies

Some dependencies can be configured to build before Kodi. That's the case with flatbuffers, crossguid, libfmt, libspdlog, rapidjson and dav1d. To enable the internal build of a dependency, append -DENABLE_INTERNAL_<DEPENDENCY_NAME>=ON to the configure command below. For example, configuring an X11 build with internal fmt would become cmake ../kodi -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local -DENABLE_INTERNAL_FMT=ON instead of cmake ../kodi -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local.

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4. Build Kodi

4.1. Configure build

If you get a Could NOT find... error message during CMake configuration step, take a note of the missing dependencies and either install them from repositories (if available) or build the missing dependencies manually.

Create an out-of-source build directory:

mkdir $HOME/kodi-build

TIP: Look for comments starting with Or ... and only execute the command(s) you need.

Change to build directory:

cd $HOME/kodi-build

Configure build for X11:

cmake ../kodi -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local -DCORE_PLATFORM_NAME=x11 -DAPP_RENDER_SYSTEM=gl

NOTE: You can use gles instead of gl if you want to build with GLES.

Or configure build for Wayland:

cmake ../kodi -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local -DCORE_PLATFORM_NAME=wayland -DAPP_RENDER_SYSTEM=gl

NOTE: You can use gles instead of gl if you want to build with GLES.

Or configure build for GBM:

cmake ../kodi -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local -DCORE_PLATFORM_NAME=gbm -DAPP_RENDER_SYSTEM=gles

NOTE: You can use gl instead of gles if you want to build with GL.

Or configure build with any combination of the three (default is "x11 wayland gbm"):

cmake ../kodi -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local -DCORE_PLATFORM_NAME="x11 wayland gbm" -DAPP_RENDER_SYSTEM=gl

NOTE: You can use gles instead of gl if you want to build with GLES.

4.2. Build

cmake --build . -- VERBOSE=1 -j$(getconf _NPROCESSORS_ONLN)

TIP: By adding -j<number> to the make command, you can choose how many concurrent jobs will be used and expedite the build process. It is recommended to use -j$(getconf _NPROCESSORS_ONLN) to compile on all available processor cores. The build machine can also be configured to do this automatically by adding export MAKEFLAGS="-j$(getconf _NPROCESSORS_ONLN)" to your shell config (e.g. ~/.bashrc).

After the build process completes successfully you can test your shiny new Kodi build while in the build directory:

./kodi-x11

Or if you built for Wayland:

./kodi-wayland

Or if you built for GBM:

./kodi-gbm

WARNING: User running kodi-gbm needs to be part of input and video groups. Otherwise you'll have to use sudo.

Add user to input and video groups:

sudo usermod -a -G input,video <username>

You will need to log out and log back in to see the new groups added to your user. Check groups your user belongs to with:

groups

If everything was OK during your test you can now install the binaries to their place, in this example /usr/local.

sudo make install

This will install Kodi in the prefix provided in section 4.1.

TIP: To override Kodi's install location, use DESTDIR=<path>. For example:

sudo make install DESTDIR=$HOME/kodi

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5. Build binary add-ons

You can find a complete list of available binary add-ons here.

In the following, two approaches to building binary add-ons are described. While the workflow of in-tree building is more automated, it is only supported as long as -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local is not changed from it's default of /usr/local. Thus when changing DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX, you must follow the out-of-tree building instructions.

5.1. In-tree building of binary add-ons

Change to Kodi's source code directory:

cd $HOME/kodi

Build all add-ons:

sudo make -j$(getconf _NPROCESSORS_ONLN) -C tools/depends/target/binary-addons PREFIX=/usr/local

Build specific add-ons:

sudo make -j$(getconf _NPROCESSORS_ONLN) -C tools/depends/target/binary-addons PREFIX=/usr/local ADDONS="audioencoder.flac pvr.vdr.vnsi audiodecoder.snesapu"

Build a specific group of add-ons:

sudo make -j$(getconf _NPROCESSORS_ONLN) -C tools/depends/target/binary-addons PREFIX=/usr/local ADDONS="pvr.*"

For additional information on regular expression usage for ADDONS_TO_BUILD, view ADDONS_TO_BUILD section located here Kodi add-ons CMake based buildsystem

NOTE: PREFIX=/usr/local should match Kodi's -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX= prefix used in section 4.1.

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5.2. Out-of-tree building of binary add-ons

You can find a complete list of available binary add-ons here. Exemplary, to install pvr.demo, follow below steps. For other addons, simply adapt the repository based on the information found in the .txt associated with the respective addon here

Some addons have dependencies. You must install all required dependencies of an addon before installing the addon. Required dependencies can be found by checking the depends folder and it's subdirectories in the repository of the respective addons.

A number of addons require the the p8-platform and kodi-platform add-ons. Note that dependencies on p8-platform and kodi-platform are typically not declared in the depends folder. They are only declared in the CMakeLists.txt file of the respective addon (e.g. via find_package(p8-platform REQUIRED)). Below we demonstrate how to build these two. First, the platform addon:

cd ~/src/
git clone https://github.com/xbmc/platform.git
cd ~/src/platform/
cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local
make && make install

Then the kodi-platform add-on:

cd ~/src/
git clone https://github.com/xbmc/kodi-platform.git
cd ~/src/kodi-platform/
cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local
make && make install

Finally, to install pvr.demo

cd ~/src
git clone https://github.com/kodi-pvr/pvr.demo.git
cd ~/src/pvr.demo/
cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local
make && make install

NOTE: -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX= should match Kodi's -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX= prefix used in section 4.1.

6. Run Kodi

If you chose to install Kodi using /usr or /usr/local as the -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=, you can just issue kodi in a terminal session.

If you changed -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX= to install Kodi into some non-standard location, you will have to run Kodi directly:

<CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX>/bin/kodi

To run Kodi in portable mode (useful for testing):

<CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX>/bin/kodi -p

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7. Uninstall Kodi

sudo make uninstall

WARNING:: If you reran CMakes' configure step with a different -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=, you will need to rerun configure with the correct path for this step to work correctly.

If you would like to also remove any settings and third-party addons (skins, scripts, etc.) and Kodi configuration files, you should also run:

rm -rf ~/.kodi

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8. Test suite

Kodi has a test suite which uses the Google C++ Testing Framework. This framework is provided directly in Kodi's source tree.

Build and run Kodi's test suite:

make check

Build Kodi's test suite without running it:

make kodi-test

Run Kodi's test suite manually:

./kodi-test

Show Kodi's test suite help notes:

./kodi-test --gtest_help

Useful options:

--gtest_list_tests
  List the names of all tests instead of running them.
  The name of TEST(Foo, Bar) is "Foo.Bar".

--gtest_filter=POSITIVE_PATTERNS[-NEGATIVE_PATTERNS]
  Run only the tests whose name matches one of the positive patterns but
  none of the negative patterns. '?' matches any single character; '*'
  matches any substring; ':' separates two patterns.

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