Kodi 18 Features and Improvements (FOSDEM 2018 Video)

Most Kodi users are now running Kodi 17.x Krypton that was initially released in February 2017, with the latest point version being Kodi 17.6. At the time of Krypton release, the developers had also started working on Kodi 18 “Leia” which should now be in “alpha”, and the stable release may only be a few months away although Kodi developers do not provide an ETA.

What they did provide however – via Martijn Kaijser at FOSDEM 2018 – is a progress report for Kodi 18 “Leia”, as well as some insights into Kodi 19 whose development has just started.

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Kodi 18 has gone through a lot of cleanup with the code upgraded to C++11 standard, duplicate code and obsolete libraries removed, dropped unmaintained feature, and so on. They also moved non-core features such as audio encoders and decoders, PVR, picture decoding, etc…  to external plugins. This work resulted into 299,476 deleted lines of codes, and 387,205 added lines of codes in Kodi v18 alpha.

Some of the key developments and new features you can expect in Kodi 18 include:

  • XBOX One support with Microsoft’s help
  • Improvements to the core VideoPlayer with easier to maintain, more portable and efficient code, support for DRM protected streams (e.g. Widevine), and potentially future support for PiP, headless mode, and transcoder mode.
  • RetroPlayer retro-gaming emulator is now part of Kodi
  • Rework of input handling using controller add-ons
  • Android now only uses standard Android API functions
  • Windows 64-bit release
  • Better Blu-ray support
  • DASH support
  • Other under the hood changes: Wayland support, Direct Rendering Manager, CMake build system, PVR improvements

As mentioned in the introduction, work on Kodi 19 “Mxxxxx” has also started, and one of the changes is the drop of support for Python 2 add-ons so every add-on will have to move to Python 3. Watch the video for the full picture.

You may also be interested in the presentation slides.

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6 Replies to “Kodi 18 Features and Improvements (FOSDEM 2018 Video)”

  1. @Stane1983

    From weblog commentary:

    “but at the moment I was speechless.”

    “Conclusion – I don’t have one.”

    From preceeding comment above — “Some agree, some don’t.”

    That is a truism, but it is impossible to argue against truisms, a speechless reaction, and a conclusion which does not exist.

  2. @Stane1983
    Yes you are only being unnecessary paranoid. I see no hints of a change; Kodi is and always will be a free and open source project made up by volunteers. Kodi project is not going commercial. Microsoft only assisted as a proof-of-concept to show that all software can be ported to UWP. As for support for DRM vieos, that has been discussed before on kodi.tv website. You have no fear there either. Kodi will never remove support for non-DRM videos. This will only add a feature to also play DRM videos, but it will not remove or limit your ability to play non-DRM videos. This simply adds the ability to possibility to have Netflix and similar addon in Kodi someday. This way you could both have Kodi play Netflix movies as well as play your home movies or whereever you source your videos from.


    As for emulators, there is a few things called fair-play, like if you own the game cartridge then why should you not be able to run a copy in an emulator. Then you have games that are no longer under copyright or in the public domain. I for one love the RetroPlayer project! Maybe it doesn’t quite belong in Kodi as a “media player” but it does with Kodi as an ‘entertainment system’. Xbox and PlayStation are no longer game systems but “entertainment system” now. Not a bad idea with some competition from the free and open source scene.

  3. Will the Youtube plugin actually work in Kodi 18?

    That is one of my major pain points with 17.x on Ubuntu 16.04.

    I badly need a decent hw-accelerated Youtube client on my Dell XPS 13. Kodi used to be a good one up until som 16.x version when it broke.

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