Create your plugin

The plugin helper utility allows you to easily create your own plugin, by providing tools for the main steps. Its functions are:

volumio plugin

volumio plugin init

volumio plugin refresh

volumio plugin package

volumio plugin publish

volumio plugin

This command will simply show you a review of the usage of the utility, as follows:


This utility helps you creating new plugins for Volumio.
init      creates a new plugin
refresh   copies the plugin in the system
package   compresses the plugin
publish   publishes the plugin on git

volumio plugin init

Call the utility with this command to create a new plugin from scratch. First of all it will copy the repository, then create the appropriate folder as specified by the user and prepare all the basic files, finally it will install your plugin locally. Here a step by step example:

ATTENTION: The first step is cloning the volumio-plugins repository, just head there and click "fork" on top right corner

volumio@volumio:~$ volumio plugin init

Welcome to the Volumio Plugin Creator!
You have to decide which category your plugin belongs to, then you have to select
a name for it, leave us the rest
Warning: make meaningful choices, you cannot change them later!

Creating a new plugin
? volumio plugins folder non existent, please type your github username Ghembs
cloning repo:
git clone
Cloning into '/home/volumio/volumio-plugins'...
Done, please run command again

volumio@volumio:~$ volumio plugin init

Welcome to the Volumio Plugin Creator!
You have to decide which category your plugin belongs to, then you have to select
a name for it, leave us the rest ;)
Warning: make meaningful choices, you cannot change them later!

Creating a new plugin
? Please select
the Plugin Category
  1) audio_interface
  2) miscellanea
  3) music_service
  4) system_controller
  5) user_interface
  Answer: 1

Creating a new plugin
? Please select
the Plugin Category audio_interface
? Please insert a name for your plugin test
NAME: test CATEGORY: audio_interface
Copying sample files
? Please insert your name (Volumio Team)
? Insert a brief description of your plugin (100 chars) test plugin
Installing dependencies locally
npm WARN test@1.0.0 No repository field.

Congratulation, your plugin has been succesfully created!
You can find it in: /home/volumio/volumio-plugins/plugins/audio_interface/test

After you selected a category and a name for the plugin, it will ask for yours, (Volumio team is the default name), then for a description and finally it will create it and install it locally (/data/plugins/...).

volumio plugin refresh

Call the utility with this command if you worked on the source and you want a plugin to be updated locally (/data/plugins/...). You have to call it from an appropriate plugin folder, in the path of volumio-plugins.

volumio@volumio:~/volumio-plugins/plugins/audio_interface/test$ volumio plugin refresh

This command will copy all your plugin\'s file in the correspondent folder in data

Updating the plugin in Data
Plugin succesfully refreshed

volumio plugin package

Call the utility with this command if you want to create a package with the content of a plugin's folder. It will take care of npm dependencies and put the zip in the same folder.

volumio@volumio:~/volumio-plugins/plugins/audio_interface/test$ volumio plugin package

This command will create a package with your plugin

Compressing the plugin
No modules found, running "npm install"
npm WARN test@1.0.0 No repository field.
Plugin succesfully compressed

You can find more details below about the zip file and the contents you must have in your plugin's folder

volumio plugin publish

Call the utility with this command if you want to upload your plugin on github. It will automatically call the package function if no .zip has been found, after asking for a last change in versioning, then it will change branch and, depending on if the plugin and/or category has been found on the plugins.json file, it will ask for additional details or both details and description. Finally it will commit them and push them on your repo.

volumio@volumio:~/volumio-plugins/plugins/audio_interface/test$ volumio plugin publish

This command will publish the plugin on volumio plugins store

Publishing the plugin
? do you want to change your version? (leave blank for default) 1.0.0
Switched to branch 'gh-pages'
? Insert some details about your plugin (e.g. features, requirements, notes, etc
... max 1000 chars) plugin for documentation purposes
updating plugin sources:

/usr/bin/git push origin master
updating plugin packages:

/usr/bin/git push origin gh-pages
Congratulations, your package has been correctly uploaded and is ready for merging!

The plugins.json file should now contain all the informations about your plugin, as follow:

            "description":"test plugin",
            "details":"plugin for documentation purposes",
            "author":"Volumio Team",

ATTENTION: Your plugin is not published yet. All you need to do is create a pull request, this will initiate the review process by Volumio Team. If everything looks good, your plugin will be published in the Volumio plugins store.

Volumio plugin files description

The Plugin Zip File

The plugin zip file will be created as the last step of the plugin creation and it must contains :

Mandatory Files

Name Format Content Bash script this file contains a script of action and dependencies installation needed for the plugin. It’s a BASH script. It MUST be executable.
index.js javascript this is main file, written in node.js
node_modules folder folder that contains all node modules needed
config.json json this file contains all the parameters to be save for the plugin.
Package.json json this file contains description of the plugin and the list of required node dependencies Bash script this file contains the script to remove the plugin.

CAREFUL: The zip must contain the files in the plugins root folder, NOT the root folder itself!

Details and examples of mandatories files. Here you will find more details for each files listed above, what they contain, how to write a working plugin. Examples based on Spop plugin.

This file allows download and installation of dependencies for the plugin. It’s a executable file written in BASH.


echo "Installing Spop Dependencies"
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -y install libasound2-dev libreadline-dev libsox-dev libsoup2.4-dev libsoup2.4-1 libdbus-glib-1-dev libnotify-dev --no-install-recommends

echo "Installing Spop and libspotify"

DPKG_ARCH=`dpkg --print-architecture`

cd /tmp
sudo tar xvf /tmp/spop-${DPKG_ARCH}.tar.gz -C /
rm /tmp/spop-${DPKG_ARCH}.tar.gz

sudo chmod 777 /etc/spopd.conf

#required to end the plugin install
echo "plugininstallend"


  • Use "echo" to detail what's going during the install, this will help you debugging, and notify the user what goes on during install
  • Since we are installing compiled binaries (that need to be compiled for both x86 and armhf, using dpkg --print-architecture as part of the file name will ensure an architecture-agnostic script)
  • For security reasons dpkg is not allowed, so if you need to install binaries, tar them and download the tar accordingly
  • We have no environment variable set, so make sure you cd in the desired folder
  • Ensure to give proper permissions to file you'll need to edit later on (node runs with user volumio)
  • To avoid installing unwanted stuff, make sure to place --no-install-recommends after your to-install list
  • echo "plugininstallend" must be placed at the end of the install script to signal that installation has ended.


Index.js This file is the main file of the plugin. It is written in javascript. Please refer to index.js section for a detailed explanation.


File in which is saved default parameters, and the way saved parameters will be saved.

  "enabled": {
    "type": "boolean",
    "value": false
  "username": {
      "type": "string",
      "value": ""
  "password": {
    "type": "string",
    "value": ""
  "bitrate": {
    "type": "boolean",
    "value": true


This file contains package description and dependencies

  "name": "spop",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "Spotify plugin for Volumio2",
  "main": "index.js",
  "scripts": {
    "test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1"
  "author": "",
  "license": "ISC",
  "volumio_info": {
    "prettyName": "Spotify",
    "icon": "fa-spotify",
    "plugin_type": "music_service",
  "dependencies": {
    "fast.js": "^0.1.1",
    "fs-extra": "^0.28.0",
    "kew": "^0.7.0",
    "net": "^1.0.2",
    "nodetools": "^1.0.0",
    "spotify-web-api-node": "^2.3.0",
    "v-conf": "^0.10.0"


The relevant parts are:

  • name: this will be the plugin's name folder
  • licence: use any licence, you're not bound to GPL here
  • dependencies: indicate the node modules this plugin requres, to avoid yourself the extra hassle of 2 different zip files for x86 and ARM, try to choose node modules that don't need to be compiled or rely on external dependencies
  • make sure to indicate propery the pretty name, icon and plugin type. The more straightforward, the better
  • version, this is used to keep track of version and request for updates if new versions are found
  • boot priority, accepts a numerical value from 1 to 10. Useful if you need to start your plugin after one another. 1 means it is started first, 10 means it will be started at last.

Bash file. As install file MUST be executable. Here you will basically revert what you did in the file .

Name Format Content
i18n folder contains string_en.json and other strings to translate the plugin
Uiconfig.json json this file describe the UI of the plugin.
Other Text, image, sound, script, executable... required file / script to use in the plugin such as executable or service,image, sound, application key...
RequiredConf.json json Configuration key or variables mandatory for the plugin to work. Useful to add a new parameter with an update

Details and examples of optional files Depending on the plugin, other file may be nedeed.


This file describes the user interface for the plugin configuration, that will appear while clicking on the cog. Please note that the filename is case sensitive.

Please refer to UI Configuration Pages for reference.


This folder contains languages strings if you want to translate your plugin

You have to have one file per language.

The file naming is “strings_en.json” for english.

Of course replace “en” by the language to be translated “it”, “fr”, “es”.

This is a json file.

  "spotify_username":"Spotify username",
  "spotify_password":"Spotify password",
  "high_bitrate":"High quality",
  "search_results":"Number of results",
  "last_fm_username":" username",
  "last_fm_password":" password",
  "SEARCH_SONGS_SECTION":"Spotify songs",
  "SEARCH_ALBUMS_SECTION":"Spotity albums",
  "SEARCH_ARTISTS_SECTION":"Spotify artists"



Your plugin may require other files such as image, sound, executable, configuration files etc… You have to include these files in the ZIP file and ensure proper permissions if they'll need to be edited.

Publish your plugin

When you want to provide your plugin to other people it is best practice to start development by forking the volumio-plugins repository. Start developing directly in the master branch and create a pull request when you are done.